When it comes to nutrient absorption, it's all about how well your body is able to absorb and utilize all the essential nutrients from the foods you eat.
You could be eating all the right foods, but if you're not digesting them properly, the best diet in the world is pretty useless.
Having a healthy gut is extremely important for the healthy functioning of everything from your digestive tract to your immune system, it requires a special level of care and attention.
When your gut is unhealthy and inflamed, it relies heavily on other organs like your skin (the largest organ in your body), to eliminate toxins. When you have skin conditions like acne, dryness, redness or dull skin, it's often a sign of inflammation and toxic buildup in your body.
When I first started making changes to my diet and lifestyle, I didn't see a drastic improvement in the complexion of my skin until I focused on improving my digestion. And the same has proven true for all my clients. The health of your gut microbiome determines the health of your skin, and helps regulate inflammation and immunity throughout your entire body.
Here’s some key ways to improve your gut health:
EAT MORE FIBER
Fiber from real foods (not processed foods) not only keeps you full longer, but it also sweeps out waste and helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Eating enough fiber from fruits and vegetables every single day is crucial for maintaining good digestive health. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, ground flax, chia seeds, and healthy fats like avocados are all great options.
SOAK YOUR WHOLE GRAINS, BEANS, NUTS AND SEEDS
Soaking removes and neutralizes phytic acid, a natural protective toxin, found in the bran and hulls of whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. This is an important step that you shouldn't skip, because this toxin interferes with the absorption of important vitamins and minerals, like zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium. When you soak these foods, it sparks the sprouting process, make more minerals available, and activates the enzymes that aid in their digestion.
Slowing down, chewing thoroughly and taking pauses while you eat leaves the necessary space in your stomach to help break food down. Chewing activates the digestive enzymes in your mouth to prep your stomach for the optimal absorption of nutrients. It's the first step in helping your body break down foods, so make sure to chew it well enough that it can swallowed like a liquid.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Simply taking a walk after a meal can help promote healthy digestion. Any type of body movement improves your metabolism, stimulates intestinal contractions and tones the muscles of your core to create healthy bowel movements.
EAT FERMENTED FOODS
Nourish your gut by adding probiotics and fermented foods to your diet. Probiotic-rich foods help boost your microbiome by increasing the number of good bacteria in your gut. Eat a variety of cultured foods like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and kombucha, and add raw apple cider vinegar to your meals to help aid in digestion.
ADD MORE HERBS AND SPICES
Spices like turmeric, black pepper, ginger, coriander, fennel, cayenne and cumin help boost sluggish digestion. They also increase blood flow and circulation, and help fight inflammation in the body. Adding spices to your soups, dressings, vegetables or in warm drinks is an easy way to stimulate your cells to function better.
Adding bitters to your everyday is one of the quickest ways to optimize your digestion before and after mealtime. You can either get a tincture of bitters or simply add bitter foods like ginger, dandelion greens, arugula, kale, and dark chocolate (80% cacao). I drink water/tea with digestive bitters before every meal.
**And as always, make sure to get quality sleep, stress LESS and HYDRATE throughout the day.