In the world of wellness nowadays, there seems to be a constant stream of trends circulating in regards to how and what to eat. The foods we consume heavily impacts all aspects of our health including our digestive system. With the influx of trends, it can be hard to navigate which ones are the best options for you. Let us break down different diet trends, eating habits you should implement, and foods to consume to improve your digestive health.
Different Diet Trends and Their Potential Benefits or Drawbacks
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is based on foods that are considered traditional eating habits in countries that are bordering the Mediterranean Sea such as Greece and Italy. This diet primarily focuses on whole foods and meals that are filled with copious amounts of vegetables, lean proteins, and grains. It also emphasizes the importance of incorporating healthy fats into one’s diet, and to not shy away from its benefits simply because it is fat. Some of the more restrictive aspects of the Mediterranean diet include limited amounts of red meat and moderate amounts of dairy. This diet is a great example of eating in moderation while not restricting oneself of any of the foods life has to offer. Due to its natural focus on balance, the Mediterranean diet can be a great choice for just about anyone!
The Keto Diet
The keto diet requires one to consume high levels of fat and incredibly low levels of carbohydrates in hopes that your body will enter a state of ketosis and use the stored fat for energy instead of the carbohydrates. Hydration and protein consumption are also pillars to this diet. While the keto diet can lead to weight loss due to its restrictive qualities, it must be taken with caution due to these restrictive qualities. Restriction is not always positive, and can sometimes lead to an imbalance of nutrients and binge eating. As with any new diet, it is important to refer to your doctor to see what would work best for you specifically. It is also important to note that carbohydrates in and of themselves offer us an abundant amount of energy, and should not be portrayed as detrimental to one’s health.
Eating Habits to Implement to Avoid Certain Digestive Complications
- Create an eating schedule - Eating at specific times each day can help regulate your body’s digestive process. If your body gets used to you eating at specific times each day, it will eventually get used to this schedule and in turn better understand when it is meant to start the digestive process and release gut health enzymes. Having a meal schedule can also help to regulate your body’s energy and sugar levels leading to less intervals of fatigue. When you create an eating schedule, you are more likely to have moments of rest in between which gives your body the time it needs to recuperate properly.
- Minimize your salt intake - High sodium levels can lead to water retention and bloating. If you are someone who struggles with drinking water and who consumes high amounts of sodium, it is important to take note and adjust your sodium levels accordingly. High salt consumption can also contribute to heartburn. However, low sodium levels can also contribute to negative side effects. It is crucial that you keep sodium at a healthy level.
- Practice mindful eating - With a busy lifestyle, it can be hard to find time throughout the day to truly focus on eating. However, if possible, try and practice mindful eating as much as you can, because it will make a massive difference on your digestive process. When you are practicing mindful eating – eating slowly, without distraction, and intentionally – you are giving your body the chance it needs to send signals to your brain and your stomach. If you eat too quickly it can cause your body to not have enough time to tell you when you are full resulting in overeating. Overeating can cause heartburn, bloating, and stomach pain. Find time throughout your day to dedicate to eating, whether that is a full-blown meal or a simple snack. Mealtime should be sacred and intentional.
The Three Types of Foods to Eat to Support Your Digestion
Probiotic-rich foods consist of live microorganisms that are a vital part to maintaining a healthy gut. They are essential to balancing out your gut microbiota as too little of beneficial bacteria can cause an imbalance and lead to leaky gut, bloating, indigestion, and irregular bowel movements. Your gut is also connected to your brain, so when you have an unhealthy gut, you are more likely to experience irritability, brain fog, and fatigue. Yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, and fermented cheeses are all types of foods that contain probiotics. Probiotics can also be found in bloating supplements such as Probiotic Renu. Probiotic Renu is a probiotic supplement that contains bifido and lacto probiotic cultures to support your gut health all day long.
Dietary fiber helps to promote regular bowel movements, especially if you are someone who is prone to constipation. Whole grains, legumes, and certain fruits contain an abundance of fiber making them wonderful options to add to your meals. While too little fiber can be harmful, eating too much fiber can also cause certain issues in your digestive system. Make sure to find a healthy balance of fiber to add to your diet to reap its benefits without its potential setbacks. It is also important to drink plenty of water when consuming fibrous foods.
Inflammation in the body can contribute negatively to a bunch of different aspects of one’s health, including your digestive process. If you regularly experience inflammation, you might want to consider adding anti-inflammatory herbs either into your beverages or meals. Turmeric, rosemary, and basil are all herbs that contain anti-inflammatory properties. You can even reap the benefits of anti-inflammatory ingredients from herbal teas such as chamomile tea, green tea, and ginger tea.