Eat Whole, Unprocessed Foods to Improve Your Gut Health
Busy lives mean that many of us turn to foods that are quick and easy to eat. We eat sugary cereal, frozen pizzas and boxes of food that come ready to eat. These foods are highly processed and are seriously devoid of the micronutrients our bodies need to be healthy and fully functional. They contain unhealthy kinds of fat and large amounts of sugar and chemicals that are added to them so they taste good, but they’re not good for gut health.
These highly processed foods can wreak havoc in your gut. Not only are the chemicals detrimental to the bacteria in your gut – the fat, sugar, and sodium levels cause digestive issues which over time can result in disease.
Whole foods are foods that are not processed. We’re talking about foods that don’t come in bags or boxes but rather as nature created them. Fish, fruits and vegetables are examples of whole foods. One rule of thumb that makes it easier for some people to differentiate between whole and processed foods is to ask the question, “Did your great grandmother eat it?” Processed foods are a relatively new commodity and one that our ancestors didn’t ingest.
How do you make sure to eat more whole, unprocessed foods when you’re so busy? The key is to plan ahead. Find recipes that work for you and for your lifestyle. Make time to cook, even if it’s on the weekends (crock pots are a big help), and stick to the produce section when you’re shopping. Whole foods can be quick and easy too. For example, you might hard boil a few eggs on Sunday and have hard boiled eggs and a piece of fruit for breakfast during the week. That’s faster than a visit to the drive through for a fast food breakfast and so much better for you than a bowl of sugary cereal.
Why should you eat whole foods? Certainly for the nutrient content; but another reason is for the fiber. Fiber improves your gut health as it helps the good bacteria in your gut thrive. It also reduces any bad bacteria by moving material through your system in an effective and efficient way. When material is allowed to sit in your gut, the bad bacteria have an opportunity to thrive. That’s when the lining of your digestive system can become irritated and inflamed and toxins can be produced.
I’ve had too many people (some who’ve actually been quite ill) tell me they could never give up sugar or the foods they love to eat. If you’re feeling panicky that you’ll be forced to give up your beloved favorite chips, cookies or donuts, don’t panic! You can have those foods…just not every day. Frankly, once you get used to eating whole foods, your old favorites might not taste as great as they used to. But that’s for you to decide. Just know for the present, you don’t have to give them up. Just try eating this way…I really hope you will. You can’t imagine the difference eating whole food can make in your life. It’s made such a difference in my life; I wish for you the chance to feel great because of how you eat.
Make Major Improvements in Your Life!