I am totally obsessed with being regular. It’s annoying to some, disgusting to others and downright intriguing from the crowd I keep around. But in all seriousness digestion is imperative, there is a reason that the brilliant Ancient Greeks thought that the cognitive mind rested in the belly. The guts definitely have something to say, and if you listen you might just find yourself healthier.
Many common ailments like bad skin or chronic lethargy can stem from an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the belly solved by some crucial changes to the diet. We all know what’s unhealthy so let’s just stick to the positive. Try to switch one of these foods out in your diet this week, see what changes may arise. These are my top 8 when I’m feeling, well, backed up.
Seeds are important because they stay pretty rigid as they’re being digested. It sort of scrapes the sides of your intestines to remove any unwanted gunk that is stopping you from absorbing valuable vitamins and nutrients. With healthy intestinal walls healthy bacteria can grow up and all of this action will keep the guts operating well. Chia seeds are specifically mentioned in multiple articles on healthy pooping but I’d say the addition of any seeds (unsalted) are great for most diets.
7. Peppermint Tea
Whenever I have a belly ache or a head ache I turn to mint tea. Peppermint is the best but spearmint also does the trick. If you’re feeling super herby add some calamus in for ultimate gut relief. Experience bright, stimulating flavor while the mint slowly and comfortably moved any obstructions from the intestinal tract. Beware before bed, peppermint has a stimulating effect in the mind as well but I’ve found it only effects severe insomniacs.
6. Red Beets
I’ve met quite a few people that aren’t huge fans of beets but it makes no sense because they’re so sweet and earthy, there’s nothing like it. Roast em, fry em, even eat them like an apple (I’ve never done this but Dwight from the Office and my ginger friend Andrew can attest). Beets also detoxify the liver and blood and are rich in both vitamins and minerals. The last thing I’ll mention is that you can measure the length of time it takes you to digest if you keep an eye on your excrement. It should take 12-24 hours to move a meal through your body, since beets turn the stuff bright red you can measure your digestive process and determine whether or not you’re constipated.
This one kind of plays along with the seed concept, have you ever noticed how seedy berries are? Those seeds stay intact in the digestive tract to help scrape the intestinal walls. Berries are also valuable for women’s memory stability as well as jam packed with antioxidants. They will help your body to create a defense from free radicals out in the world.
If you read my previous post on kombucha you know I’ve been brewing my own these past months. Since having at least 6 ounces of kombucha daily I’ve been eliminating like a champion and if I have a bit when I’ve eaten a bit too much and feel bloated, it fixes the problem almost immediately. Just know that it takes at least 7 days in a row for the most bogged down system to feel effects from daily kombucha.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Did you ever wonder why people never stop saying that? This magic is due to the nutrient dense qualities of the fruit and it actually regulates the bowels entirely by creating the right consistency for waste to move through the digestive tract. That’s right, it can both stop diarrhea and get things moving when you’re constipated which makes everyone happy always. Just be sure to only buy organic, apples have just made the EPA list of most pesticide ridden fruits and vegetables in the country.
2. Hot Lemon Water
I asked a naturopath once how I could start getting my digestive system running and she told me that before I ate anything in the morning to have a cup of hot water with a lemon slice. It seemed too easy, but it is too easy not to do. Literally moments after drinking lemon water I will go expel everything that’s been bogging down my bowels efficiently. After I tell people this they always say, “That’s what coffee does!”. Hey, you guys, I drink SO much coffee. So trust me, this is even better.
My first step if I’m ever feeling sick or not myself is to saute a whole bushel of kale and some garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil. It helps me beat a cold before it starts and most definitely pulls a zamboni on my digestive tract. If you’re feeling constipated immediately grab some leafy greens and get munching. Protein will only make it worse.