Three really good things for your digestion: Bone broth, chia seeds, and a moment of mindfulness
With the wealth of information out there on nutrition right now, it’s difficult to incorporate every new food trend into your diet. And why would you? Sometimes it’s hard to see through the marketing and a balance of good whole foods is always the best policy.
Good health starts with good habits and sustainable habits are built on making small positive choices, everyday. Sometimes a sweeping diet change is necessary but, more often, making a couple positive changes can make all the difference and they are the choices that tend to stick around.
Here are two foods and one practice to incorporate into your diet over the next month will help clear out, restore, and build up:
1. Clear out: Chia seeds. once only reserved for those clay pets (ch-ch-chia!), these South American seeds have become a mainstream super food. They are packed with energy and nutrition (one example, they contain more Omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram). Chia seeds are an incredible source of fiber (40% of their weight is from it!). Fiber is good for clearing out the digestive tract, reducing overeating by prolonging a feeling of fullness but it also feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut that in turn help you break down and absorb nutrients.
I throw a tablespoon on salads, in shakes, oatmeal, or make a chia seed pudding with almond or coconut milk.
2. Build up: Bone broth- dense in minerals and nutrients, good at repairing digestive system. I make a roast chicken a couple times per month which provides me with ample protein during the week and then I boil the bones down for a broth and/or soup. Best way to get the most out of your meat and use all the parts for maximum nutritional value and economy. Be sure to cook the bones for at least 8 hours (for chicken, 12 hours for beef bones) to get all of nutrients out.
3. Be here now: Have moment of mindfulness before you eat- During a work day it’s easy to continue working while you eat. I’m definitely guilty of this. The processes of digestion work best when you are in a relaxed state (parasympathetic nervous system turned on) and are interrupted if you are stressed and chronically anxious/frustrated. Perhaps why there are so many digestive complaints with people under chronic stress.
Take 10 seconds before you begin to eat to bring your awareness to the present moment and the state within your body. Have a look at your food, enjoying the smell and sight of it. A small moment of ‘tuning in’ before eating is a great break from the busy-ness of the day.
1. Bone Broth: Winter’s new miracle drink (Washington Post)
2. One of the Healthiest Foods in the World in A Tiny Black Seed From South America (Business Insider)
3. Mindful Eating as Food for Thought (NY Times)
4. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The acclaimed guide to stress, stress related diseases, and coping by Robert Sapolsky
5. Top tips for aiding digestion (British Homeopathic Association)