28 Dec REDUCING INFLAMMATION IN THE NEW YEAR
Is your gut is constantly on fire?
Cleaning up your eating patterns is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. When it comes to reducing inflammation, keep the 4 R’s in mind….
Reduce: your intake of irritating foods
Remove: unhealthy microbial invaders
Re-inoculate: with healthy doses of good bacteria
Repair: with healthy nutrients
You can achieve all of these goals by doing the following…
Reduce excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates
Increase your fiber intake by choosing whole grain foods more often. Reduce your intake of white breads and cereals. Whole wheat and whole grain flours should be one of the first 3 ingredients on a food label.
Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids
Switch over to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats by using more olive, grape seed, and avocado oils in place of vegetable oils. Also increase your intake of fatty fish 2-3 times/week. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring are all good choices. Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are also rich in omega-3s. These are great snack options. Be sure to watch your portion sizes.
Increase intake of anti-oxidants
Consume more: apples, blueberries, cherries, pineapples, raspberries, and strawberries. Consuming anti-oxidants in foods as opposed to pills is preferred as the nutrients in food work synergistically to enhance their absorption.
Manage your stress
A healthy mental outlook plays a big role in optimal gut function. Figure out what works best for you. Exercise, meditation, or journaling are all great options.
Vow to Cook More
The more time you put into planning, shopping, and preparing foods, the better your nutritional health will be. Work on reducing your reliance on fast foods to a maximum of once per week, and spend more time cooking and eating at home,
Change up Your Snacks
Choosing whole foods over processed is preferred. Low fat cheese and crackers, pita chips with hummus, cut vegetables with yogurt dips, or home made trail mixes are all great options.
Try a Prebiotic and a Probiotic
Prebiotics are considered the fuel for probiotics. They assist each other in doing their jobs better by working synergistically to enhance gut function. Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food ingredients that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics also improve gastrointestinal health and enhance calcium absorption. Prebiotics include: bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, and whole-wheat foods.
Probiotics are active cultures that have been demonstrated to have an effect on allergies, food sensitivities, and enhanced gut function. Probiotics can be found in: fermented dairy foods including yogurt, kefir products, and aged cheeses. Other non-dairy choices that have beneficial cultures include: kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and soy beverages.
If you need assistance in achieving healthy gut health in 2016, visit a Registered Dietitian. Achieving a healthy balance through diet and lifestyle modifications is possible. Happy New Year!