I’ve been talking a lot about gut health throughout the last few months because along with the warm weather comes new foods (hello ice cream) that our bodies aren’t used to eating every day. Have no fear, I’ve got a few ways for you to promote gut health for your whole family this season.
5 Ways to Improve Gut Health for Your Whole Family (AUDIO)
Click the PLAY button below to listen to me talk about 5 ways to improve gut health for your whole family.
5 Ways to Improve Gut Health for Your Whole Family
- Add more vegetables than anything else on your plate. Load the veggies on your plate so that they take up the most space! Try a few of my favorites such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and kale. You can roast them, steam them, saute them or serve them raw with your favorite dip such as guacamole. I suggest roasting or sauteeing your favorite veggies with extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes or on the stovetop over medium heat until tender.
- Add in a high-quality probiotic such as to your daily routine as well as probiotic-rich foods (aka: fermented foods) that are naturally rich in probiotics such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and chickpea miso paste. You can add these to sauces, dressings, salads, and soups! Feel free to get creative; no need to follow a recipe. Take a taste of each of these ingredients and see which ones you like best, then add them as a side dish for dinner or mix them into your favorite salad dressing!
- Add in prebiotic-rich foods such as onions, leeks, bananas, asparagus, cabbage, and garlic to your meals a few times a week. Try sauteeing onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the onions are tender. Then, add your favorite veggies and a handful of nuts and you’ve got yourself a meal!
- Remove inflammatory foods that can kick up yeast and feed the non-beneficial bacteria such as white bread, white pasta, sugar, soda and fried foods. These create massive amounts of inflammation in our bodies.
- Filter your tap water so you’re not allowing toxins such as heavy metals and chemicals that are commonly found in tap water to enter your gut microbiome. I suggest my favorite water filter here. Trust me, once you do this, you’ll never go back to drinking tap water ever again because there is so much fluoride in tap water that tastes awful after you stop drinking it for a while!
Adult Gut Health Tips
There are over 500 species (and 3 pounds) of bacteria in your gut microbiome according to Mark Hyman M.D., which means we’ve got to make sure we’re adding beneficial bacteria to our lifestyle on a daily basis. Why? Well, because if we’re not adding in beneficial bacteria via probiotic-rich foods and probiotics, we can end up with more non-beneficial bacteria in our guts, which can leave our digestive system not a happy camper to say the least.
This is why I personally lovethey contain 5x more good bacteria than Align Probiotics and they’re easy to pack because they’re sold in individual blister packs. All you’ve gotta do is pop the probiotic out of the pouch and toss it into your mouth with a glass of water. Easy peasy. Probiotics, as many of you already know, help maintain the delicate balance between the beneficial bacteria in our gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of bacteria. Align helps maintain that digestive balance*.
Diet, travel, changes in routine and stress can all disrupt your natural balance of beneficial bacteria in the microbiome so it’s key to add in probiotics to your lifestyle on a daily basis. Trust me, you’ll feel the difference between when your gut is happy with more beneficial bacteria vs. when the non-beneficial bacteria takes over.
Here are a few tips to help you with a healthy gut all summer long:
- Focus on healthy fats such as avocado, walnuts, almonds, pecans, extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. Remove inflammatory fats such as margarine and trans fats (found in processed baked goods like cookies, crackers, bread, and cakes).
- Snack smart with anti-inflammatory ingredients and make your own snacks instead of succumbing to processed packaged snacks. Saute a mixture of leafy greens, walnuts, avocado, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet and serve it atop gluten-free whole grain toast for a snack.
- Make a quick anti-inflammatory smoothie with fresh peeled beets, berries, ice and fresh mint.
- Create a hearty anti-inflammatory meal or side dish with roasted sweet potatoes, a drizzle of coconut oil, a dash of ground cinnamon and a handful of chopped pecans.
Kid-Friendly Gut Health Tips
Kids often don’t love the foods that adults do, which can be very frustrating for parents, however, I’ve got a handful of ideas that you can use to gently support the microbiome of all the kiddos in your life.
- Help keep your kids’ digestive systems in sync with Align Jr. Chewables Probiotic Supplement.*
- Add probiotic-rich and prebiotic-rich foods to their lunchbox a few times a week (see the list above for ideas). Try alternating between steaming, roasting and sauteeing the veggies to switch things up.
- Make your own pickles with apple cider vinegar and sea salt; feed them to your children for a probiotic-rich snack.
- Add 1 Tbsp. chickpea miso paste to a pot of boiling water and add a bunch of your favorite veggies to make a soy-free miso soup that kids can sip in mugs to make it fun!
- Make a fun snack plate by adding a few scoops of kimchi (you can make it yourself or purchase it from a health food store) to a large wooden cutting board along with sliced radishes, cucumbers, sliced bell peppers, hummus, and guacamole.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.