Your digestive system takes a beating every day! It has one of the hardest jobs in the body. It has to extract nutrients from what we eat and it has to fight bad bacteria to keep us healthy. If that wasn't enough, our gut health is linked to our immune health and brain health. So if we want to be healthy in our mind and body, a healthy digestive system is key.
Everyday our digestive system is damaged. Especially if we are eating the standard American diet. Did you know the typical American only eats 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day? This is way too little to keep things moving. In fact, the best way to be eating means that when you eat a meal, there are 8 to 12 grams of fiber per meal. You read that right, 8 - 12 grams of fiber per meal! Fiber is not only key to keeping things moving, it helps our body detoxify. There are only 3 ways our body detoxifies: sweating, peeing and pooping. If we aren't eating enough fiber, then we can excrete toxins properly.
Our digestive system is damaged if we don't eat something green everyday. Why? Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants. It helps keep the digestive tract healthy by increasing the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract and it is anti-microbial, which means it can help get rid of the bad bacteria. (Source: Well and Good) Great sources of chlorophyll are avocados, spinach, green beans, arugula, broccoli and parsley, to name a few. Next time you eat a meal, look at your plate. Do you have something green on it? It is a very simple task to eat something green everyday.
Eating foods that are processed hurts our digestive system. Processed foods are high in unhealthy fats, added sugars and sodium. Your digestive system has no where to hide! It must process what we eat. When we eat processed foods, the digestive system slows down. This results in constipation, diarrhea, inflammation of the digestive tract and a weakened immune system. If we don't give the gut clean fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plenty of clean water to keep things moving, toxins build up and make the gut weak. This can lead to illness and disease.
Eating foods that are grown with chemicals and pesticides hurts our digestive system. Our body wants to be healthy and it fights for us everyday. When we eat chemicals and pesticides, they interrupt our normal processes because our bodies do not know how to get rid of them. Eating organic food helps our bodies focus on the task at hand. Our digestive system does not get bogged down trying to figure out what to do with the chemicals that entered our body.
Making the change to eating organic helps our bodies get back to being healthy very quickly. There was a study done in Australia on 13 adults, some were fed organic food, others were fed conventionally grown food. The results showed that in just 6 days those eating the organic food had a reduction of 40% of pesticides in the body. (Source: Civil Eats) I recognize that being organic 100% of the time is nearly impossible. Life happens! But if you can strive for eating organic foods for at least 80% of any meal, it will help heal your digestive system.
What we drink while we are eating also affects the health of our digestive system. I'm not talking about the dangers of soda, but the quality, quantity and temperature of what we drink while we eat. When drinking any beverage with a meal, make sure it is filtered and no more than 8 ounces. If you are drinking water, it should be either bottled or filtered to rid it of chemicals and impurities. The reason a beverage should not be larg