The New Year is always a time when we evaluate, assess and determine if there are any changes we should make. We often vow to be healthier, but we may be overlooking the biggest factor in our immune system, our gut. Over 70 percent of our immune system is in our gut and therefore, if our gut is not healthy, we won’t be healthy.
Food intolerances are the biggest cause of intestinal distress. Gluten, dairy, sugar, broccoli, cabbage, soy, garlic and many other foods can trigger discomfort or worse. (We are all unique and different foods may cause an issue for each of us.) This can cause inflammation in our gut and trigger problems all over our body, including illness, eczema and arthritis.
These are the key elements that all of us can follow to keep our gut healthy:
1. Drink plenty of purified water.
2. Eliminate suspected foods for 2-3 weeks and then try it again to see if a reaction occurs in 1-48 hours. Keep a meal log to try to identify offenders.
3. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies for fiber, nutrients and enzymes.
4. Avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine.
5. Eat probiotics from plain yogurt or kefir or take probiotics as a supplement.
6. Exercise regularly for good digestion.
7. Be creative with options to substitute for offending foods. But always remember that fruits and veggies should be the main part of our daily menu and these are gluten and dairy free, and for most of us, most fruits and veggies are nonoffenders.
So go with your gut, listen to what it is telling you, and you will be healthier in 2014. Happy New Year!