A healthy digestive system is essential for a healthy body and well functioning immune system. The following are some simple tips to keep your bowels in tip top shape.
1. Ground flaxseed - Enjoy 1-2 heaping tbsp of ground flax or chia seeds daily – both are gentle sources of fiber that can help promote bowel movements. If you have been taking 1 tbsp try increasing to two, but don't start at two, slowly increase. And did you know, ground flax can reduce your risk of breast and prostate cancer.
2. Psyllium fiber - Adding 1 tsp of psyllium powder to your smoothie can be helpful. Or try adding ¼ cup of Bran Bud’s to your morning yogurt and berries. Bran bud’s is one of the few cereals on the market that contains psyllium fiber.
3. WATER! WATER! WATER! Bowels need to be hydrated to pass stools. If you are experiencing hard stools that are difficult to pass it can often be lack of water as the culprit. Ensure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water per day.
4. Drink fresh lemon juice and warm water in the morning. Lemon juice is great for the liver, stimulating bile flow which gets the rest of the digestive system moving.
5. Magnesium –Magnesium is the 2nd most abundant mineral in the body next to calcium. Magnesium stimulates peristalsis, which is the rhythmic contraction of your digestive system, moving things along the digestive tract. Great sources of magnesium include; dark leafy green veggies, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and black beans. Talk to your Nutritionist about supplementing with magnesium.
6. Probiotics – healthy bacteria in our gut is essential for the proper breakdown and absorption of nutrients from our food as well as proper elimination. Plain yogurt with probiotics is a good place to start. Other food sources of proboitics include naturally fermented sauerkraut, kefir, miso and tempeh. For many, supplementation is needed for a more therapeutic amount of these healthy bugs. A brand I like is Udo's Choice Probiotics.
Have a great week, we'll check in with you soon.
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN, Personal Trainer
You read about it, see it on the net, on TV, Dr. Oz pretty much never stops talking about it, but doing it is a whole other thing.
You always have the good intention to add those extra veggies to your daily routine, but life gets busy, complicated, and sometimes you forget.
We all need simplicity in our lives, so I've compiled 5 easy ways for you to get more veggies into your daily diet...they're easy and tasty and before you know it you'll be giving Dr. Oz the 'nod' because you're doing it right.
1. Add some green to your morning. Who likes mornings? If you raised your hand, you're in the minority. You get up, get ready, rush, rush, rush. Sometimes you don't have time, or frankly the brain power that early, to get in a full breakfast...that's where smoothies come in. They're easy, fast, delicious and a smart way to sneak some extra veggies into the start of your day. Add a handful of kale or spinach to your fruit smoothie, I guarantee you won't taste it due to the sweetness of the fruit.
2. Roast 'em up. Steamed veggies are great, they retain their nutrients much more than if you boil them, but have you tried roasting them? It brings a brand new world of taste sensations to the table. That little bit of crispness, touch of sweetness that comes out with roasting, will elevate your everyday zucchini or eggplant to a whole new level.
3. Juice anyone? Juicing is the hottest thing, and has been for years. Investing in a good juicer is not a frivolity, it's a necessity if you want to make great tasting veggie drinks that boost your energy and keep you healthy. There are so many benefits of juicing, one being the satisfaction you feel as you take a big swig of your colorful concoction because you know you're doing your body good.
Looking for recipes? Grab your copy of my Cancer Prehab 101: Juices and Smoothies ebook…the link is at the top of this page on the right.
4. Toss them in. Omelets and stir-fries are an excellent way to bump up your veggie intake. Toss in some chopped up peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes with your eggs, or be adventurous and add some Swiss chard or bok choy to your stir-fry. A whole load of vegetables with some lean protein and an amazing meal awaits you.
5. Please sir, can I have some more? Soup is the perfect way to pack those vegetables in. A rainbow of fresh or frozen veggies added to a low-sodium, low-fat stock, where you can even toss in a handful of whole wheat pasta and some cooked chicken breast for some extra bulk, and a warm, satisfying lunch or dinner is done...and don't forget about leftovers, which means you don't have to cook again...yeah!
Here's a great recipe using vegetables that you can work into your repertoire. It's easy and yummy!
Roasted Chicken with Veggies
3 lbs chicken pieces
1 each green & red pepper, cut into rings
2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 med onions, cut into 4 wedges each
4 small potatoes, halved
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Line a 9x13 inch shallow roasting pan with heavy duty foil.
Arrange chicken, peppers, zucchini, onions, potatoes, carrots and celery on the foil. Pour tomatoes over and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cover pan with foil and cook for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
Lift foil and baste with juices. Continue roasting uncovered for 45 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender and browned.
Cheryl Wahl, RHN, Personal Trainer
North Shore Nutrition
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