More than ever before, we’re understanding gut health to be a core pillar of our overall wellbeing. Not that interested in achieving optimal gut health? Well, what about vibrant, glowing skin?
The Beauty Chef is the one of the first brands we can think of whose launch in 2009 made the connection between digestion and beauty so seamless. Founder, Carla Oates’ skin would convince anyone (and we’ve seen that glow in real life).
Here we are today in 2021 and The Beauty Chef’s gut-supportive ingestibles take up shelf space right next to all the designer lipgloss and skincare brands at Sephora — something the wellness community could barely dream of back then!
In her book, The Beauty Chef Gut Guide, Carla provides an A-Z gut health manual and meal planner that’ll change the way you eat, live and glow for the better. Here are a few essential tips from its pages…
10 Simple Ways To Boost Digestion
Before meals, chew on bitter leaves such as endive, chicory or radicchio, ginger or parsley, which aid digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes. Alternatively, have a shot of lemon juice or unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (two teaspoons of either in half a glass of warm water) half an hour before meals.
Eat appealing food. Did you know that the smell of delicious, appetizing food actually stimulates digestive juices before we eat? This priming process stimulates healthy digestion — and is less likely to happen with unappealing food.
Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Hunger signals that our digestion is ready for food while eating when not hungry can overtax the digestive process. It’s equally important to avoid overeating, which can cause the gastric juices and enzymes that assist digestion to become depleted, leaving you feeling full and bloated. Think of the stomach like a wood fire: Too much wood will smother the fire.
Don’t eat late at night. During sleep digestion virtually stops. If you don’t feel like breakfast upon waking, you’re probably eating too late and the food isn’t being digested properly. Try having a very light meal to see if you feel different in the morning. You’ll notice that your sleep improves and you have fewer vivid dreams.
Eat a diverse, balanced diet – and everything in moderation. By giving your bugs a varied diet, your gut reaction will be minimized if something is irritating.
Aim to have more plants on your plate than meat. This proportion is far healthier for promoting microbial health.
Eat more omega-3 fats and consume saturated fats like ghee, butter and coconut oil, but in moderation. While these saturated fats have health benefits and are healthier to cook with than refined vegetable oils, too much may upset your microbiome. Enjoy cold-pressed olive oil liberally on salads.
Go slow and don’t over-exercise. Stress and exercise can be taxing on our digestive system, so take it easy and keep your exercise regular, but moderate.
Remember the gut-brain axis. Breathe clean air, get involved with nature, garden, walk, meditate, practice gratitude and have fun.