In many schools of medicine, the digestive tract is considered the foundation of well being. For some of us (this 30 something year old medical mystery myself included), the foundation we were born with seems to be something no home inspector would ever sign off on.
A lifetime of figuring out my own issues in this area has given me a crash course on all things belly related. When it comes to digestion, I’m a regular autodidact.
These days, on the whole, I feel better than I ever have. Still, sometimes things get painful at random and no midwest or east coast doctor (conventional or holistic) has been able to figure out exactly why.
And so, as I continue to connect the dots (picture me as John Nash’s character in A Beautiful Mind, specifically the scene when his wife discovers his office…) I thought I would share three of my top happy belly habits with you:
-Eat All the Plants: Of course everyone is unique and you may have some plants that don’t agree with you, no matter how much you wish they would. In general, eating plants encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and helps keep things moving more smoothly.
-Chew All the Plants: The power of chewing is often underrated. Digestion begins in the mouth so you definitely don’t want to skip that part. Fortunately or unfortunately, the stomach does not have teeth. Well chewed food is easier for your system to break down and keeps things more comfortable.
-Ferment All the Plants: Well, not literally. But do add things like saurkraut and kimchi to meals whenever you can. Fermented veggies tend to be more potent sources of probiotics than supplements, and give you more bang for your buck to boot.
It’s worth noting that although diet is a large part of gut health, it’s only a part. Lifestyle choices such as exercise and stress management can also go a long way towards a healthy digestive system.
It goes without saying that some medical conditions are beyond our control. Doing the best we can to take good care of ourselves while embracing acceptance (well, trying to anyway…) can be a huge step in the right direction. Happy healing!
For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!
My favorite happy belly soup, recipe here.