Get more energy, beat the bloat and cut the calories with these easy-to-follow 12 ways to feel good this season.
Aim for vegetables to take up two thirds of the space on your plate. If you follow this rule, you will be on your way to 10-a-day. Try adding vegetables to breakfasts – avocado, eggs with peppers, spinach frittatas.
This Korean cabbage staple is eaten alongside meals in Asia to aid digestion and delivers a healthy dose of friendly bacteria to your gut. Cabbage naturally contains bacteria cultures and is often eaten to cure stomach aches and indigestion. If you can’t find kimchi, sauerkraut is a less spicy version.
3. Cut down caffeine
Try to replace one caffeinated drink each day with a herbal tea. The best start to your morning is to drink a cup of warm water and lemon to awaken your digestion gently.
4. Good fats
Contrary to popular belief, your body needs both saturated and unsaturated fats to absorb vitamins and to slow down the release of sugar. Try cooking in coconut oil or, if you can eat dairy, use pure forms of butter, such as ghee.
5. Pure coconut water
Coconut water contains electrolytes (minerals), which is important to maintain fluid levels in the body. Don’t drink it instead of water, because it contains a lot of sugar, but it does give a natural energy boost. Use it as an alternative to coffee and tea, or to replace sugars after a workout.
6. Ditch sugar
Swap unrefined sugars that feed unfriendly yeast and bacteria in your gut for healthy liquid alternatives. Agave syrup and date nectars have a low GI, so you won’t get the same sugar lows.
It’s important to drink plenty of water, so you have a good amount of energy throughout the day and are able to stay alert. Flavour your water with citrus, mint, cucumber and ginger. You should aim to consume around two litres a day.
Meat and fish are a good source of vitamin B12, which we can’t get from most plant foods. Your body does take longer to digest beef, lamb and pork, so try not to eat these meats too late in the day, or go meat-free midweek.
9. Green juice
Detoxing doesn’t have to mean a full-on fasting diet. Our bodies naturally cleanse every night, so go to bed early and kick-start your day with a green juice. Try celery, broccoli, fennel, mint or parsley with citrus juice.
10. Healthy snacking
Avoid eating raw foods after 4 pm, as it takes your body longer to break them down. And soak nuts, seeds and pulses to help release nutrients and make them easier to digest.
11. Spice things up
Some spices are packed with health benefits – cinnamon, turmeric and garlic, to name a few. But what makes them even more perfect is their ability to turn a bland dish into a delicious one. So next time you are preparing your healthy dish, add some spice to it.
A healthy gut equals a healthy body and mind. It’s a bonus that it means no bloating, too. Make sure to add probiotics into your meals, or make use of supplements if you feel you’re deficient. Probiotic yoghurt is a great option, and can be very versatile.
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