Healthy Digestion – What You Should Be Eating

Healthy Digestion

Healthy Digestion. With all the diets that people try these days, it can be confusing to decide which one is best for you. While there are many “good” ways of eating, there’s never one diet that is perfect for everyone.

It’s important to listen to your body and eat intuitively. It’s also a good idea to fuel your body with high quality foods.

If you discover that your body doesn’t like green peppers for instance, it’s a good idea to avoid those in your diet. Here are some general guidelines on what to eat to support healthy digestion:

Pasture Raised, Grass Fed Meat

When you consume meat, it’s a good idea to source and purchase the best quality meat your budget allows. Conventionally raised meat is often produced from animals raised in feedlots, without adequate access to pasture and sunshine.

Pasture raised, grass fed meat comes from animals that spend plenty of time outside, grazing and eating what animals are intended to eat. There is a ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids in meat that is properly balanced when animals are pasture raised.

Conventionally raised meat can have an Omega 6 and 3 ratio that is off, which can lead to inflammation in the body. 

Limit Grains for Healthy Digestion

Many people will find that their digestion is better when they avoid grains, including corn, barley, wheat, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, and amaranth. Some people find that when they avoid gluten in their diets, digestion starts to improve dramatically.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and some other grains that acts as a “glue.” While this is helpful for baking bread, it can cause digestive upset in people who are sensitive to it.

Grains in general are often hard for people to digest, and grains like white rice can also spike blood sugar levels. 

Source Quality Dairy

When focusing on digestive health, it is a good idea to try eliminating dairy for about two weeks to see how the body reacts. Dairy can be difficult for some people to digest, and it can also cause inflammation for those who have a sensitivity to it.

People may find they can tolerate raw or low pasteurized milk and dairy products, as they naturally contain the enzymes needed to break down the proteins in milk. When milk is pasteurized, it kills the beneficial bacteria the milk contains. 

Organic Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Digestion

Eating a wide variety and a large quantity of organic fruits and vegetables is a great way for the body to get vitamins and minerals it needs to function well. Vegetables and fruits also contain high amounts of fiber, which is very important for healthy digestion.

It’s a good idea to buy as much of your produce organically grown as you can. Many of the conventionally raised fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides.

Organically grown items cannot be genetically modified, which means they haven’t been bioengineered to resist glyphosate, a commercial pesticide. 

There is a list compiled called the Dirty Dozen that identifies the most important produce to buy organic. If your budget is a concern, this can be a healthy option to help you choose. See below for the most important produce items to buy organic:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach 
  3. Kale, mustard greens, and collards
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples 
  6. Grapes
  7. Bell peppers
  8. Cherries
  9. Peaches
  10. Pears 
  11. Celery 
  12. Tomatoes

Conversely, there is a Clean Fifteen list that shows conventionally grown items that aren’t sprayed as much. Those foods include:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage 
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Cantaloupe
  13. Mangoes 
  14. Watermelon
  15. Sweet potatoes

Let Us Help You Optimize Your Digestion 

If you’ve been struggling with digestive issues, it can be difficult to identify the problem. Our staff at Today’s Integrative Health is knowledgeable about how to optimize healthy digestion, and Dr. Leo would love to support you through your personal health journey.

We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park. Give our office a call today to schedule your first appointment and get your digestive health back on track!

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Picture of Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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