These four actions can help transform your gut “biodome” — the manufacturing center of your immune system and other critical health influencers — into the optimal physical support system it’s built to be.
1. Eat 35 to 40 grams of fiber a day.
Fiber is an important weapon against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease — and a powerful ally if you need to lose weight, since it is filling and satisfying. To get it, eat raw or cook plant-based foods such as vegetables, brown rice, oatmeal, lentils, beans and whole fruits.
2. Dine on a “rainbow” of colorful foods.
This is the fun part of food as medicine! Your body operates best when you ingest vitamins and minerals from a diversity of colorful foods. Fortunately, planet Earth offers a smorgasbord of options that can be easily remembered by creating meals loaded with vibrant rainbow hues. Think blueberries, raspberries, yellow bell peppers, purple grapes, eggplant, green beans and dark, leafy veggies.
3. Ditch highly processed food.
Yes, chips and cookies can taste wonderful for a fleeting moment on the tongue, but their fat and sugar can contribute to long-term problems such as inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Try apple slices cooked with cinnamon, crunchy vegetable sticks with hummus or strawberries covered in dark chocolate instead.
4. Experiment with gut-friendly ingredients.
These include ingredients such as garlic, ginger, onions and shallots. This also adds inexpensive, nutritionally-rich flavor to less flavorful foods.