1. Drink Plenty of Water
Water plays an important role in our physical health as our bodies are made up of approximately 60% of water. Water increases our energy level by keeping us hydrated, flushes out toxins, and maintains regularity, which in turn, boosts our immune system.
I often get asked: “How much water is enough?”. A good formula consists of your weight in pounds divided by two, in ounces. For example, if you weight 140 pounds, you should drink about 70 ounces of liquid. Soups, teas and fresh food count, but drinks such as coffee and soda have a dehydrating effect on the body.
2. Eat Fermented Foods
Our guts constitute 70 to 80% of our immune system. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, or kombucha contain probiotics that help keep our guts healthy. Probiotics consist of good bacteria that strengthen the barrier function of the intestinal lining, therefore keeping bad bacteria from entering the blood stream. Fermented foods also help improve digestion, prevent food poisoning, and maintain a healthy weight. They are very helpful in eliminating sugar cravings as they reduce the quantity of bad bacteria, which feed on sugar.
3. Increase Your Consumption of Fresh Food
Vegetables and fruits provide our bodies with vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. They also contain fiber, which helps with digestion. There are two types of fiber: Soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria in our intestines, which strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases. Insoluble fiber (the fiber our bodies cannot digest) acts as a broom, and helps with bowel movement and keeping our intestines toned.
High-fiber diets are beneficial for reducing cholesterol levels in the blood since fiber bonds with cholesterol, and helps get rid of it through the digestive system. It is best to cook vegetables lightly, or to eat them raw depending on the variety. Vegetables high in oxalate (e.g. spinach) are better lightly cooked.
These small changes in your diet can have a big impact on your health. In my next blog post I’ll talk about fat, a topic that has recently been getting a lot of attention, and that is still often misunderstood.