July 12, 2014

Healthy Summer Digestion

Summer can cause water retention and bloating. It's hot and our bodies need extra water to thrive. Since the digestive system is where we usually feel the impacts of bloating first, it's the best place to start addressing these issues. Digestive health is central to our overall wellness, governing nutrition, cleansing, immunity, neurological health, and much more.

To reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, emphasize a diet rich in vegetables and small amounts of fruits. Recommendations include: celery, dandelion greens, parsley, cilantro, basil, arugula, cucumber, melon, zucchini, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, avocado, broccoli sprouts, peas, sweet potato, and squash.

Probiotic bacteria can provide additional support against bloating and inflammation in the digestive tract. These friendly microbes work to reduce expression of inflammatory genes and cell signals and reduce gas, bloating, and discomfort as they improve nutrient absorption—among other critical actions. Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi provide excellent sources of probiotics. Lacto-fermented drinks such as kefir, kombucha and rice milk made with koji cultures can help, too.

Thanks to Rodale for this inspiration!
Try these recipes to strengthen summer digestion.


Kombucha consists of yeasts and acetic bacteria living symbiotically. It is a living culture that looks like a jelly fish or placenta pancake in a jar. It is a lightly fermented tea dating back to ancient China, which provides an excellent tonic for immunity and strengthening digestion.

Blueberry Zucchini Salad

You will need:
3 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries
2 packed cups fresh spinach, rinsed and de-stemmed
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

For the dressing, whisk together:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon stone-ground brown mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice zucchini and brush with olive oil on both sides.
Place on cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place berries, basil, and spinach in a large salad bowl.
Remove from oven once the edges are browning and toss with other vegetables.
Pour dressing over the top, serve and enjoy!

Email lisa[at]harmonizedcookery,com for an easy blueberry jam recipe with no refined sugar.

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