3 Natural Foods to Add to Your Diet to Boost Your Digestive System
Your body’s metabolism and ability to digest food efficiently play a crucial role in maintaining your health and weight. The digestion process uses a great deal of energy to break down the foods you eat, extracting the vital nutrients you need to fuel your cells and organs. Therefore, you probably feel especially tired or sluggish after a big meal; your body is forced to divert extra blood to the digestive system to help break down all of that food you just consumed, leaving less for your brain to operate at peak capacity.
Over time, the digestive and metabolic processes tend to decline in efficiency, which is why it becomes harder to lose weight and keep it off as you age. As your digestive system begins taking longer to break down food, less energy-providing nutrients are extracted and more calories remain undigested, which then get converted into fat.
Dr. Jan McBarron’s Stance
According to Dr. Jan McBarron of Duke and the Doctor, an award-winning weight loss expert with over 30 years of experience in the field of healthy lifestyles and weight loss, properly chewing and breaking down your food plays a huge role in the digestive process, doing some of the work for the digestive system.
Meanwhile, your metabolism also slows as you age, reducing the amount of calories that you’re capable of burning off during activities, be it resting, exercising, or the digestive process itself. Your metabolism slows down even more if you aren’t physically active and don’t maintain enough muscle mass, as muscle elevates your resting metabolic rate, requiring additional burning of calories to maintain itself.
On top of exercise, muscle mass, and proper chewing, Dr. Jan McBarron also recommends three natural foods that will boost your metabolic and digestive processes.
This whole-grain powerhouse might be the pound-for-pound healthiest food on the planet and one of the most underrated according to Dr. Jan McBarron. They are also great for digestion, acting as a prebiotic that contributes to the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Chia seeds pack a lot of nutrients in their tiny frames, including loads of fiber (also great for aiding digestion), some protein and healthy fats, as well as calcium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, among others.
Eggs might be the most controversial food on the planet, with nutritionists and doctors torn on whether they’re nutrient-dense powerhouses or artery-clogging atrocities. Needless to say, Dr. Jan McBarron of Duke and the Doctor falls in the former camp, noting their potent ability to raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Eggs are also a great source of metabolism-boosting B vitamins, as well as having lots of protein and some healthy fat, all in a calorie-light package.
A recent study found that the active compound found in chili peppers, capsaicin, helps speed up metabolism, leading to weight loss. According to Dr. Jan McBarron, spicy foods like chili peppers also supercharge the production of digestive enzymes, allowing whatever they’re eaten with to be more easily digested. Chili peppers also contain natural antimicrobials, which further contribute to a healthy digestive system.