It’s time to give your digestive system a rest and opt for some of these nourishing and nutritious alternatives.

The average Western diet contains too much dairy and processed food, putting a strain on digestive processes.

Processed foods are nutrient poor and many contain higher levels of salt, sugar and fat.

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Dairy produce is a common factor in individuals with food sensitivities as the lactose in cow’s milk requires the enzyme lactase for its digestion in the gut, and this is dependent on the gut bacteria.

The following suggestions may be some of the easiest foods to digest.

Nut milk is a good protein source that is well absorbed.

Brazil nut, hazelnut, cashew and almond milks are excellent on cereal and in cooking. Home-made nut milks can be made by soaking nuts overnight in water.

Cashew nuts milk can be made easily by soaking cashews in water for a few hours (this enhances their absorption) and then blending them in a food processor. Top up with fresh filtered or bottled water when blending for the desired consistency.

The nuts are very soft and blend beautifully to make a creamy milk. Add to a smoothie, make into milkshake or warm for a healthy hot chocolate – a delicious alternative to dairy. Cashew nuts have anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties, increasing their potential to enhance immune function.

Coconut oil has an array of health benefits.

Dietary fats are composed of chains of carbon molecules. Compared with the long chain fatty acids found in vegetable oils, coconut fat consists of shorter carbon chains, which means that coconut fat is quickly absorbed and metabolized by the body to be used as energy.

The medium chain fatty acids in coconut have been found to enhance endurance during exercise and promote fat burning, which aids metabolism for individuals on weight management programs (Dean and English, 2013).

You should eat coconut oil as part of a healthy diet instead of the following: sunflower oil, safflower oil and rapeseed oil.

Raw cabbage and parsley are rich sources of glutamine, an abundant amino acid, which is a component of proteins.

easiest foods to digest2

Glutamine plays a vital role in immune function and glucose metabolism. Glutamine may be useful in weight management due to its effect on fat metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Glutamine is needed in greater amounts during both physical and emotional stress, so glutamine supplementation may also be an important aspect in exercise performance (Roth 2008).

Try adding cabbage and parsley juice to a smoothie with banana and red berries…. Surprisingly nice. Make a red cabbage salad with cooked chicken, green leaves, feta cheese and sprinkled with walnuts.

Use flax seed oil as a dressing. Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) has the added benefit of probiotic organisms, exerting an even greater effect on digestion.

Cereal grasses, such as wheat grass and barley grass are some of the easiest foods to digest.

Cereal grasses are good sources of protein, chlorophyll rich and supply an abundance of phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins. Supplementation with barley grass powder has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels.

The chlorophyll content of these plants is believed to neutralize toxins, improve blood sugar and purify the blood.

Combine a mixture of almond milk, a spoonful of coconut oil, barley grass, parsley, banana and red fruits for an immune boosting smoothie.

References

Dean. W and English. J (2013) Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging. Nutrition Review http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/

Roth. E. (2008) Nonnutritive Effects of Glutamine The Journal of Nutrition 138 (10) http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/10/2025S.full

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