What is GI Fitness?
The gastrointestinal tract (GI) is a muscle that requires exercise. Fibrous foods provide your GI the workout it needs to sustain health and the USDA recommends consuming 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories/day. Unfortunately, many high fiber foods are commonly associated with uncomfortable side effects such as gas and bloating. The biggest offenders are fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols known as FODMAPs. Foods that contain FODMAPs are fructose foods (honey, apples, pears), Fuctans (garlic, leek, wheat rye), Lactose (milk, ice cream, custards), Legumes (beans of all kinds and chickpeas) and Polyols ( avocados, cherries, plums, prunes and sugar substitutes such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol).
Identifying foods that cause discomfort is the first step in launching a GI fitness routine. When initially adding high fiber foods to the diet, drink plenty of water and consume known offenders at night when you are home and have the evening hours to process and digest the food. The next step is to add metabolic boosters and digestive cleansers that support and optimal GI workout. Here are 3 delicious foods that can be added to any GI fitness plan.
Sprouts are natural metabolic boosters and digestive cleansers. Alfalfa, broccoli or bean, you name the sprout, they naturally promote healthy bacterial growth in the GI which keeps food moving through. Sprouts are packed with brain boosting amino acids, dietary fiber, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals that boost energy, control weight and keep your GI fit! Sprouts can be consumed daily and are super easy to grow in your home year round.
Bright red, sweet, and delicious, raspberries contain rheosmin, a raspberry ketone that increases enzymatic activity of adipose (fat) cells, decreases pancreatic lipase production inhibiting fat storage, and increase metabolic activity allowing food to move quickly through the GI tract. Raspberries are mostly water, packed with fiber, and contain a large diversity of concentrated anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that protect the body from illness. (Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol 48, Sept. 2010)
Pumpkins are packed with nutrients however, the seed is the most miraculous. A small serving (1/4 cup) of Pumpkin seeds contain 50% of the RDI of magnesium. Magnesium plays a critical role in digestive regulation which is the reason people take magnesium to alleviate constipation. Magnesium also plays a vital role in muscle contraction.
To learn more about improving GI fitness go to cookinupfitness.com and sign up for a coaching session today. For more information on FODMAP diet go to ibsdiets.org.