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eating the right foods

Improve Your Digestion & Health

Poor gut health and digestion can affect your whole body. When digestive issues arise, pain and discomfort can cause you to lose focus and may interrupt your day. Improve your health and digestion by eating the right foods.

Move Your Bile
Made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder, bile helps with digestion by breaking down fats into fatty acids which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract. These foods will keep bile moving, thus keeping you regular and consistent.

  • Chia Seeds & Flax Seeds

These seeds contain essential fatty acids that lubricate the intestinal wall while nourishing the microbes that support intestinal health and function. High fiber foods create bulk that puts pressure on the intestinal wall, resulting in an urge to move bowels. They also carry bile out of the body, which signals the liver to produce more bile.

  • Raw Beets & Apples

Both of these are high in fiber and ideal for healthy digestion. Mix freshly grated raw beets and apples sprinkled with lemon juice for a tasty and quick snack.

  • Green, Leafy Vegetables

These are high in fiber and magnesium, both of which support healthy muscular contractions (peristalsis) in the large intestine.

  • Legumes

Beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes provide bulk and improve bile flow for healthy digestion.

  • Prunes

Aside from being high in fiber, the skin of prunes contains dihydrophenylisatin, which is a mild laxative that boosts intestinal contractions.

Move Your Lymph
The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and plays an important role in the immune system. A high concentration of lymphatic vessels can be found in the lining of the intestines. The villi and lacteals within and the lymph nodes surrounding the outside of the intestines constitute about 70-80% of the body’s immune system.

Because the lymph circulates throughout the body and removes cellular waste, body movements (ex. stretching, exercise) and proper hydration are recommended to keep your lymphatic system healthy.

  • Eat Red

Antioxidants are great for the lymphatic system. Foods that would dye your hands red are great lymph movers (ex. berries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, beets).

  • Green, Leafy Vegetables

Highly alkaline foods, including spring and summer harvests, support lymphatic drainage. The winter harvest is primarily acidic, which is nature’s way of rebuilding.

  • Fennel

Fennel is known for stimulating and moving lymph. You can add fennel to your meals or enjoy tea made from fennel seeds. As a tea, it is effective for gas and bloating, and supports the function of intestinal lacteals (which help absorb nutrients and fats).

Feed Your Microbiome

  • Seasonal Organic Foods

Plants attract certain microbes from the soil which become a part of our microbiome when we eat them. Organic produce provides a significantly greater source of microbes, thus, choosing seasonal, organic foods will better support bodily functions.

  • Fermented Foods

Yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, and miso are great microbial sources. Fermented foods are made from a process called lacto-acid fermentation, which makes them very acidic. In general, they should be eaten in moderation.

Cleanse Your Liver

  • Bitter Roots

Before, dandelion root, burdock root, Oregon grape, and golden seal (among others) were a standard part of the American diet. These days, these liver-cleansing and bile-moving staples are lacking in availability and consumption. If you cannot dig these up or purchase them fresh, you can get them in capsule form. However, always choose an organic, whole herbal root form rather than an herbal extract, as most of the good microbes are killed during the extraction process.

  • Other liver-cleansing & bile-stimulating foods:
  • Beets
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Artichokes
  • Olives
  • Fenugreek

Boost Stomach Acid
Once we have addressed the aforementioned aspects of healthy digestion, we can increase the stomach’s production of hydrochloric acid (HCl):

  • Chew fresh, raw ginger root or drink ginger tea before and during a meal.
  • Vinegar is acetic acid, which boosts HCl (Apple cider vinegar works even better because it is safe for high acid conditions).
  • Drink a large glass of water a half hour before a meal to pre-hydrate the stomach’s natural buffer layer, signaling the stomach to produce more HCl. Adding a little salt and pepper to your water will also help.
  • A fermented food appetizer will help to kick-start the digestive process.
  • Sip hot water with lemon before or during your meal.
  • Spice your foods with fennel, cumin, coriander, ginger, and cardamom.

Do you have any diet and digestion tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Stop by the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona for a delicious breakfast or yummy lunch. Take it to go or enjoy your meal in our dining area or patio seating. Call 909-596-5225 or visit BrickMarketDeli.com to order now!

Properly Fuel Your Body

When it comes to athletic performance, rigorous training schedules and fitness play an important role. But if you are not properly fueling your body, your hard work could go to waste. Eating the right foods at the right time can maximize your results. Here are some of the best foods to eat, whether you are training for a sport or competition, working toward reaching a personal fitness goal, or simply want to improve your health.

Quinoa

  • Excellent fuel source
  • Good source of folate, thiamin, and iron
  • 16% of daily value of protein in one serving

Aside from being popular among health nuts and foodies alike, quinoa is packed with great vitamins, nutrients, and protein, which helps to sustain your energy.

Kale

  • Great source of vitamin A, C, and K
  • Good source of calcium and manganese
  • Excellent for workout recovery

Also a popular superfood, kale offers versatility along with a wide range of healthful and physical benefits. Its high content of vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin K are ideal for recovery and proper nutrition.

Beetroot Juice

  • Very effective at increasing oxygen capacity for exercise
  • Improves blood flow and circulation
  • Contains anti-inflammatory factors

You may not have heard of beetroot or beetroot juice before, but they provide great benefits, especially for those who engage in cardiovascular exercise. Aside from increasing oxygen capacity, beetroot juice contains lots of vitamins and antioxidants.

Chia Seeds

  • Incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • One serving contains 42% of dally value of fiber
  • Rich source of protein and calcium

Excellent health benefits come in these small packages. Chia seeds help to sustain energy through the day and aid in calming inflammation. And thanks to their versatility, you can enjoy them throughout the day – use them on anything from cereal to salad.

Salmon

  • One serving contains 87% of daily value of protein
  • Great source of niacin and vitamins E and B12
  • Helps bring down inflammation

Salmon is often considered a brain food due to its high omega-3 content, which promotes brain function. It is also a great lean protein, and especially great as a post-recovery meal since it brings down inflammation and helps with muscle recovery and tissue regrowth.

Tart Cherry Juice

  • Strong anti-arthritic properties
  • Contains lots of antioxidants
  • Helps with sleep issues and physical recovery

This juice has very strong anti-arthritic properties, which will help with soreness, inflammation, and sleep.

Avocado

  • Contains at least 20% of daily value of six different vitamins and minerals
  • Loaded with over 2500mg of omega-6 healthy fats per serving
  • Contains 40% of daily value of fiber per serving

It’s high in vitamin E as well as healthy fat (a precursor for testosterone), which helps with muscle rebuilding and growth, as well as building strength.

Blueberries

  • Highest antioxidant content of any fruit
  • One serving contains 14% of daily value of dietary fiber
  • High vitamin C content helps post-workout recovery

As the fruit with the highest antioxidant content, blueberries are a must-have for your diet. They are also a smart carbohydrate source, providing fuel for your workout without spiking insulin levels.

What are your favorite pre- and/or post-workout foods? Which foods do you find fuel your body best? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the Brick, or visit us for a yummy lunch. We are open weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays from 8:00am-4:30pm, located on the corner of Arrow Highway and Garey Avenue in Pomona (next to Johnny’s).