Anti-Inflammatory Archives - ig2go

Natural ways to de-bloat after the holidays

First off, we hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend, full of laughter, good company, and excellent food. If you are like most people, chances are your holiday plate was piled a little higher than your average everyday meal (honestly when the food is that delicious who wouldn’t savor every bite?). And if that’s the case, there’s a chance you might feel some lingering bloating sensations from the festivities. There’s absolutely no shame, we’ve all been there, and we know it can take a day or two for your gut to feel normal again. Bloating can be super uncomfortable when it sticks around, and today we’d like to share some of our favorite tips to reduce and get rid it.

What Causes Bloating?

Bloating can be caused by a number of different things, including eating too fast, too much, or eating too much of certain kinds of foods (for instance, overdoing it on your dietary fiber for the day). Bloating can also be caused by carbonated beverages, food intolerances, artificial sweeteners, or hormonal changes. Regardless of the root cause, the feeling of being bloated ultimately comes from sudden changes in your normal digestive harmony that result in excessive gas, solids, or liquids working their way through your gut.

Preventing Bloating From Happening in the First Place

  • Slow down when you eat and chew your food well before you swallow. This gives your digestive system a head start on breaking the food down, and eating slower gives your body more time to recognize when you’ve had enough.
  • Avoid talking while you’re chewing, as this can cause you to inadvertently swallow air, causing increased gas buildup in your gut.
  • Drink your beverages at room temperature, or avoid ice cold or scolding hot drinks
  • Sit up straight while you eat
  • Avoid drinking from straws, which again may cause you to swallow unnecessary air.

Help Bloating After it’s Struck

  • Go for a walk, do some gentle stretching or yoga, and move your body. Nothing extreme, but moving around will help stimulate your digestive tract and move everything along. Do what feels good to create some space and gentle twisting/massaging around your abdomen.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re bloated from overeating or overeating fiber. Not only is water simply important because your body should be well hydrated, but it also keeps your digestive tract well ‘lubricated’ so things move smoothly. Drinking water can also help flush out excess sodium, which can help ease the uncomfortable bloating sensations.
  • Drink tea, specifically peppermint tea, as it has been shown to ‘calm’ gut bacteria and reduce inflammation, easing the sensation of bloating. Dandelion Tea is also a great alternative and can act as a natural diuretic to help with bloating.
  • Try digestive enzymes, especially if you are sensitive to dairy or certain high-fiber foods. Helper enzymes like Lactaid and Beano can help you boost or support your body’s natural digestive process to speed things up.
  • Try adding some probiotics to your diet, this is good for your long-term gut health too. Probiotics can be found in most yogurts or any fermented food like Kimchi or Sauerkraut.
  • Try a bottle of our De Bloat Juice, specifically made with fruits and veggies that can reduce abdominal discomfort and keep your digestive tract moving

When Bloating Becomes a Problem

If you’re experiencing severe bloating multiple times a month, or it’s persisted for more than a few days, it never hurts to talk to a doctor. Reoccurrence may be a sign of an underlying problem or a food intolerance you might not know about. you may benefit from keeping a food journal and taking note of what foods tend to cause bloating most often.

 

 

The Nutrition of our Favorite Fall Flavors

Although the Fall Equinox is not until Sept 22nd, we are already seeing the early excitement for all of our favorite fall necessities. Whether it’s the seasonal return of the PSL, pumpkin-themed craft brews, or bountiful fall harvests arriving at your market of choice, there is an undeniable shift happening. Today we’re taking a different approach. Rather than sharing our favorite fall recipes (that one’s coming later, don’t worry), today we’re going to dive into fall flavors. What are fall flavors? Where do they come from, and what are the health benefits? In doing so, perhaps we can harness these seasonal trends for the benefit of our health and overall wellbeing.

What qualifies as a ‘Fall Flavor’

The Fall season is harvest season, as many crops and products reach their peak in late August – October. So it’s safe to say that many of the flavors we associate with fall originate from the seasonal availability of these fruits and veggies. Some common fall crops include:

  • Apples
  • Winter Squash (butternut, pumpkin, acorn, etc)
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Persimmons
  • Grapes
  • Cranberries

But this is just half the story, as we also associate a lot of spices with fall. In fact, the flavor we call ‘pumpkin spice’ doesn’t actually include any pumpkin at all. Pumpkin spice is generally a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg, and ginger. But you’ll also find spices like cardamom and anise used in various fall recipes as well.

The are a few reasons these spices are associated with fall. To start, spices used to be a luxury item, used only for celebrations and significant events. Despite the modern accessibility of spices, the tradition of spiced holiday foods remains, and two of the biggest US holidays occur in the fall/early winter time frame. In addition, these spices in particular are considered “warming spices”, meaning they offer a sensation of warmth when added to food or drinks. You can find a lot of references to this in Ayurvedic traditions as well. This brings us to our next point:

What are the nutritional values of these foods

Let’s start again with the produce.

  • Apples:
    • High in fiber, excellent for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes-friendly from the low glycemic index, and can contribute to overall gut and digestion health.
  • Winter Squash (butternut, pumpkin, acorn, etc)
    • High in beta-carotene, lutein, and antioxidants. Can reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Have also been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Carrots
    • Excellent for healthy eyes can help to support your immune system, can help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, and can lower the risk of cancer. The abundance of calcium and vitamin K can also strengthen bones.
  • Potatoes
    • High in fiber which can help balance cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Can also aid in digestion by providing prebiotic benefits to the gut. Also high in potassium which helps decrease blood pressure.
  • Persimmons
    • Rich in vitamin C and vitamin A, which help with immune health and vision respectively. Also been shown to be beneficial for diabetes prevention, and reduced the risk of heart disease and Atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).
  • Grapes
    • Extremely high in many antioxidants, which means they are great for brain health, and aging, and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Also great for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Cranberries
    • Also extremely high in antioxidants, and can reduce the risk of cancer and liver disease, while also boosting immune health and urinary tract and gut health. They can also be great for Oral health, as they reduce the amount of acid in your saliva, and keep it from sticking to your teeth.

    Just like all fruits and vegetables, these fall favorites are packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Many of these are specifically rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, which means the fall season should be a great opportunity for us to manage our blood levels and our digestive health.

What about the spices? How do those benefit us?

  • Cinnamon
    • Extremely high in antioxidants, and can reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation. Also excellent for managing blood sugar levels. Potentially help to reduce the risk or effect of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Also had ani fungal and antibacterial properties, and can help prevent tooth decay.
  • Allspice
    • Technically derived from a dried berry, allspice has been used to reduce inflammation, and treat nausea. It’s also beneficial for infection prevention, pain relief, and reduction of menopause symptoms.
  • Clove
    • Can help balance blood sugar levels, prevent bacteria growth, reduce inflammation and reduce the chances of developing ulcers. May also be linked to liver health and reduced risk of fatty liver disease.
  • Nutmeg
    • Also high in antioxidants, and surprisingly found in several dental products, nutmeg has been shown to protect against oral pathogens that cause disease and bad breath. Nutmeg has also been used to improve or balance moods, and can possibly help improve sleep quality.
  • Ginger
    • Ginger’s main bioactive compound is Gingerol, which is a strong antioxidant with inflammatory properties. Excellent for treating nausea and motion sickness, and has been shown to help with indigestion and menstrual pains. Also great for balancing blood levels, cancer prevention, and protection against Alzheimer’s.

We’d like to mention that although the above spices do have health benefits, it’s important to not overdo it. Specifically with nutmeg, as consuming 2+ teaspoons in one sitting can be toxic.

We’d also like to come back to a point we mentioned earlier, that all these spices as considered “Warming spices” This means that they literally have the ability to raise your body’s internal temperature, which makes them perfect for cooler weather. The science behind this is slightly different for every spice, but the knowledge and use of these properties are far from new. Ayurvedic tenets hold that our metabolism needs to work harder in winter to fuel the inner digestive fire and that warming foods and spices are needed to stay healthy, with balanced energy systems. In Chinese medicine, these are referred to as yang foods, which are responsible for the activation and warming of bodily functions that keep us healthy and facilitate the flow of qi, our personal energy.

This is far from an exhaustive list, and we encourage you to explore more information on each item if it interests you. We hope if nothing else this has encouraged you to appreciate the flavors of fall with a new lens, one that shows the rich history, tradition, and nutritional science of why these flavors are so popular as the weather starts to cool down.

If you’re interested in indulging in some fall flavors, follow us on social media to see what we’ve got cooking, and watch for our seasonal specials, like mini apple cobblers, and cranberry pistachio muffins (all gluten and sugar-free, as always).

 

 

How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

This post is NOT about losing weight. In fact, that resolution isn’t even going to be mentioned, because you know why? I’m SICK OF IT! Aren’t you? Of course, you can use food to lose weight (studies show it’s more effective to control your diet than increase exercise if you have to choose), but let’s dig a little deeper this year and go after what we really want to maintain your New Years Health goals.

1. Resolution: Be Happier 

It’s a simple one, but it’s what we’re really after with all the other resolutions isn’t it? Even when you have a great family, work you love, and live in a beautiful part of the country that hovers between 60 and 80 degrees in the dead of winter – you can still feel down more often than you’d like. Stop punishing yourself for being ungrateful – that’s not it. Unless you need to make real changes in your life (maybe you do!), these downtimes are chemical. And that means you can lift yourself back up with food. 

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Two especially powerful anti-inflammatory foods (or supplements) you can try are: 

  • Turmeric (curcumin) 
  • Omega-3 (fish, or fish oil) 

2. Resolution: Be Healthier 

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, daily.

  1. Lemons – Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, vitamin C.
  2. Broccoli – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting rock-star, vitamin K & vitamin C combo builds healthy bones.
  3. Dark Chocolate – 1/4th oz daily reduces blood pressure & bad cholesterol, and improves your mood!
  4. Salmon/Fish/Flax Seeds/Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease. 
  5. Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and eye-health-improving. Toss a handful in with your eggs every morning! 

3. Resolution: Spend More Time With Loved Ones 

Invite some friends over to cook a healthy meal together – and schedule these dinners as often as you’d like.  We’re all so busy that if we don’t schedule in time with friends and loved ones, it never happens. So put a few dinner dates on your calendar. Here’s an idea: Make a game of it by inviting a friend to walk through your local farmer’s market with you, choose some “mystery” ingredients, and see what you can do with them when you get back! 

Don’t like to cook, but still want the healthy dinner? We’ve got you covered. Just serve everyone Intelligent Gourmet! 

Share your new years health goals with us! What are your favorite tools and healthy habits?


New Years Health | How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

Juice Your Way Into the New Year

Resolutions… Goal setting… Intentions… Sometimes, these words hold too much weight at the dawn of a New Year. Let us put those aside and juice your way into the New year!

Our goal is not to lose weight or change your diet – but instead, share with you why adding juicing to your diet can lead to a happier & healthier year.

Resolution: Be Happier

It sounds so simple, but this is one resolution that we would all like to obtain! Even if everything adds up – your family dynamic is great, your work is your passion, and live somewhere with plenty of sunshine, we can still feel down more often than we would like. There is no need to punish yourself for feeling down – oftentimes, it is what is inside of you that does it. Typically, these downtimes are chemical and that means you can lift yourself back up with good-for-you food.

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Adding both of these two foods (or supplements) to your diet or throwing them into your daily juice or smoothie is very easy, and are very powerful, anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Turmeric (curcumin)
  • Omega-3 (fish or fish oil)

Resolution: Be Healthier

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, we really do mean, daily! Upping your juice game by adding a couple of these to your daily creation can add so many benefits to your diet.

  • Lemons: Tart but delicious, they are anti-inflammatory, can inhibit cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, and have a good amount of vitamin C.
  • Broccoli: These little trees are anti-inflammatory and are cancer-fighting rock-stars. Plus, they are packed with Vitamin K & Vitamin C; this combination can help build healthy bones.
  • Dark Chocolate: Only a fourth ounce, enjoyed daily can reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Bonus, it can improve your mood!
  • Salmon, Fish, Flax Seeds, & Walnuts: All of these hold Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease.
  • Spinach: Just call us Popeye! Spinach is an anti-inflammatory food, cancer-fighting, and help with improving your eye health. We suggest tossing a handful in with your eggs every morning

Cooking not your thing, but still want a healthy dinner? At Intelligent Gourmet – we’ve got you covered! Stop in today, enjoy some of our fresh juices & grab a few of our favorite dishes to go, #gourmetontheGO. 

5 Juice Ingredients That Reduce Inflammation & Bloating

Have you ever woken up and felt bloated? If you answered yes to this question, then you have probably had this happen more than once. While this problem may be familiar, the treatment is often lesser-known. A lot of people tend to look up ways to feel better online, and there are usually some bizarre remedies on different websites that people try, even if they don’t make sense! What many don’t realize is that it is easier to treat bloatedness or inflammation than you think. One way to improve how you feel on a daily basis is to visit a juice bar nearby. At Intelligent Gourmet, your health is important to us and we are dedicated to serving you healthy yet delicious drink options that offer many health benefits, like those that offer digestive relief.

5 Juice Ingredients That Reduce Inflammation And Bloating

Do not be fooled by the internet. You do not need to do anything crazy to feel better when you are bloated or inflamed. There are natural and affordable options to staying healthy, such as eating and drinking properly, so you obtain all of the energy you need throughout the day. Some juice ingredients that can reduce your bloating include

Ginger- This spicy ingredient is a potent anti-inflammatory that reduces the pain associated with osteoarthritis and other inflammatory issues.
Turmeric- Protects fats against oxidation during cooking and shields the body against oxidative stress.
Celery- There are more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds.
Cucumber- Cucumbers can lower the inflammatory response in the body and can potentially reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Cayenne- Cayenne has a very powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient called capsaicin.

All of these ingredients offer benefits that your body can appreciate. Some juice options that are offered at Intelligent Gourmet that may reduce your inflammation are Healthy Body, Bottled Sunshine, and Cucumber Julep.

Other Ways To Reduce Inflammation

Juicing is a great way to detox your body, and with a juice bar nearby in Tampa, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing which ingredients you prefer to reduce your bloating and inflammation. Along with with juice options that offer very healthy ingredients, there are other ways to help reduce your inflammation:

Eat more plant based, nutrient-dense foods.
Focus on gut health.
Make sure you always have plenty of rest.
Reduce the toxins in your food, home, and personal care products.

These are just some of the ways to help reduce your inflammation or bloating. Make sure that when you are researching online, you choose the healthiest options to detox your body. Do not put your body in harm’s way with out of the box remedies.

Contact Us

When you are looking for a juice bar nearby in Tampa, come into Intelligent Gourmet today! We have a variety of juices that can help reduce your bloating and inflammation. Do not follow crazy remedies you find online! There are much healthier and safer ways to lower inflammation. To find out more about the juices we offer call us today at (813) 287-2253 or visit our website! https://www.ig2go.com/.

Diffusing Essential Oils

People often ask why I love to diffuse essential oils.

Well being a long time scent junkie or should I say candle-holic, I was sad to learn that my addiction to burning a candle in every room just might not be the best thing I could’ve been doing for my health or for the health of those around me.  I simply had to find healthier and more organic way to satisfy my cravings. THE FACTS:

  • A lot of the candles we burn are made from paraffin wax, when you burn paraffin it forms the toxic substances benzene and toluene both of these are know to be carcinogens.
  • Some candles even have a tendency towards lead core in the wicks, nobody wants to release that in their environment.
  • Because we love beautiful things and the marketplace is appealing to our scenes, many of our candles even the soy ones are enhanced with artificial scents and colored with harmful dyes.

 

Enough said, I made the decision to my part by not spreading toxins in the air with my burning candles.

Diffusing pure essential oils gave me all of my fabulous scents with the  added benefit of promoting physical and mental health.  Just one of the many gifts of diffusing oil is that you can choose your oils to suit you and create customized blends of the oils to fit your mood or your current situation.

  • Blend them is your work space to create an atmosphere of clarity, energy and stimulate focus.
  • Use them in your home to promote, relaxation, calmness and a sense of general well being.
  • In your bedroom use one oil in the evening for a restful night sleep and in the morning to strength and toning while doing your morning meditation or exercise.

I chose Neal’s Yard Remedies, because I think of them at the pioneers of essential oils. Their oils are all 100% pure and unadulterated.

They believe that wild-crafted and organically grown plants are better for you, the growers and pickers, their communities and the environment. By severely restricting the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are used you can be sure you are getting the best possible product.

To order call us . 813.287.2253 or shop online @ https://us.nyrorrganic.com/shop/ig2go

04.11.17 Neals Yard ad

Warming Up to Healthy Eating- Lentil Soup

picture-for-blog-post-01-01-17

Was last night the sixth holiday party we just attended? Yes, it surely was. Or perhaps it was the thirteen. I’ve lost count. While I relished every last friend, holiday/new year wish, hors d’oeuvre, cookie & cocktail with gusto, I am now carried away to a more sensible space. Here in Florida it’s a sometimes cold place we call January.

If you are like us and many others, who have spent the last month stuffed with stuffing and tipsy with holiday cheer, January brings with it a promising opportunity for replenishment, balance, and the only way to do that is by giving your body everything it needs to thrive. Lots of healthy foods and vegetables.

But to go right from cookies to carrots in 0 to 60 seconds seems crazy, we believe the body must be eased back into it’s normal patterns gently and reasonably. No fad diets, or pill will have you looking and feeling your best.

At Intelligent Gourmet, we know it’s not about losing weight – it’s about living your best life. That said, for many of us, part of becoming healthier, happier people involves undoing some of the less-great decisions of the last several weeks and, yes, losing weight. Unfortunately, changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight (though one diet claims otherwise)

What matters is keeping your nutrition high, your calories controlled, and your exercise up!

Try working your way back into some better eating habits with a healthy soup packed with protein and vegetables. Here we share with you a recipe for a very versatile lentil soup that you can easily adapt to your families personal preferences and pantry inventory:

Ingredients

  • 1 # package of dried lentils (You can use any kind you like, red, green, brown and black beluga)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, (small diced)
  • 1 large carrots, (small diced)
  • 2 ribs of celery (small diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1 12 oz package of winter squash cubes (available at most grocers)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 hand full of your favorite greens chopped, (kale, spinach, mustard, or chard)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • flat leaf parsley (for garnish)
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Start my heating some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over moderate heat, (you do not want the olive oil smoking) Add the chopped, carrot, celery and onion and allow these vegetable to sauté slowly about 8 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent add in your chopped garlic, salt and spices, stir and cook another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in your winter squash cubes of choice and toss to combine.
  3. Add 4 cups of your stock ( chicken or vegetable depending on if you are making this vegan or not), and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in your raw lentils ( Lentils do not need to be soaked like other beans but do rinse, Check the cooking time on the package, which can vary from one type to the next. Red lentils cook in as little as 15 minutes while the black ones can take as long as 45 minutes.)
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until lentils are just tender but not mushy, and your squash is soft. (Add additional stock if you want a thinner soup adjust to your liking)
  6. When the lentils are just tender, add the chopped greens. (They’ll only take a minute or two to wilt remove the pot from the burner as soon as the greens are wilted and bright green.)
  7. Finish with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, and a generous amount of chopped parsley. Adjust salt if necessary.

CHEF NOTE:

Change up your meal in any one of these 4 ways.

  1. You can trade 1/2 the stock with coconut cream for a creamy flavor.
  2. Season with smoked paprika, a touch of liquid smoke, and a ham bone.
  3. Add in a 14 ounce can of diced tomato for another variation.
  4. Serve with a tablespoon of greek yogurt on top.

IS YOUR GUT MAKING YOU CRAZY?

We Welcome Guest Blogger and Friend Sarah Bingham founder of Fast Food Healing.

Sarah is a licensed nutrition consultant with a master’s degree and more than thirty-five years experience counseling and lecturing on all aspects of nutrition throughout the country. Her current focus is in family nutrition, helping parents recover their children from conditions like autism, ADD, ADHD, asthma and other learning/behavior issues. She is also a dynamic and passionate speaker who communicates with clarity, humor and inspiration the simplicity of achieving wellness.

Sarah works as the Director of Nutritional Programs for Valle Counseling in Tampa, FL. She is a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome) practitioner (see www.gaps.me). Sarah is the founder of Fast Food Healing LLC, a personalized in-home nutrition counseling business. Sarah always addresses body, mind and spirit as they are all critical to a healthy body.

Following is an article Sarah shared with us.  Did you know that 80-90% of your neurotransmitters (chemicals that effect your mood and brain function) are created in your gut? Also, the seat of your immune system is in your gut. Hence, that old saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling” is quite accurate. Hence, what research is beginning to put together is if your mood, mind or behavior are off, you have a very good chance of having a gut that is off and a poor immune system.

What do I mean by “off”? Your gut is loaded (about 4 pounds) with good guy bacteria. This good guy bacteria keeps in check the potentially bad guy bacteria that is also present. All of these microbes have important functions, like creating B vitamins, neurotransmitters, and anti-cancer substances. When the good guys are winning, your mood and ability to think are in great shape. Your immune system is also in good shape. But, when the bad guys are winning, you could be suffering from any one of these conditions: Irritable bowel, reflux, ADD, ADHD, asthma, autism, bipolar disease, food allergies and intolerance, depression, dyslexia, autoimmune disease and more.

What causes your gut to become out of balance? Antibiotics, stress, the birth control pill, most prescription drugs and a diet high in processed foods. So, take a mother to be who has eaten a processed diet her whole life, has had a few courses of antibiotics and is now pregnant. Her gut “flora” or bacteria are more than likely out of balance. A baby’s gut is sterile until going through the birth canal. At this point, the baby swallows some of the mother’s vaginal fluid, which is reflective of her gut balance or imbalance. Thus, the baby’s gut is inoculated with either good guy bacteria or bad guy bacteria. And the cycle begins again.

Sometimes it’s easy to bring your gut back into balance using probiotics, lactic acid fermented foods and good whole foods and sometimes it takes a major effort to accomplish a rebalancing of the gut. When I look out at our society with lots of depression, rage, anxiety, immune dysfunction and irritable bowel, I think we all need a major revamping of our gut flora. As Hippocrates said back in 400 BC, “All disease begins in the gut.”

love your gut

Reduce Inflammation & Improve Digestion with Easy To Make Bone Broth


Remember how soothing chicken soup is whenever you have a cold? Well, it turns out that broth, and especially bone broth (made from simmering bones and cartilage) really do have medicinal properties. I’m always on the lookout for foods that both nourish and heal your body, and while studying at the Institute of Integrative Health and Nutrition I was turned on to bone broth as a way of improving digestive symptoms such as bloating and pain.

Bone broth is experiencing a revolution right now, and for good reason. It can reduce joint pain and inflammation through chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, proline, arginine, and glycine which all have anti-inflammatory effects. It promotes strong, healthy bones through high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and additional nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation, and promotes healthy hair and nail growth thanks to the gelatin in the broth. It may even help you sleep better due to the calming effects of glycine. Wow. No wonder superstar Kobe Bryant is drinking it daily and it’s even gained a cult following in NYC!

Another important component of both broths are that they are rich in Humic + Fulvic minerals! What are those you ask and why should I want them?
Research is just beginning to show us the important role that fulvic minerals play and the information is amazing! These minerals like others support the body in a variety of ways including cellular health, brain health and digestion by helping the body absorb nutrients from food.
In a perfect world, our food would naturally contain high levels of minerals from the soil, but this is not usually the case with our modern food supply.

Ready to try this out? You can make bone broth at home (recipe below!) by simmering chicken, beef, or pretty much any type of bones in water for 6+ hours. At Intelligent Gourmet we use this recipe as a base in most of our stocks and it’s just plain delicious! No single theory of health is right for everyone, but we’ve seen bone broth work well for some people and not cause adverse symptoms for anyone, therefore we feel it’s safe to approve as a food that promotes digestive health.
Intelligent Gourmet’s Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients

4-5.5 lbs. of Beef or Chicken bones (including joints, knuckles, necks etc.)
2 gallons Cold Water or enough to cover your bones (Why cold water? On a chemical level, it actually promotes the extraction of protein, helping to up the nutrient quotient of the stock.)
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks of Celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp of Vinegar* (such as Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 bunch of fresh Parsley
Optional: Thyme + Rosemary (I like to add thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary. If you’re adding herbs and veggies to the broth, be sure to add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon stock making session.)

*A Note on Vinegar: This is not an optional ingredient. Not only is it ideal to combine fats with acids like vinegar, when it comes to making broth the goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water and vinegar really helps to leech all those valuable minerals out of the bones. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Preparation

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to-low and simmer for 6 to 24 hours (the longer you simmer it, the more intense the flavor). Add water as needed to keep ingredients submerged. Strain stock into a clean pot or heatproof plastic container and discard solid ingredients. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Leave the solidified fat on the top while storing as the fat acts as a protective layer and delays the formation of bacteria. Immediately prior to use, bring the bone broth to a gentle boil. Makes about 12 cups.

You can use this broth as a base for soups like we do at Intelligent Gourmet, or you can drink it straight as a restorative concoction.

Interested in learning more about foods that promote healthy digestion? Here are a few I can recommend:

Bananas
While all fruits and vegetables are generally good for digestion, bananas in particular are great because they don’t irritate the stomach. That’s why they’re part of the “BRAT Diet” (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, dry Toast), which has been suggested for folks suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

Water
Water (which most people do not drink enough of) is excellent for the digestive process as it helps move things through the intestines. Drink an extra glass of water in the morning and evening, or carry a refillable water bottle that you can sip from throughout the day.

Ginger, Turmeric, Peppermint
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and peppermint are great for settling an upset stomach. Try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or sucking on a peppermint lozenge.

Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi
Probiotic-containing foods like yogurt are good for the digestive system because they contain good bacteria that crowds out any bad bacteria that you may have in your gut. You want to look specifically for foods that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Asparagus, Oats, Onions, Lentils, Whole Grains
Prebiotic foods like asparagus contain a type of fiber that probiotics feed off of to multiply, so it’s good food for your good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, onions, lentils and whole grains.

Soup

Need an Energy Boost? Try this Chia Juice!

Chia Juice Health Benefits

Did you know that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”? If that doesn’t deserve its own workout drink, I don’t know what does. But don’t buy one from the store – they’re loaded with sugar! Here’s what you need to know about chia seeds, including a delicious healthy recipe for a refreshing juice!

5 Fun Facts About Chia Seeds

  1. Chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram.
  2. High fiber and protein content makes you feel full longer and slows the metabolism of sugars.
  3. Nicely balanced amino acids make the protein easy for our bodies to use.
  4. Contain 4 nutrients that work together to maintain good bone health: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein.
  5. Lowers blood pressure and inflammation.

Chia seed drinks are quickly trending in high-end health food stores, but like most mass-produced bottled beverages, they’re high in sugar. I love adding chia seeds to my juices and smoothies for their healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium since the combination keeps your blood-sugar even for hours. Hello steady energy! While you can add chia seeds to anything, I love this refreshing, ultra-hydrating recipe.

Minty-Fresh Energy Boost Juice

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • Handful of romaine, arugula, or watercress
  • Handful of mint
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ green apple