Eat well, feel well!

Over the coming weeks Lynda McFarland from Athlone Nutrition Clinic will offer quick and easy recipes and advice to incorporate into your daily regime to help you feel and look great.

First things first: look after your immune and digestive health. What do food intolerances, allergies, IBS, cancer, asthma, hayfever, coeliac disease, behavioural issues, and countless other increasingly common conditions all have in common? They are all symptoms of immune and digestive system dysfunction.

Not many people realise this but approximately 70 per cent of our immune system resides in the gut, which is why probiotics, aka good bacteria, has become such a buzz word in recent times and need to be replaced after taking a course of antibiotics. Many people develop food intolerances or are even diagnosed with coeliac disease after suffering from viruses or similar immune dysfunction. This is because the good flora in the gut which is so important for healthy digestion has often been affected by the illness or even the medication for treating it.

Some immune and digestive improving tips:

Eat pineapple on an empty stomach - bromelain in pineapple is an important digestive enzyme.

Eat plenty of raw fruit and veg/ salads – these foods are prebiotics which help to make your own natural probiotics. Note: it is so important to make them interesting so you enjoy your food and look forward to eating, so experiment with recipes!

Take probiotics after a course of antibiotics; natural probiotic yoghurt is also a good source (if dairy is tolerated ).

Include anti-inflammatory foods in the diet such as olive oil, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and oily fish.

Visit a nutrition/ health professional to tackle any uncomfortable digestive problems such as bloating, cramping, constipation, flatulence, bad breath, etc, as your digestive system will always tell you when something is amiss. An experienced practitioner will pinpoint which part of the digestive tract needs support, whether it is the stomach, gall bladder, colon, liver, or pancreas. Here is a good recipe for general digestive health:

Garlic herb dressing

Ingredients:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp flax oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbsp chopped parsley/coriander/basil

Method

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over salads, brown rice, or vegetables to add great flavour and nutrition. Each ingredient provides powerful nutritional, immune, and digestive benefits.

Note: Omit the apple cider vinegar if you have any symptoms of hyperacidity.

Athlone Nutrition Clinic offers a Nutritional Medicine Programme for digestive disorders. For details phone (090 ) 6470897 or check out www.athlonenutritionclinic.com

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