A gentle Post Easter cleanse could be just the ticket, if you have gone to town on chocolate, hot cross buns and alcohol over Easter, says Fiona Tuck, nutritionist and founder of Vita-sol ingestible health and wellness powders.
You might be feeling lethargic, bloated, sluggish and your skin could suffer from sensitivities including breakouts, rosacea, dehydration or blotchiness. These can all be the result of eating a diet high in refined sugar, saturated fat and alcohol, which we tend to do a lot of over Easter!
What we eat has a direct effect on our gut microbiota, which in turn can impact the health and condition of our skin. Yes, skincare can help, however, we need to look at treating our whole body – inside and out – with TLC in order to achieve holistic health and wellbeing. So, while you definitely should treat yourself to a new serum if you can afford afford it, you should check that your diet is healthy with lots of fruit and veggies and your alcohol intake isn’t excessive. These two simple factors can improve gut health and get your back on track after Easter’s indulgence.
Minimise Highly Processed Foods
Processed foods are typically low in nutrients as well as fibre. They also may contain additives, saturated fat, emulsifiers salt and sugar, all of which if eaten regularly may be detrimental to the health of our gut. Keep them off your plate as much as possible, replacing them with lean proteins, whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies.
Enjoy A Diverse Diet During Your Post Easter Cleanse
Diversity is key – all year round, but especially during your post-easter cleanse. The more diverse your diet, in particular the wider range of plant foods you consume, the more diverse your gut microbiome will be.
Try to eat a variety of different foods rather than the same foods every day. Mix up the colours and types of foods. For example: if you always eat green apples try switching to red, eat rye bread one day, spelt another and sourdough another day. Always include a rainbow of colours of fruit and veggies in your daily diet.
Boost Fibre And Pre-Biotics
Our gut needs different types of fibre to stay healthy, such as resistant starch and soluble and insoluble fibre. It also needs prebiotics which provide the necessary fuel for gut microbes to thrive. Without adequate pre-biotics our gut microbes starve. While fibre and probiotics are clearly important for your post-easter cleanse, it’s vital we eat them daily to boost overall health and wellness.
Prebiotics come from certain types of plant fibre, resistant starch and polyphenolic compounds found in fruits and vegetables. Include wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and legumes to ensure you are getting enough fibre and the very important prebiotics that the gut needs to stay healthy.
Include Polyphenol Rich Foods
Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and have myriad skin protective benefits. They have been shown to act as prebiotics, providing necessary fuel for the beneficial microbes that live in our gut. Polyphenolic compounds come from plant foods such as red and blue foods, for example: berries, cherries, extra virgin olive oil and even tea and coffee.
Embrace Fermented Foods
Once thought to be a fad, fermented foods have now shown that they can reduce risks of type two diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease, along with improved weight management. Fermented foods such as saukraut, kimichi, and kefir contain live bacteria and nutrients that may support a healthy gut.
Amp Up Your Exercise
Regular exercise is important for a healthy mind and body. It helps with cardiovascular health, skeletal health and general health and wellness. If you’ve overdone it over Easter, why not add an extra 15 to 30 minutes to your work out that day, or take an extra lap of the block?