“Renew You” Challenge – Be a part of my Weekly Challenge to help set you off in the right direction for bringing health to your week. So this week I wanted to challenge the way you eat. 

Heartburn, indigestion, gas and bloating. At one time or another you’ve probably experienced a bout of post-meal discomfort that had you thinking, “What on earth did I eat that just isn’t sitting right??” Well, guess what? You were on the right track.

Most of the time things like heartburn and upset stomach can be prevented just by being choosy about what we put on our plate, since a lot of foods have natural components that can help our digestive system do its job. That’s right—Mother Nature knew what she was doing, folks!

Yogurt and cottage cheese, for example, contain probiotics that help keep your digestive system in balance and promote regularity, and so do fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, miso and tempeh.

Raw fruits and veggies contain powerful enzymes that work to break down all kinds of foods like carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and dairy foods, and they also help your body absorb nutrients. Papaya and pineapple, for example, contain an enzyme called papain that is especially helpful for digesting protein in the diet.

And—no surprise here—fiber is also important for healthy digestion. A good blend of soluble and insoluble fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts helps keep food moving through your intestines and promotes regular, healthy bowel movements.

So this week I want you to really pay attention to your meals and try to choose foods that benefit your digestive system rather than those that work against it. Steer clear of high-fat, sugary and processed foods, and load up on easy-to-stomach foods like fresh produce, whole grains, and probiotic-rich yogurt and fermented foods—your belly will thank you!