Eating for Happiness – Part 1

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Do you know that 95% of serotonin is produced in your digestive tract? This hormone plays a key role in many important functions in the body including assisting with the contraction of blood vessels and helping transmit information within the brain. Serotonin perhaps best known as the ‘feel good’ hormone. Since a majority of this hormone production originates in your intestines focusing on maintaining a healthy digestive system is key to supporting emotional health as well as physical health.

By eating to promote healthy digestion, you provide yourself the best support for your mental, physical and emotional health. To keep your digestion running in peak form be sure to get enough fiber in your diet. The average adult needs between 25-35 grams daily and most of us fall short of those levels.

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble and both play an important role in digestion. Sources of soluble fiber include apples, oatmeal, black beans and sweet potatoes. While sources of insoluble fiber are whole grains, nuts, wheat or oat bran. Steering clear of foods that inhibit proper digestion will also help promote intestinal health. Limit foods that negatively alter gut bacteria, such as artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and processed and refined sugars. In addition to healthy food choices - keep moving. Try to get outside and enjoy sunshine whenever possible and be sure to exercise – the perfect reason to not skip your Pilates class!

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