When the First Nations people speak of March as the month of “changeable moons”, they are talking about the weather and the change of seasons. Whenever we deal with change it makes sense to be extra supportive of our bodies.
Did you know that our gut microbiomes, and therefore our digestion, naturally fluctuate and change with the seasons? Everyone has noticed preferences for comfort foods in winter and lighter foods in summer. This is your gut microbiome speaking to you. We produce different enzymes for the different seasons so it makes sense to eat seasonal foods in their time.
Some foods that can boost the quality of your digestion and provide helpful nutrients as we transition from winter to spring are: artichokes, cabbage, beets, brussels sprouts, carrots, garlic, grapefruit, greens (like kale and chard), maple syrup, onions, shallots, potatoes, squash, yams, and turnips.
Roasting these vegetables in a pan sprinkled with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and rosemary herb is a quick, easy, delicious and colourful way to boost your nutrition and overall mood. Not enough time to roast? Throw them in a crockpot in the morning with a little curry spice and organic broth and head off to work. You will come home to something that will “warm the cockles of your heart” as my mother used to say.
In this age of instant information, global news and tumultuous times, we are experiencing more changes faster than what just the weather can throw at us. What should we do about that? If what you see on the news is more than you can “stomach”, then I suggest you support your microbiome, and therefore your digestion, with natural probiotic sources such as a little bit of fermented food and natural plant fiber every day (e.g. kimchi, pickled veggies, sauerkraut). Just one serving of high quality fermented foods provides a wide variety of beneficial microbes and in terms of CFU’s (colony forming units) provides the equivalent of a full bottle of store-bought probiotic. Start with a tiny forkful a day.
Cultured, fermented drinks such as kefir (milk), KeVita (coconut water), and kombucha (tea) will also encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
- 3 cups coconut water (no additives)
- ¾ cup organic tart cherry juice
- 1 packet of Body Ecology kefir starter.
Warm the liquids over low heat to 92° F /33° C . Pour into a glass jar. Add the kefir starter and screw the lid tightly. Gently shake to combine. Set the jar at room or warmer temperature to ferment for 24 to 48 hours or until slightly bubbly. Let it sit on the counter for another day or two. Use caution when opening as there will be pressure from the gases formed. Enjoy!!!
This is a good month to march into spring feeling comfortable and full of vitality.
Always the caveat – If you have any bloating, gas, or other intolerance from eating these healthy foods, then you may have a chronic digestive issue and should seek qualified support.
1O’Bryan, Tom, Dr., AutoImmune Fix, Rodale Press, 2016.
Cathy Lidster, Health Educator/Nutrition/Allergy Practitioner can be reached at Centennial Building Wellness Centre, 250-819-9041, or firstname.lastname@example.org