I’ve come up with ten tips that will help make sure you’re grocery shopping is gut-healthy.
1. Shop the perimeter: If you must use a supermarket for your groceries, try to limit your purchase to items found at the edges of the store. Traditionally, that is where you will find fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, eggs, dairy, and the bakery for bread and the like.
2. Try and shop at farmer’s markets: Farmer’s markets offer more personalized service. Over time you can get to know the vendors and understand how they grow their products and whether they use pesticides. Organic farmer’s markets are one of the best options when it comes to grocery shopping.
3. Make your own yogurt and grow your own sprouts: It’s easy to group sprouts. Sprouts are very high in chlorophyll, folic acid, and vitamin C.
4. Eat smaller meals: Most people eat too much food. For a healthy gut, you don’t want to overeat. Don’t treat your stomach like it’s a cement mixer. When it comes to buying groceries, don’t over shop. Buy enough so that you can eat moderately rather than eating large portions all the time.
5. Buy your fresh foods frequently: Instead of loading up on fruits, vegetables, meat, and eggs for weeks at a time, buy them every few days. The nutrient content of food diminishes over time, so you want to fill your fridge with fresh foods, not store broccoli that was picked a month ago.
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6. Avoid the most heavily sprayed foods in your region. Google should able to help you identify the foods with the highest levels of pesticide residue. You might be surprised to discover that celery is very heavily sprayed. Imported berries are often far more heavily sprayed than domestic ones.
7. Buy lean cuts of meat. When you get poultry, get it skinless. You can coat the meat with a rub instead or marinate it before cooking. I make a nice mix with olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic, smoked paprika, and some curry powder.
8. Always check the best before or expiry dates on your groceries. You want to buy the freshest item available. Sometimes that means using your arm to reach the back of the shelf, but it’s worth it.
9. Don’t go shopping without a list. Impulse shopping is a quick way to come home with the junk foods you don’t need in the house.
10. Eat before you shop: If you go shopping on an empty stomach, the chocolate bar and bags of chips are going to be particularly hard to resist. Have a good breakfast before you go shopping in the morning. Having some protein before you go to the grocery store is always a good idea because it helps maintain a stable blood sugar level.