Reduce as much refined sugar from your diet as possible. This includes alcohol, most processed foods and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes. Sugar consumption is linked to an increase of free radical production and inflammation. Sugar is also quickly turned into fat, so be especially careful about eating low fat foods, as they are unfortunately often packed with sugars to make them palatable, which can ironically then lead to weight gain.
Start eating lots of healthy fats (especially anti-inflammatory omega-3s). Healthy fats are essential for cellular health and energy levels. The ‘fat is bad’ myth is slowly being debunked and scientific research is supporting the fact that we need healthy fats and even cholesterol in our diets. Healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado, organ meats, ghee, unheated extra virgin olive oil and animal fats. And only ever cook with saturated fats!! Cooking with any type of poly or monounsaturated fat e.g. most vegetable oils, causes the fats to oxidise and create free radicals. Free radicals can cause premature ageing, as well as conditions such as heart disease.
Think about reducing or even removing grains and legumes from your diet. Grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are high in phytates and lectins which can be irritating to the gut lining. If you have any digestion issues, you may want to experiment with reducing the amount of these food groups that you eat. This includes wheat! However if you do want to eat nuts and seeds then ensure that you soak them prior to eating to help reduce the phytic acid content, making them easier to digest.
Eat lots of organic, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as fermented and even foraged/wild foods. Then shop at farmers markets or independent shops so that your money goes directly to the farmer and they get a fair price for their food. Eating organic provides your body with food high in nutrients and protects you from so much exposure to harmful pesticides and GMO foods (which are all damaging to the intestinal membrane). The bonus point being that you are also supporting a more sustainable agricultural system and ecosystem. Organic often means paying more but good quality food is worth the price.
Stay hydrated. This can mean drinking up to 2 litres of water a day, spaced throughout the day, so as to maintain consistent hydration levels. When the body registers dehydration (in the colon) the liver produces extra cholesterol which is transported to the cell membranes. Cholesterol is an extremely important component of the cell membrane as it gives it structure. However too much cholesterol in the cell membrane makes it less permeable and harder for the electrolyte exchange to take place. Hydration is key!