- Rosario Dawson revealed she’s been focusing on her gut health since her father’s cancer diagnosis.
- The actress broke down the foods she has added to make a probiotic-rich diet.
- The 42-year-old says walking is her main source of exercise.
Rosario Dawson has long been known for her plant-based, vegan diet—but the actress recently revealed she’s been extra focused on her gut health. The 42-year-old got “super into” food and its connection to gut health since her father’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment, she said in an interview with Eating Well.
Though there’s no formal connection between gut health and pancreatic cancer, Dawson learned the important role your gut health can have in your overall well-being. “I learned a lot about gut health with my dad’s cancer treatment. Gut health is emotional, physical health, etc,” she said in the interview.
Why gut health is important
Gut health is vital for absorbing and transporting nutrients all over the body, maintaining fluid and salt status, and expelling waste properly, Rushabh Modi, M.D. previously told Prevention. A healthy gut also improves the immune system, and research has indicated poor gut health is linked to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
In fact, 70% of your immune system lives in your gut, and getting sick often could be a tell-tale sign that your diet isn’t up to par, Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., previously told Prevention. A healthy diet will promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut, and encourage your immune system to keep fighting strong.
What Dawson eats in a day for a healthy gut
Wondering what Dawson’s gut-healthy diet entails? She breaks down exactly what she eats on a typical day and the ingredients that help her stay balanced.
For breakfast, Dawson says that she loves overnight oats during the summer and heartier warm oatmeal or avocado toast when the weather turns cold, according to her EatingWell interview.
Meanwhile, for lunch, the star reaches for big salads or stir-fried vegetables which are choc-full of fiber and nutrients.
Finally, for dinner, she says she likes to change things up, opting for stir-fries, noodles, and ramen. She says, “I put turmeric in everything. I use a lot of ginger.” A review in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found ginger could quell nausea and vomiting, acting as a great at-home remedy for GI troubles.
“I love sauerkraut, kimchi, and vegan yogurt,” Dawson said in the interview. All of which are gut-friendly foods. In fact, Sauerkraut is a probiotic-rich food full of potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins, along with phytonutrients that have cancer-fighting properties, Tara Gidus Collingwood, M.S., R.D.N., previously told Prevention. And Kimchi is another type of fermented cabbage-based dish, which like all probiotic foods, can help create a more diverse microbiome and rebalance gut microbiota, Douglas A. Drossman, M.D. has said.
Other ways to promote gut health
Gut health can also be what you don’t eat. The actress has been vocal about cutting alcohol and marijuana use, too. “I feel so contaminated by the planet, and seeing my dad going through this journey, I want to cleanse my body,” she told Women’s Health last year. “I want to have as much clarity as possible and be very intentional about every day.”
In addition to changing up her diet to feature probiotic-rich foods, Dawson uses walking as her main source of movement to keep her gut, and entire body, in tip-top shape. “I’m not a big workout-y person … but as a born-and-raised New Yorker, I’ll walk 100 blocks and not even think about it,” she said in the EatingWell interview.
The actress is also a big fan of getting outside and in nature and says she likes to lie in the sun for 15 minutes a day to meditate and get her vitamin D, she said. Research has found deficiencies in vitamin D play a role in certain diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
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