Gut Health 101 with a Registered Dietitian
New to the gut-health game? We get it—the thought of learning all the ins and outs of the microbiome can feel daunting. But we’re here to help! In honor of National Nutrition Month, we chatted with a registered dietitian, Dr. Renee Korczak, who answered the burning questions we’ve been most curious about regarding the microbiome and gut health.
What is National Nutrition Month?
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Taking place annually in March, the campaign concentrates on the significance of making educated food choices and building sound eating and physical activity habits. To drive these two essential life skills home to everyone, the month is filled with media events and activities that highlight Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day initiatives, which is also celebrated in March.
Q&A With a Registered Dietician
In honor of National Nutrition Month, we wanted to cover the basics about gut health with Registered Dietician and Sports Nutrition Specialist Dr. Renee Korczak. Together, we chatted about all things digestive health, good gut habits and, of course, our favorite functional beverage, OLIPOP.
Q: What are some signs of an unhealthy gut?
Renee: Pay close attention to symptoms like occasional or chronic diarrhea/constipation, bloating, excess gas, nausea and abdominal pain, as they can be signs of a bigger digestive health problem. Should you experience them, speak with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Q: What are a few simple, attainable action items for those looking to improve their gut health?
Renee: Keep stress levels low, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and include adequate amounts of fiber in your diet, daily. Fiber requirements for men and women are difficult to hit, so start by including some fiber with each meal and snack.
Q: What are some of your favorite foods that support digestive health?
Renee: Oats, asparagus and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and miso, are foods that are easy to include into my diet and taste good too!
Q: What’s your favorite OLIPOP flavor at the moment?
Renee: I've been enjoying Ginger Lemon and Strawberry Vanilla the most.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a registered dietitian nutritionist?
Renee: I enjoy the variety this career brings and the ability to be a lifelong learner, continually seeking the most current evidence-based science to best help my clients. I also enjoy helping students and athletes dive into research, apply sports nutrition and gut health science to daily practice, and mentor them to help achieve their goals.
Meet Renee Korczak
Renee Korczak is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition, or as she refers to herself, a "food doctor." Born and raised on the east coast, Renee moved around the country for education and training, from New Jersey to Connecticut, to Massachusetts and Minnesota, to name a few. Along her educational journey in health, Renee credits the unique and intelligent people she trained with and met for helping her get to where she is today. Currently, she is based in Bernardsville, New Jersey, where she lives with her husband.
As a registered dietitian with a Ph.D. in nutrition, Renee is trained to write, speak, counsel, and educate groups in large or small settings. And, in her spare time, she enjoys cooking and traveling the world, which you can read about on her blog. Passionate about health and wellness, Renee launched her website to share credible, scientific information and personalized advice on nutrition. Knowing the internet is packed with information and misinformation, Renee felt compelled to share her version of the story in hopes of helping others.
*The views expressed in this document represent that of Dr. Renee Korczak alone. Dr. Korczak has not received any fee or consultancy payment for this article.
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