Happy new year! Time to reassess your digestive health
Well the new year is dawning and perhaps it’s a good opportunity to reassess your health. Did you know that your gut can cause health issues beyond smelly farts, burping, constipation and diarrhoea? It can also contribute to fatigue, joint pain, mood changes like anxiety and depression, acne, poor immune health and the list goes on.
Supporting your gut health is fairly simple, although if you do have long lasting or uncomfortable symptoms it’s likely you will need to do more than this.
Eat plenty of vegetables Fibre, in the form of vegetables, helps your ‘good’ gut microbes prosper. This helps to rebalance your gut and reduce inflammation. Fibre also helps to bind toxins for elimination and supports healthy bowel motions. Aim to have at least half the meal be vegetables, include veggies in snacks and have 2-3 meat free meals every week.
Chew well The first part of digestion occurs in the mouth, where we chew our food, it’s mixed with saliva and swallowed. Chewing is important as it begins the process of breaking down the food so our body can absorb all the nutrients from it. Not chewing well means more work for our stomach and small intestine. This can cause heartburn, bloating and burping all of which are pretty uncomfortable.
Eat slowly (and not in front of the tv/phone) Focussing on eating, rather than being distracted, serves 2 purposes. Firstly it means we are more likely to chew properly (see above) and secondly it means we are more likely to notice what we are eating and when we are full. This helps avoid over eating.
Eat regularly, but not all the time Eating regular meals helps with satiety (keeping you from being hungry all the time) and helps your digestion. Leaving space between meals and snacks, ie a period of about 3 hours where you are NOT eating, helps your digestion do its job and clear the food through.
Probiotics are great and pre-biotics (like fermented foods, some seeds, legumes and beans) are often even better.
If you are already doing all these things and still experiencing digestive issues, or other more systemic issues, please get in touch so we can see what additional support you might need.