Gut goodness! Tips to create healthy digestion.
Another January is upon us and this is time to nurture ourselves in many ways. Our digestive tracts can take a bit of a bashing in December so here are my top 5 tips for some “gut love” in the New Year.
Quit grazing and stick to 3 meals. If you often suffer from bloating or constipation or even get loose bowels, then this might help. We need periods without food for our migrating motor complex in our small intestines to work well. This is a sweeping mechanism that keeps the contents of the small intestine moving through them so that bacteria don’t amass and cause unpleasant symptoms. Bacteria in the small intestine is known as SIBO, (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) present in at least 60% of IBS cases. Stick to 3 meals rather than constant nibbling.
Reduce refined sugars and carbs. Many people do this in January in a bid to lose weight but your gut will love you for it too. Your gut (or your large intestine) is home to trillions of bacteria, some doing wonders for you, and others that can cause problems. A diet high in sugars and carbs is perfect fodder for negative bacteria and yeasts, and can contribute to high levels of inflammation.
Chew all your food really well and relax when eating. Digestion really does start in the mouth. If we don’t chew well then we can end up with large particles of food entering the intestines, fermenting, causing bloating and attracting negative bacteria in the gut. So be mindul when you eat, if you know you bolt your food, try putting down your cutlery between each mouthful. When we are stressed, blood is diverted away from the digestive tract so try to eat in a calm environment.
Make some bone broth. We’ve been doing this for generations and it’s thankfully seeing a much deserved revival in popularity. Why? When the bones are simmered and break down, the broth is rich in collagen to help heal the gut, small intestine and stomach lining and reduce inflammation (note that collagen is also very good for healthy skin!). It’s also rich in many other minerals and amino acids to support immune function and contains chondroitin and glucosamaine, which many of you will have heard of in terms of joint health.
Introduce some fermented foods to your diet. Kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and miso are all rich in beneficial bacteria to support gut health. Experiment with them and find one you like. If you don’t eat these foods regularly, then consider supplementing with a good quality probiotic from your health food store, especially if you’re run down, have taken medication or are struggling with digestive symptoms.
If you have any further questions related to your own digestive issues why not take advantage of my free 15 minute telephone consultation. Call me today on 07813 018908