Your gut and digestive system are essential for overall health. It makes sure that your body is being fed and that you are absorbing all of the right vitamins and nutrients, but if one or numerous parts of this system go awry, then your quality of life may take a dip. Finding the right information and advice can often be a minefield, so here are a few tips on taking care of your digestive health.
Take A Moment Before Eating A Meal
Eating a meal when you are stressed is one of the biggest causes of bloating. Many people think that this is normal as it happens every day, but it isn’t. You can reduce bloating by calming your system before you eat. Take a few deep breaths, as this will replace the arousal-based nervous system that is associated with stress. Once this is activated, digestion can work properly again.
You Don’t Have To Be Coeliac To React To Gluten
Many people have a measurable reaction to gluten which doesn’t cause the damage to the microvilli that would typically class them as coeliac. It is called non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and it affects more people than coeliac disease does. Try listening to your body – if you believe gluten doesn’t agree with you, then it probably doesn’t.
Stay Hydrated
One of the most important and effective ways of improving your digestive health is to consume more water. Your digestive system needs to be hydrated to move food along, and that won’t happen as effectively if you are dehydrated. Try and avoid hydrating with sugary drinks as they feed unhealthy gut bacteria in your digestive system. Try and avoid fruit smoothies too, as they contain raw fruit. Raw food takes one and a half times more energy on average to break down than cooked food. This is fine for a healthy digestive system, but if you are suffering from issues it is best to avoid them.
Take Probiotics
Not all bacteria is equal. You should be taking products that contain Lactobacillus GG, which has shown clear effects at fighting inflammation and can help issues such as Crohn’s, colitis or IBS. Taking probiotic tablets with this ingredient will ease symptoms and lessen bloating.
Avoid Processed Foods
Protecting your gut bacteria is the key to maintaining good digestive and overall health. However, there are chemicals, genetically engineered ingredients and additives in processed food which can have an impact on gut bacteria and the gut lining. It is ok if you have an occasional processed item, but if your diet is heavily made up of them you are putting your gut and digestive health at risk.
Limit Medications
Antibiotics can upset and disturb good gut and digestive bacteria. Many other prescription medications can also interfere with digestive processes, leading to heartburn or acid reflux. Try and include digestive health supplements into your daily intake if you are taking a lot of medication and always consult your doctor.
Leave 12 Hours Between Dinner and Breakfast
The lining of your gut and digestive system is made up of a singular layer of cells which replenish every 72 hours. This repair, however, cannot take place if your digestive system is constantly working hard on digestion at the same time. Leaving 12 hours between meals gives your system a good amount of time to focus on repairing and replenishing. Avoid fasting, as it will send your body into shock and this will then put extra pressure on your liver.