Our digestive systems really are the key to our health. When they are performing well, we feel and perform well. A faulty digestive system can not only make us feel uncomfortable and be slightly embarrassing but can also lead to a lifetime of illness and disease. Sadly, a large chunk of us spend the majority of the time bloated and constipated, suffering from symptoms that are a digestive systems cry for help. It’s easy to put it all down to stress though and pass it off as normal in todays busy, stressful society. As a collective we are apparently spending more than ever on laxatives, fibre, enzymes and antacids which is such a shame as a healthy diet is often more than enough to help get things back on track. If you have an inkling that you may have a bit of an iffy gut then I would recommend incorporating the following 5 foods into your diet;
Coconut Oil – A brilliant gut-healthy alternative to butter. Unlike butter it contains antimicrobial properties and certain fatty acids that will boost immunity, help improve digestion and even give your metabolism a bit of a kick up the bum!
Sauerkraut – Along with other fermented foods are actually great for your gut thanks to the beneficial bacteria they contain, making them easier to digest, therefore giving your system a bit of a break. Think Kimchee, Yoghurt and miso.
Beans – Obviously to help keep a healthy gut we need good levels of fibre and what better source of fibre than beans! Of the recommended 25grams of fibre every day, a mere cup of beans provides almost 20 grams! Fibre powerhouse! Along with a healthy dose of fruits and veggies, you will be smashing that fine goal in no time, without having to turn to medicinal products!
Fish Oils – Although you would need to be consuming a rather large amount of fish or fish oil, it’s still worth noting that studies have shown patients with IBS to have the lowest levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Try fatty fish such as salmon or tuna.
Ginger – Ginger is a traditional remedy for stomach ache and sickness in Asia and is a popular natural digestive aid for pregnant women. Ginger speeds up the process of food leaving the stomach and heading into the small intestine. You can try it in teas, soups or supplements but it’s definitely worth trying it!
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, stress really can have a huge impact on gut health which will then no doubt make you even more stressed and unhappy, it’s a vicious circle. It’s important to try to stop this cycle early on but if you are already deep in gut issues hell then perhaps look at taking a little break, give your mind and body a bit of time to reset and then think seriously about switching up your routine when back at home or at work. Nothing in life is worth risking your health for so making small changes now will pay dividends in the future.
If you have anything else to add to these tips, we’d love to hear them!?