5 easy ways to show your digestive system some love!
Looking after your digestive system and having good gut health has become such a popular topic in the last few years as people start to understand the importance of keeping it in check. Are you one of the millions of people who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux and more then it’s more than likely down to a digestive problem; and it most cases, the good news is, it’s easily fixed! Here’s just five simple steps to help you on your way to better digestion and ultimately, better health.
- Choose your food wisely
The digestive system is in charge of absorbing and transporting all the nutrients your body needs in order to thrive, as well as helping to get rid of the waste the body doesn’t need. So what you put into your body is the first step to ensuring you have a happy digestive system. If you’ve been consuming a diet of foods that are low in fibre, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet, you’ve more than likely upset the natural ecosystem in your gut. Try to increase the amount of raw foods you’re consuming; they are naturally rich in enzymes. If chewed properly, for a sufficient amount of time, the enzymes contained in raw foods are released and start to aid the digestive process. Struggling to include more raw food in your diet? Why not try some fresh vegetable juice, vegetable sticks, a small raw salad with your meal or up your intake of raw fresh fruit.
- Chew your food
This may seem really obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t chew their food properly or slowly enough and it makes a massive difference to your digestive system. We are all living such busy lives now that the day of sitting down and having a leisurely lunch are gone and most of us have to devour our food in minutes. Try and be aware of how fast you’re eating. Eating slowly allows time for the signals from the senses to get to the brain and stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, muscular contractions and other processes necessary for each stage of digestion, before the food arrives.
Invest in a good probiotic and don’t forget to take it! If you do even just this one thing, you’re taking a step in the right direction. If you’ve been on an antibiotic, it’s especially important to rebuild your bank of healthy bacteria with a probiotic as this will have taken a bashing. You can also increase your levels of good bacteria through the foods you eat. Yoghurt is one of the best sources of probiotic; miso, kifir, kimchi and pickles are also really good.
- Invest in digestive enzymes
Another super easy way to make a big improvement on your digestion is by taking a digestive enzymes supplement to replenish them. When you don’t have enough digestive enzymes in your gut, you can’t properly convert the foods you eat into the raw materials necessary to run your body and brain. The only thing with this is you have to be disciplined and take it with every meal in the day.
- Keep stress at bay
Eliminating certain foods from your diet is one thing, especially if you’ve an intolerance to them, but eliminating stress is also a necessary step to managing your health. Stress can wreak havoc on not only your mind but your digestive system too. Stress has been found to be the cause of so many of our stomach issues. When you’re stressed unfortunately the body can’t perform in the way that it’s meant to. Try meditation, yoga and other forms of relaxation to manage your stress levels.
While you’re on a roll with improving your digestion, why not try our recipe here for Healing stewing apples!!
Stewed Healing Apples
- 6 Bramley cooking apples (or apples of choice preferably grown organically)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup raisins/sultanas (for added sweetness and fibre)
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
Peel and core the apples and chop them into small pieces.
Put all the ingredients in a covered, heavy-bottomed pan and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Cook until soft with rough shapes, no longer identifiable as apple slices. The colour should be a russet brown with the cinnamon effect.
These may be eaten warm, or cold. I suggest making up as many ramekins (sized to hold 1 – 1.5 apple equivalent in each and covered and put in the fridge for easy recovery) and to avoid food deviation due to lack of availability and so maintain compliance.