Heidi Billington - Naturopath
Developing and maintaining a healthy digestive system is one of the keys to improving your overall wellness.
How we breakdown our food, absorb the nutrients and excrete what we don’t need, can determine how we function on a daily basis! Unfortunately most of us don’t think twice about how we digest until it begins to give us problems such as bloating, reflux, constipation and cramps. But did you know that a host of other niggling problems such as headaches, anxiety, low energy and weight gain may also be caused by an unhealthy gut?
So what can you do to help protect and keep your gut healthy and balanced?
Chewing slowly enables the salvia to mix properly with the food and therefore allowing enzymes to start doing their job of breaking down carbohydrates. Slower eating also prevents us from gulping down unnecessary air causing bloating and wind later on. Chew each mouthful at least 20 times and learn to savour the taste of food while it lingers longer on the taste buds!
The word “probiotic” literally means “for life”; but the term usually refers to supplements that contain living, beneficial bacteria. Billions of these friendly bacteria from more than 400 different species occur naturally in a healthy digestive system, with most living in the intestines, where they are sometimes called “intestinal flora”. These bacteria support general wellbeing in several ways, such as assisting digestion and helping to maintain immunity. However, they can be very sensitive to changes in their environment, and some lifestyle factors can significantly reduce their numbers. Supplementing with a concentrated probiotic such as the Healtheries P3 or Healtheries Probiotica 50 Billion High Strength can help during times when levels of intestinal flora are low. Probiotics are naturally found in yogurt and other fermented foods such as miso, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha tea and may be a good addition to your daily diet.
Eat the right foods
Get plenty of fresh, wholefoods in your diet. Raw veggies and fruit contain naturally occurring enzymes that will help you digest better.
Eating fibre and increasing water intake can help keep the bowels moving and prevent constipation.
Remember that you are what you eat and absorb and a healthier digestion system means a healthier you.