Stay Ahead of Your Digestive Health

Stay Ahead of Your Digestive Health

Author -  Heidi Billington

Your gut is responsible for much more than we give it credit for, so it’s worth looking after well.

Most of us have heard of the phrase “you are what you eat”, but truth be known it’s more like “you are what you eat and digest”! 

How the body breaks down, assimilates and absorbs the nutrients in the food you eat is crucial to overall well-being. 

How can you look after your gut?

Your digestive system naturally contains billions of ‘friendly’ or ‘beneficial’ bacteria, which help to maintain a healthy intestinal flora balance. This good bacteria helps us absorb and utilise vitamins and nutrients, aid digestion, support gut and liver function and maintain immunity. Daily pressures, alcohol, stress, medication and poor diet can all put your digestive system out of balance, which then gives harmful bacteria the opportunity to multiply.  

So how can you maintain the balance of probiotics in your guts?

One way is by adding fermented foods into your diet. A regular intake of probiotic-rich food and drinks such as kimchi, kefir, kombucha tea, sauerkraut, miso and natural yogurt is a good place to start.

Fermented foods have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. Not only is it a process that preserves the food, it also creates beneficial enzymes and various strains of probiotics.

Unfortunately these can be difficult to source and if you don’t have the time to make at home from scratch they can be expensive to buy, so many people pass on this option. 

Another suggestion is adding a probiotic supplement to your diet. This is an easy, effective and affordable option. Healtheries Probiotica 50 Billion is a multi-strain formula that combines 11 beneficial bacteria strains including the scientifically researched HOWARU® bifidobacterium strain so that you can get the widest possible range of benefits from it. An extra bonus is that it doesn’t need refrigeration, so it’s great for travellers and you can keep it in your desk at work or in your bag for convenience. 

What else can you do for digestive health?

Some other tips to keep your digestive system functioning well are:

  • Don’t drink with meals – either ½ hour before or after eating. Liquids like water and juice dilute the digestive enzymes which you need to help breakdown your food.
  • Chew your food well. Concentrate on just eating without the distraction of TV, iPhones or reading. See if you can chew each mouthful at least 20 times before swallowing. Remember your stomach does not have teeth.
  • Don’t eat when you are stressed or anxious. Instead pick a time when you are truly hungry, relaxed and enjoy what you are eating.
  • Keep away from too much sugar, alcohol, caffeine and junk food. Not only does this feed the bad bacteria in your gut, it also slows down the digestive system.
  • Keep your bowels regular. Include enough soluble fibre (absorbs water, i.e. flaxseeds, chia seeds, oatmeal) and insoluble fibre (does not absorb water, i.e. skins of fruits and veggies) in your diet and increase water intake to keep things moving along.