We’re delighted that Philippa, the Honest Dietitian is sharing her wisdom again on our blog. This month’s topic is digestion and what small changes we can make to improve our overall health. Over to you Philippa:
The Inside Scoop: Tips for Healthy Digestion
Whether you have problems with digestion or not, it’s important to be mindful of digestive health, as it plays a crucial role in your overall well-being. If your digestion is sluggish, the chances are you are feeling sluggish too. Poor digestive health can lead to a variety of health problems, so it’s important to have a healthy gut so you can feel energised and be at the top of your game. Follow these tips for better digestive health and to prevent those unwanted digestive woes.
Choose healthy foods
Healthy meals are key to good digestive health. Eating a diet that’s rich in fibre from foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes, as well as eating lean protein and healthy fats can help keep your digestive system running smoothly. Processed, fatty and sugary foods and fizzy drinks should be avoided as they can be difficult to digest and cause gut inflammation. If reflux is a concern, limit fried and fatty foods, coffee, alcohol, acidic or spicy foods.
To help give you instant relief, yoghurt, liquorice root, ginger, fennel, or mint are known to help. Try sipping on some mint or liquorice tea to help relieve indigestion, or some ginger tea to help with reflux and nausea.
Drinking enough fluid is vital for proper digestion. Water helps to prevent constipation. It also helps to flush toxins out of the body and keeps the digestive system running smoothly. Aim to drink around eight glasses of fluid per day (give or take, depending on your age, weight, the weather or the amount you exercise).
Eat slowly and chew well
Chewing your food thoroughly is an often-overlooked aspect of digestive health. When you chew your food well, it helps to break it down into smaller pieces, which makes it easier for your gut to digest. Chewing also stimulates digestive enzymes, which help in digestion. So, eat slower and savour the moment! Additionally, avoid lying down right after eating as it’s easier to digest food in an upright position.
Regular exercise can help to improve digestion by promoting the movement of food through the intestines. Try exercising daily, even if it’s only a brisk 20-minute walk around the block.
Stress is a common trigger for digestive problems, including stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhoea. To reduce stress, try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Healthy nutrition, exercise, and good quality sleep can also help. Try making time for activities that you enjoy, such as reading, spending time with friends, or going for a walk in nature.
To wrap up, taking care of your digestive health is essential for overall health. Follow these simple tips, and go with your gut!
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