The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is often a much neglected part of our body and we tend to ignore the niggling signs that it is out of balance until we can’t ignore them anymore and we get a bloated stomach, stomach pain, a touch of diarrhoea or suffer from constipation for several days.
I know some of you experience IBS, bloating and other digestive complaints, but I know there are solutions. I too used to suffer from years of damage to my body from emotionally eating, binging and starving. Through various means I began to heal my gut and now it rarely gives me grief (unless I have a day of eating something I know disagrees with me).
Imagine having a flat stomach, increased immunity, free of mood swings, irritable bowel and all the array of problems which come about from digestive dysfunction. I know its possible, if you just become more conscious of the choices you make.
When we are experiencing good health, the population of bacteria that resides in our Gut is balanced,and the ‘good’ bacteria outnumber the ‘bad’ bacteria. As a result we feel good and resistance to disease and infection is increased because our immune system which has cells in the gut and is stimulated by intestinal bacteria functions well. Besides digestion and absorption, interaction with the body`s immune system is perhaps one of the most important roles that the bacteria that live in our intestines play. (1)
SOME CAUSES OF POOR DIGESTION-
- Poor diet
- Incorrect food combining- Meat and starch in the one meal (which is 2 acid forming foods)
- Irregular eating patterns
- Bacteria and viruses
- Lack of exercise (2)
7 HELPFUL TIPS IN MAINTAINING YOUR GUT HEALTH-
- Eat at regular meal times- this has a regulating effect on digestion (1)
- Be conscious of what you eat and your portion sizes- Overeating can effect proper digestion
- Chew your food completely before swallowing- this ensures a proper breakdown of food once it hits the stomach or small intestine
- Utilise correct food combining methods ( no fruit with meals, or after meals, reduce the intake of complex carbohydrates with proteins especially meat
- Don’t drink with meals as this dilutes the Hcl levels in the stomach which lessens the greater breakdown of foods and leads to fermentation. (2)
- Supplement with a probiotic after having a course of antibiotics as this will help to increase the number of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut for our immunity.
- Perform Yoga postures such a wind removing pose, and kapalbhati breathing
In conclusion, you are a powerful force in the health of your gut by the choices you make. Begin adding these small tips into your daily life and watch the difference!
References:‘Why is gut health important’ (January 2003) Taken from www.medicinalfoodnews.com. Eagle- ‘Aiding digestion’ (2010) Taken from www.eaglenaturalhealth.com.au Alison Heffernan ( 2011) Maintaining Gut Health.
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