The gut is such an important starting place for me and for anyone that comes to see me in my clinic. A healthy gut translates to a heathy body and a healthy mind! As many of you will know an estimated huge 90% of serotonin (that feel good happy chemical) is created there. If you’re having a few tummy troubles check out some of my tips.
It seems truly simple I know but digestion really begins in the mouth. When you are chewing you are actually beginning to chemically digest carbohydrates and your saliva signals to your stomach to start to get the engines running. Then that triggers all necessary enzymes and processes ready to breakdown your food. You want to break things down enough so you’ve taken the time to chew very thoroughly so that by the time your food hits your stomach, the rest of processes can happen. Reversely, have you ever had a tummy ache after a juice or smoothie? Perhaps you chugged it, or perhaps your stomach still needed time to bring together all those essential chemicals used in the breakdown. SO take your time and chew to stimulate that saliva that will trigger the whole system!
2. Don’t drink water with meals.
We are all guilty of this I know! Think of it this way, your stomach has been working to prime itself for food, through chewing, stomach emptying and time, and so as this amazing machine gets fired up, alarm, the sprinklers go off and the sparks are now extinguished. We want the digestive fire to burn, so that means turning off the water supply! I know its not always realistic if we are including wine or a cocktail with meals, but again looking at OPTIMAL digestion, save your fluids for 30 minutes before and after your meals! I like to reach for a peppermint tea literally straight after eating so sometimes I too have to remind myself to wait just a little!
Yes! You all know I love renew life but probiotics are so great for our health. So many studies are happening on the human microbiome aka our gut, and how this is really the epicentre of our health, immune system, digestive function etc. The bacteria we are born with as children is the stuff we stay with, so we want to ensure proper health of these bugs to keep them thriving and fighting off the “bad guys” living in our digestive system. If you begin with a probiotic you will not only see an improvement in your gut health but also less tummy aches and bloating, indigestion, and fewer colds and viruses.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Chances are, between our rushed lifestyle, big gulp drinks with meals, less chewing etc… our stomach does not have enough HCL (stomach acid) to break down all those nutrients. If you feel like this could be you, and this is the majority of the population, TRY: 30 minutes before a meal, try adding 1 tsp- 1 tbls of ACV into a small glass of water and drink. This added acid may just be enough to boost whats going on down there to relieve digestve upset to come or add to proper digestion. I also like to add it to recipes and have a dash on salads.
5. Drink lots of water.
But only between mealtimes! This will help a continuously healthy digestive system, helping not only with hydration, but healthyy bowel movements.
6. Fibre does your body good.
But we hardly get enough. The RDA is 20-40g daily, but some are still not reaching it. We need this fibre to move our digestive tract along. Both soluble and non soluble. My fav source is probably chia and kale thrown into a smoothie! Done!