Have you been feeling bloated and suffering from indigestion and constipation? Try the following seven simple tips to help restore your gut health.
If you’re reading this, and the days of eating and drinking in vast amounts with no repercussions are long gone, you’re in good company. While we try as much as possible to eat well and follow a balanced diet, we’re human and it’s not unusual to want to relax our resolve, particularly during holidays and festive periods. Sadly, the repercussions of overindulging in rich food and drink are often swift. Overindulgence can take its toll on your gut and lead to you feeling out of sorts. From feeling too full to embarrassing noises and smells when you least expect it, nobody is at their best when suffering from digestion and gut health issues.
What should we be doing to ensure we avoid problems with our digestion? We spoke to health and wellbeing advocate and Wow Beauty creative founder, Denise Rabor who has an intentional and holistic approach to wellbeing. She shared the benefits of adopting some very simple actions to ensure we enjoy optimal gut health.
Read on for Rabor’s seven simple tips for a well-performing digestive system.
Add magnesium to your diet
Feeling a little bloated and struggling to use the bathroom after eating a little too well? Support bowel movements and help with anxiety at the same time with magnesium. A lack of magnesium in your diet can lead to muscle aches or spasms, poor digestion, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, and supplements are a great way to top up your levels. Nutritionist Frankie Brogan says: “Magnesium is a key mineral in our bodies, used for over 300 enzyme functions. Primarily, it’s necessary for muscle and nerve function, can relax muscles and calm the nervous system. When we have enough of it, it can be great for stress relief and reduction of anxiety.” However – too much can have a laxative effect – so speak to a healthcare professional for more advice. You can also keep yourself topped up naturally with magnesium rich food like Spinach, Almonds, Pumpkin seeds, Figs, Dark chocolate, and Bananas. Magnesium is also an excellent neutralizer for acidic substances and is often used to treat acid indigestion or heartburn.
Don’t forget to move! Yoga could help offset the effects of bloating and going for a walk can also help support your digestion. Exercise helps to stimulate digestion and make you feel better overall. You can even practise breathing exercises, breathing in deeply and slowly using your belly muscles to help you relax and perhaps even aid problems like heartburn and bloating.
Add a little extra gut support
Get your gut back in the game by helping to incorporate the right microbiome again – the gut microbiome relates to the micro-organisms that live in the gut.
Prebiotics support gut health by feeding beneficial bacteria and they can help with digestive issues. As they are found naturally in many foods it’s easy to increase your intake of prebiotic foods like bananas, oats, apples and flaxseeds.
Probiotics are live bacteria that occur naturally in the body and are found in many fermented foods, such as miso soup, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, kimchi. If you’re not able to get enough from your food, consider a supplement.
You can also take Digestive Enzymes to help with the breakdown of food [in your body] – they help speed up the chemical reactions that turn nutrients into substances that your digestive tract can absorb.
Chew slowly and properly
Help give your gut a break and be sure to eat your food slowly and chew properly. Holistic Wellbeing and Beauty Coach Marielle Alix says: “The best way to ensure that we are helping to make it easy for our bodies to digest our food is to chew A LOT so that our food mixes with our digestive juices so it can be easily digested and better absorbed for optimal nutrition.”
Don’t eat before bed
You should also leave at least three hours between eating and sleeping. Eating before bed can lead to acid reflux when you lie down. Anything containing caffeine, alcohol, tea, chocolate, or hot spices can also further aggravate the symptoms.
Reach for the herbal teas
Opt for herbal teas with peppermint, ginger, anise, and/or fennel to help keep things moving and settle the tummy. Green tea can also aid digestion and soothe the stomach; its rich in polyphenols, catechins, and antioxidants, and can help to soothe the symptoms of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders.
Be aware of your food intolerances
Many of us are unknowingly intolerant to food allergens such as dairy, gluten, eggs and more. If you’ve found yourself feeling particularly uncomfortable after certain foods, it might be time to look into whether you have any intolerances that you’ve been previously unaware of.
Of course, please speak to a healthcare professional or a nutritionist to help support your goals and before starting any supplementation.