Do you eat on the go? Perhaps you rush your food, do you ever think about what your insides are doing while you are rushing around? Probably not!
Let’s discuss some tips to support your Gut health, we seem we are not taking care as much as we should these days. It is funny really considering we have all the knowledge at the touch of a button, and food supplied from anywere in the world within 1 day.
The mind is a wonderful weapon against us sometimes as we seem to forget our daily values in wellness and looking after one’s self!
I am here to remind you, let’s start….
A basic one I feel that we ignore! Chew ones food, take a bite and chew, and chew and chew again, this in turn will send signals from the brain to the stomach to get ready for action, it will then break down the food into simpler nutrients, chemical digestion then begins in the mouth when the food mixes with saliva. The saliva contains an enzyme ( amylase, if you are wondering the technical term) that in turn breaks down the carbohydrates.
If we rush this step the impact on the stomach is negative, it will cause bloating, nasty gas build up and you kind of know the rest, don’t you? Let me give you a clue, you will feel uncomfortable and bloated!
Increase your daily fibre intake, no not bread! Lets reflect on this more, fibre is important, right? Then why is 80% of the population not getting enough fibre? I will explain this, it is called fast food, i.e. picked to soon or force grown, ripen at home products. We are losing our natural SOURCES of protein, can you tell me some of the ways to get fibre? No ? Okay, I will tell you.
Plant foods, soya, grains, seeds, oats, lentils, peas, fruit, vegetables, shall I go on? I bet you think ‘ oh I cannot be bothered to soak lentils, oats are boring. All this fibre is dull…… I am not wrong am I?
Funnily enough, most people think these thoughts. As soon as you mention lentils we all go in to hiding.. many years ago people cooked home grown food, pulses, lentils, oats as that’s all they had. Their fibre intake was perfect.. think about that. Your gut will appreciate it. Lacking fibre increases chances of bowel disease, IBS, and generally you be a little blocked down there, so please love your fibre, may I kindly just add, not cereal that is refined ( ask me about this in a message perhaps, it may shock you how little fibre is in these top branded products).
Increase your probiotic food, meaning fermented food, such as, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, temper, artichokes. Bananas are also a very good probiotic. It is very important for gut health to support that immune system, increase proper urine and genital health. So maybe this is something you have wondered why you get infections regularly and feeling under the weather.
Portion sizes, this is the most common of problems, think about the poor gut having to double its power to digest all that food and more coming down. What a job! Do you ever think when you have eaten to much you say ‘ I cannot eat another thing, my guts are bursting’? I think you have, and your stomach has probably has nearly burst!
Your stomach is a muscle, it will grow If you over feed it, it will not go back to its original size as if you over indulge often and keep doing this, it will expand and it will grow! So maybe when you say ‘my eyes are bigger than my belly’ perhaps reduce the size of the portion before you eat. The stomach probably has to use so much energy to digest all that food, your other organs become neglected.
Have you ever fallen asleep after a big meal, that’s not contentment that is your stomach is exhausted. I’ll leave you with that thought.
Next is simple get out into nature go and dive in your garden and build your immunity naturally, stroke your dog, jump in the sea, your body needs immunity and with all the hand washing and gels and disinfectant we are using, we are not building a sufficient barrier to ward off bugs and viruses, so go play and make a sand castle, I insist!
Supplements, this is a subject that can take a while so I will briefly hit on it. We only need supplements if our bodies are not getting all the nutrient and vitamins we need daily. If you are someone that does not eat a well-balanced diet, and not sourcing probiotics, minerals, vitamins, then you will need supplements to help your body, these need to be picked carefully, most high street supplements have more caking agent in them then cake! Research is key.
Reduce your intake of artificial drinks, energy drinks, high sugar drinks, need I go on. The effect on your gut and kidneys will be troublesome to say the least. These drinks are not going to help you at all, they may actually harm you more than you would believe. Just because the can says it gives you wings, it may well do but sadly on sitting on the clouds. So please be wise and bin them as the more you drink the higher the likelihood of diabetes and kidney problems will arise. The stomach does not like artificial food and drink. So why are we harming ourselves internally ? Oh I know why, we cant see what is happening inside. So,just try to imagine.
Be diverse, check out new fruits and vegetables, there is so many to choose from now, look for unusual ones, being diverse with your food, it will increase vital nutrients to the stomach. Aim for as many spices, seeds in your cupboard as you can , pick out new ones weekly. Learn about foods and you will feel the benefits from this.
This is a tricky subject, but I am going to blast it out there, medication…… so many of us are on so much meds its unbelievable, it really Is, as mother nature has a lot of the basic medicinal medication in her land, so what do we do when we have a cold. Oh yes, straight to the pill packet… no one wants to feel ill, right? I agree, but we can find ways to feel better without going to the antibiotics, or painkillers, as it will play havoc with your gut health and probably take longer to fix the stomach than having a cold. There are many natural ways to help you. Look up natural remedies, ie peppermint, honey, lemon, turmeric, garlic, liquorice, fennel, camomile. The list is endless. Try to use these in every day recipes, you will find you probably wont get as many colds if you do.
Antibiotics are really good for getting rid of bacteria , but…. Also very good at getting rid of good bacteria in the gut too. So make sure you don’t abuse the intake of these, if it is essential, then use a good probiotic to help the gut flora to recover.
Stress slows down the digestive system, causing bloating, pain, constipation or in other situations diarrhoea. Some people may lose their appetite. Some over eat. Stress can cause stomach ulcers, irritable bowel, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
So what do we do about this? I will come on another time to do a blog about stress and relaxation. It’s a very complicated subject as everyone has a different journey so here are a few tips to relieve stress.
Breath work is excellent or meditation.
Yoga or a class to help you ground.
Get back to nature, go for a walk, take time out.
Come away from the social media.
Take a bath or read.
Write down your thoughts and issues.
Do a blog ( just kidding )
I hope this helps you all understand gut health more, and I hope you take the time to digest this blog.
All the best,
THE HEALTH FAIRY X