Trust your gut. Learning to listen to your body and feed it the food it needs to function is the most important step in healthy digestion. If you struggle with poor digestion or need to restore gut health due to illness, antibiotics or stress, then this article is for you.
Having a healthy gut means more than being free of bloating or heartburn, it is absolutely essential to your overall wellbeing to have a functioning gut. The gut is connected to everything in your body and is known as the “second brain” due to its importance in maintaining a functional body. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritise digestion and learn to honour your gut by tuning into how it feels.
Many issues in the body, big or small, can be fixed once the gut heals. For example, if you are eating foods to which the body is allergic, the gut doesn’t digest the foods properly and leads to reactions in the intestines which causes inflammation on the inside and shows up in acne on the outside of the body. Foods such as dairy and gluten can be trigger foods in the gut and as symptoms elsewhere in the body. Another example, is the link between gut microbiome and liver disease as shown in this research.
To help restore healthy gut flora, check out these 5 simple steps for better digestion.
1. Reduce stress
Learn to de-stress and be present in your body. By focusing on breathing and tuning into your body it helps your mind and body relax. When the body becomes overworked and stressed it can cause digestive issues as the gut reacts to stressors. Some people who experience gut issues such as bad digestion and bloating, only experience this due to stress. Once they do daily activity to relax, such as meditation and breath work, it has a huge positive effect on their digestion. Focus on managing stress levels with gentle exercise, meditation or mindful breathing.
2. Drink water
Hydration is one of the most important ways to assist your body, including the digestive process. Water can help your body to digest food and move the nutrients through your digestive system, which will help digestion and reduce the chance of constipation.
3. Eat fibre and dense wholefoods
Eating fibre will help the body to digest and eliminate food effectively. However, there is a fine balance, eating too much can cause loose bowls, and not eating enough can cause constipation. Pay attention to what you eat at meals, see how your elimination is after a meal, and adjust the fibre accordingly. Focus on eating dense wholefoods such as berries, bananas, quinoa, rice, sweet potato, broccoli, legumes, avocado and seeds.
4. Heal the gut
Add a probiotic and digestive enzyme everyday to your routine. Good bacteria in the gut will help your digestion to function optimally, and replenishing the body with supplements that heal the gut will help restore the gut flora.
5. Move the body
Moving the body daily can help the digestive system and elimination process by stimulating the intestinal muscles. If the body is already highly stressed, do gentle exercise such as yoga and walking.
Restoring a healthy gut starts from within. Nourish the mind, be present in the body and feed yourself wholesome love and nutrition to reduce stress and have a healthy gut!