If you’re struggling with digestive issues, it can be tough to know where to start. While there are many factors that can upset your gut, there are also easy ways to improve your digestive health. In this article, we'll take a look at some simple hacks that could help you feel better in the long run.
1. Eat your meal in the right order
Who knew that the order in which you eat your food makes a difference when it all ends up in your stomach anyway? But a study has shown that if you eat your veggies first, proteins and fats second, then starches and sugars last, you can reduce glucose spikes by up to 75%. This is thought to be due to the fibre from the vegetables coating your intestines, reducing the ability for starch and sugars to permeate. Lower glucose spikes means less weight gain, less sugar cravings and less inflammation—it’s a win-win considering that you don’t need to cut out any food groups.
2. Chew, chew, chew
Digestion starts in the mouth, yet when we eat on-the-go or in a rush we can forget just how important this process is for nutrient absorption and feeling satiated. Digestion relies on a series of enzymes breaking down the food you eat into nutrients your body can use. When you chew food, it gets broken down into smaller pieces that are easier for your digestive system and its enzymes to break apart into usable nutrients.
If you don't chew enough, these undigested particles can sit in your stomach or intestines longer than they should and cause problems like bloating, gas and heartburn. Chewing also helps move food through the digestive tract without getting stuck along the way—a major benefit if you've got irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
3. Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that allows for periods of time where you eat normally before taking a break from food for a few hours or days. You could try starting with a 12-16 hour overnight fast once a week to give your gut an opportunity to reset. Proven fasting benefits include reduced inflammation, prevention of cognitive decline, and enhanced stem cell renewal.
One thing to consider before starting a fast is whether or not it's safe for your health and lifestyle. A doctor should be consulted before beginning any type of diet if you have certain conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
4. Focus on fibre
Dietary fibre is good for both your digestive system and heart health. It's been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels in people with high risk factors, as well as contributing to weight loss and reducing the risk of some cancers. In order to get the most out of your daily intake of fibre, it’s important to know where it is found in foods. Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale, are great plant-based food sources of fibre.
5. Prioritise probiotics and digestive enzymes
Probiotics and digestive enzymes are another two digestive food heroes. Probiotics are microorganisms that can help keep the digestive system healthy by reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system. They can also improve skin health, mental health and weight management. Kimchi (a Korean side dish made with cabbage), kefir (a cultured milk beverage) and kombucha (a fermented tea drink) are amazing as they all contain both probiotics and digestive enzymes—as does your daily dose of Forever Full, of course.
Author: Lara Spiller