Top tips for super digestive health
Having suffered for many years with digestive and bowel related health issues, I'm going to share my top tips on how to overcome these problems.
The first thing to point out is that stress is a huge factor in gut related ill health. I'm sure you'll have heard of 'gut feeling' or 'gut instinct', that's because the bowel is born out of the exact same part of the embryo as the brain, and therefore shares all the same chemicals.
So, how to tackle stress?
One really important tip is to take your time with meals. Never rush, or eat when stressed. Take a few minutes before each meal to centre yourself, take three deep breaths, this will help to engage your 'rest and digest' part of the nervous system, and get you out of the 'fight or flight' one, that impedes digestion.
Now a word on chewing, nobody appears to chew there food any more. Unchewed food is undigested and will cause a bacteria imbalance which could lead to food intolerance, bloating, flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea etc. Try to chew at least 20 times before you swallow.
Try to keep drinks away from food, too much fluid can wash away valuable enzymes. The golden rule, half hour before or two hours after a meal. Take little sips of water with a meal if needed.
If you're struggling with irregular bowel, or constipation issues, try massaging your abdomen each morning for a few minutes in a clockwise direction. Have a hot drink, followed by breakfast, ideally my beauty breakfast which is full of goodness and essential seeds 'linseed's' which really help to get things moving. After breakfast, and this is the really important one, take a few minutes to sit on the toilet with the knees raised or even better crouch on the floor, the latter is how we used to defecate and a much better position to aid a bowel movement. Obviously move to the toilet once the sensation to open the bowel appears. I'm not suggesting you defecate on the floor! Lordy! The key thing is to get into a daily routine. Massage... hot drink... beauty breakfast... sit on the toilet or crouch. Whilst crouching you can be applying your skincare or make-up, or reading a letter. Anything you find relaxing.
A few tips on healthy eating for tip top digestion - avoid white processed food. Ready meals, processed meats, and sugar. Limit dairy and wheat or try cutting out altogether for a few weeks, both are incredibly difficult to digest. Keep caffeine to a minimum, no more than two to three cups of tea or coffee a day, and drink plenty of good clean filtered or mineral water. That's eight medium glasses or one and a half to two litre's a day.
I hope you've found this to be of some benefit!
Now to put these tips in place....
Best wishes for a healthy robust digestive system.
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About Ruth Tansey
I'm a fully registered nutritional therapist with a passion for all things healthy. I specialise in gut and digestive related conditions such as IBS, and other bowel disorders, as well as ME/CFS, and fibromyalgia. As all disease starts with poor gut health I treat a wide number of ailments, from migraines and allergies, to eczema and heart disease.