Tummy troubles?

internal faults

Tummy troubles?

Did you know that the health of your digestive system is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing? One of the very first steps to eating healthier is getting your digestion on track. To get started, first take a good look at how you feel after you eat.

This will give you some idea about how well you are digesting your food. In our modern-day world, almost everyone suffers from compromised gut flora, which  provides the ideal environment for bad bacteria, parasites, viruses and other organisms to flourish, affecting one’s natural digestive abilities.

When your digestive system is off, it is likely that you will suffer from some type of digestive disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn or reflux and gas. If left unaddressed, these can even manifest into chronic health conditions.

But don’t fret! Here are some tips that can help you reverse your gut problems and bring a balance to your digestive system.

Reduce stress

There is a strong link between stress and digestion. Stress has the ability to interfere with your digestive system and your digestive processes. It inhibits salivation and leads to low stomach acid and a lack of the digestive juices required to properly break down your food. In fact, it can have a huge impact on your digestion. So, it is really important to make sure you are calm before, during and after your meal. There are many ways to reduce stress and you just have to find a way that works for you. Try meditation, breathing, gentle yoga, walking, sleeping, dancing or relaxing.

Chew your food properly

Digestion actually begins in your mouth, with chewing. Your saliva helps to liquefy and lubricate the food, but it also contains enzymes that actually begin chemically digesting carbohydrates in your mouth. Before meals, take a deep breath and eat slowly, eat consciously. Try not to rush meals, shovel food down your throat or grab hurried bites between errands. The more you chew, the easier it will be for your body to digest food and absorb its nutrients. Mealtime should be relaxing and enjoyable.

Love your liver

You can heal your digestive system by rejuvenating and supporting your liver to work efficiently and effectively. There are many ways you can do this. One of my favourite ways is to supplement with the herb called dandelion. In addition to this, consume nourishing soups, soup broths, salads and freshly-squeezed juices.

Eat a diet that is made up of exclusively real, whole foods. Real foods are those that are recognised by your body and can be broken down easily and naturally. These foods come from nature and are made by nature in entirety. Avoid fake foods like branded, processed and fast foods, as they are made in a laboratory and sold with huge marketing budgets and are extremely toxic to your digestive system, with their high dosages of refined salt, sugar and oils. Your body does not recognise fake foods and hence, cannot digest them properly.

Drink water at the right time

Water is one of the most essential elements for your overall health and digestive system. It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day for optimum digestive health. Also, remember that it’s best for digestion that you drink water about 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after eating a meal. This is because water can dilute the digestive juices and slow down the process. Hydrating in between meals will prevent thirst while eating, and will allow the digestive enzymes to do their job of breaking down the food you eat. If you struggle to drink just ordinary water during the day, try incorporating fresh fruit or lemon slices into your water to boost intake.

Keep your gut happy

Eating fermented foods is one of nature’s great healing secrets. The greater the
variety of fermented and cultured foods you can include in your diet, the better. Fermentation allows probiotics, enzymes and nutrients to flourish and multiply. Fruits and vegetables that have been fermented are so potent that only a few tablespoons each day will provide the body with a hefty digestive punch that can make a world of difference in gastrointestinal health Try including common fermented foods such as yoghurt, kanji, fermented vegetables, soy, kim chi and so on in your diet.

Don’t forget probiotics

Probiotics are microorganisms such as healthy bacteria and yeast that have been shown to dramatically improve gut health. Probiotics include L. acidophilus, which is a healthy bacterial strain that normally resides in the body, particularly in the mouth, intestines and urinary tract.

Probiotics are easily available as dietary supplements, which can be found in your local health food shop. Make sure you take a therapeutic dose. This would be approximately three to ten billion live culture to ensure that you get effective results and transform the health of your gut.

And, finally, the enzymes

Enzymes are proteins that facilitate chemical reactions in living organisms. In fact, they are required for every single chemical action that takes place in your body. All of your cells, organs, bones, muscles, and tissues are run by enzymes. Choose a digestive enzyme supplement that has a wide spectrum of digestive enzymes in it for maximum results. These are widely available in health food stores and natural health shops.

When it comes to digestion, how we eat our food is just as important as what we eat. And good digestion is key for weight loss, cleansing, energy and good health in general. If you are experiencing digestive problems or a chronic health condition, that’s your body sending you a signal.

Listen to your body and bring balance back to your digestive system. Remember when your gut is healthy, you will look and feel healthy from inside out.

(The author is a homeopath physician, cosmetic skin and homeo clinic, New
Delhi)

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