Importance of Digestive and Bowel Health

Optimum health depends on the food you eat being digested and nutrients being absorbed properly.  It also depends on waste and toxins being continuously moved out through your bowels.

80% of our immune system is in the digestive system too, so proper immune function also depends on everything working properly.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), diarrhoea, constipation, wind, bloating, diverticulosis,  and other inflammatory bowel or auto immune conditions are all caused by a digestive and/or bowel system working at a less than optimal level.

Lack of sleep, stress, a poor diet, too much or not enough exercise, medications (including over the counter) are some of the factors that cause your digestive system to become faulty.

 

What can you do to help? Follow these simple steps to improve your digestive health, but if symptoms persist, see you health professional:

  • Stop taking unnecessary medications.  Some people are popping anti-inflammatories, paracetamol and other drugs like they’re lollies.  If you’re taking them on medical advice, make sure you keep seeing your professional health care provider and check if  you should still be taking them.
  • Drink more water which as a bonus will help with your fat loss if that is one of your goals
  • Try L-glutmine which is an inexpensive amino acid which nourishes and helps to repair the intestinal mucosa.  It benefits the immune system as well and helps with nutrient absorption.  Taken dissolved in a little water on an empty stomach ( I have it first thing in the morning) is the best way to get the best results.
  • Increase fibre by eating more fibrous vegetables and a little fruit. And guess what, also has the side effect of helping with fat loss.
  • Get more sleep.  This is sometimes not possible, but do you really need to sit up and watch some of the TV shows that are on at night.  You’d be heaps better off by getting an extra hour or 2 of sleep for many reasons, including better digestive health and FAT LOSS!
  • Take probiotics.  Its just not enough to eat yoghurt.  You may need to take a probiotic at least until you see (or feel) improvement.  I take one daily and notice a huge difference with my digestive health symptoms.
  • Digestive Enzymes.  I recommend these for most of my clients as part of reestabishing a healthy diet.  Till everything is functioning again 100% digestive enzymes will help your body to digest and absorb more nutrients from your food.
  • Eat less (or preferable none) high reaction foods.  Some of these are; grains, dairy products, fructose, honey, cabbage, sweet corn, all sweeteners that end in ” ‘ol” , legumes, pulses, mushrooms for some, eggs for some, capsicum, tomatoes, eggplant.  You may not even realise that some of these are a problem for you till you eliminate them for a while and then add them back in.

Also taking simple steps like chewing food properly (did you know this is actually a step in the digestion process, not just something to make it easier to swallow?) and going to the toilet when you need to (as opposed to hanging on) will really, really help!

So if you suffer from any of the above symptoms, start straight away on the above tips and you’ll notice a difference.  As a bonus, you’ll also be improving your immune system health which is always important but especially at this time of year.