Our bodies can tell us a lot and listening to your gut not only helps you to make instinctive choices, but can also reveal underlying digestive issues. How do you know if your digestive system isn't doing so well? Symptoms of poor digestion include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas and abdominal cramps.
Now that you have an idea on the common signs, let's learn how to improve your digestion!
We are made up of 70% water. It hydrates our bodies by putting fluid back in the colon to help food move smoothly via peristalsis which allows us to absorb nutrients. How much water should you drink every day? The average amount would be at least 6 - 8 glasses of water daily. If you just can't drink that much, try including fruits and vegetables with a high water content like cucumber, celery, melons, oranges and strawberries. Drinking enough water also prevents constipation by softening stools.
How we eat our food also affects our bodies and digestion. Our stomachs cannot properly digest, unless it's broken down and chewed well beforehand. How long should we chew until swallowing? Once the solids turn into more of a liquid with the aid of saliva mixing to help break down protein from meats and starch from carbs into smaller particles. This will give your digestive system an easy time when it comes to processing what you eat and avoids symptoms such as indigestion or heartburn.
Eat more prebiotics
These are food fibers that feed a good amount of bacteria in the colon to ward off any pathogens in your intestinal tract. We get these prebiotics from plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Garlic for example is not only a flavourful herb, but its anti-inflammatory properties act as a superpower in fighting off disease-inducing bacteria from developing - the perfect wellness shot to include into your daily routine! How much should we eat every day? The recommended amount is 20-25 grams worth of fiber from indigestible carbs found in plants. If you can't consume all that at once, just add them one by one into your diet until you get there!
Eat more probiotics
These are fermented foods where Lactobacillus and other healthy microorganisms that help activate enzymes to break down fiber into usable energy have been added to it. They're already made up of a variety of products, for example yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir. How much should we eat every day? Usually, at least once a day - preferably on an empty stomach! Probiotics may improve symptoms of bloating, gas and IBS.
How active are your lifestyles? A lack of activity means the body is not moving around much to help food travel through the body. Also, there is less blood flowing to our digestive system because it's mostly concentrated in our muscles. How do we know if we're getting enough daily activity? We need to burn around 280 calories each day through activities like walking, running, cycling or even dancing. That should give you enough energy to go on throughout your daily tasks, whilst easing bloating and feelings of fullness.
Get more fiber
Another way to improve your digestion is Fiber from foods such as fruits and vegetables. These help keep our digestive system working properly overtime, as well as reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. How much fiber should you consume daily? 30 grams of indigestible carbs from plant foods would be enough for 1-2 days, so make sure you add a variety of these fiber sources to your diet - either eaten whole or freshly squeezed!
Less refined sugar
How much processed sugar are you consuming everyday? Most of the time we might be exposed to quite a lot without realising, especially in savoury foods such as ketchup, commercial soups and salad dressing. How does this affect our digestive system? The more refined sugar we consume, the more it increases bacteria which cause intestinal problems like diarrhea and colon infections! You can reduce some sugar by replacing white bread with whole grain breads, as well as switching sweets for fruit instead. As for drinks, replace soda with green mint tea which studies have shown to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Juicing for gut health
Want a quick, simple, delicious way of improving your digestion? Drinking raw, unprocessed fruits and veggies helps to promote only those gut-friendly ingredients that your body needs. In liquid form, beetroot, spinach, and kale are great sources of iron and fibre, ensuring that you receive plenty of essential nutrients to defend your body from viruses, whilst also being kind on your digestive system - think of it as giving your gut a day off!
Our cold pressed juices can be added as a healthy meal replacement or as a detoxifying supplement. We also offer 1,2,3,4, 5 + juice cleanse programmes, meaning it’s easier than ever to improve your digestion with one click!
Visit our website for more information and shop for plant-based food and drink that’s both delicious and daring.