Do you want to achieve optimal overall health?
Read below and find out how improving your digestive system can affect your health and how changing your diet can make a difference today.
Your digestive system breaks down the food you eat into the nutrients your body needs. If you neglect your digestive health, your body could run into problems absorbing those nutrients.
The food you eat also feeds trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in you gut. Bacteria and other microbes play an essential role in keeping you healthy; majority of the bacteria live in the large intestine where they play a vital role in digestion, immune function and weight regulation. What you eat can change your microbes, therefore it is important to eat the right foods to feed the friendly bacteria.
Studies have associated microbes with a lower incidence of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, asthma, depression, autism, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s and many allergies.
Consuming a diet high in fibre, wholegrains, vegetables, legumes and fruits can improve digestive health drastically. A high-fibre diet helps to move food moving through the digestive tract which makes you less likely to get constipated. In addition, a high-fibre diet can help you prevent and even treat conditions like diverticulosis, haemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome.
There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble which helps your digestive system in different ways. Insoluble fibre, also known as roughage cannot be digested by the body and helps add bulk to the stools. Food sources include wheat bran, vegetables and wholegrains. On the other hand, soluble fibre draws in water and can help watery stools. Oat bran, nuts, seeds and legumes are rich sources of soluble fibre.
Fermentable fibres can be digested by friendly gut bacteria and use this as fuel; this in turn increases the number of friendly gut bacteria which also produces short-chain fatty acids. Fermentable fibres include pectins (apples, pears, plums), beta-glucans (seaweed, oats and wholegrains), guar gum, inulin (onions and garlic) and oligofructose (Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, chicory root, bananas).
High fat foods slow down the digestive tract, increasing chances of constipation. Having said that, it is important to consume some fat, particularly ‘good fats’, pairing fatty foods with high-fibre foods can make it easier for the digestive system.
Protein is an essential part of a healthful diet, but fatty cuts of meat can lead to uncomfortable digestion. When you eat meat, select lean cuts, such as pork loin and skinless poultry. TO weaken some of the tough protein in meat, adding lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can break these down aiding digestion.
Incorporating probiotics and prebiotics in your diet can feed live bacteria to the gut, this includes live yoghurt, some cheeses and fermented foods. Probiotics can enhance nutrient absorption, may help break down lactose, strengthen your immune system, and possibly help manage the symptoms of IBS. Prebiotics feed the beneficial bacteria and encourage the development of a diverse community of microbes. These foods are complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and wholegrains.
Other things that can improve your diet include
- Eating on schedule
- Staying hydrated
- Reducing consumption of caffeine and alcohol
- Exercising regularly
- Managing stress
A Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioner can help restore healthy digestive system by taking a comprehensive health history, getting any lab tests necessary (comprehensive stool test, intestinal permeability screening, food intolerance, etc) and guide you through a treatment plan. This can include removing all food toxins from your diet, maximising digestive capacity using supplemental acid and enzymes, encouraging consumption of fermentable fibres, fermented foods, treating intestinal pathogens and managing stress.
A healthier digestive system means a healthier you!
If this resonates with you then…
Take advantage of our 15-minute sessions either with a Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioner, designed to give you the support you need with your concerns and to get you started on your road to recovery. Find very quick and effective results!
At Perfect Balance Clinic, our Nutritionists or Functional Medicine Practitioners will provide you with an important assessment of your condition and discuss many routes to explore for optimum health. Our assessment covers important aspects that most practitioners seem to miss in normal sessions with their clients. This allows us to accelerate your recovery! Simply use the contact form below to provide us with your details to get booked in.