Your digestive system is one of the fundamental links to overall good health. It houses an incredible amount of nervous and immune tissue, as well as plays host to your microbiome – the community of bacteria that are major players in regulation of weight, inflammation and other important processes.
Get your digestive system in to tip top shape starting with these simple steps.
Chomp on chia
A chia pudding, or even a spoonful or two sprinkled on yogurt or oats is a great way to add soothing soluble fibre to your diet. It is a great non-irritating way to keep your bowels regular without inflaming a sensitive gut. Fibre also feeds our resident community of gut bacteria.
Don’t resist resistant starch.
Resistant starch has been a hotbed of nutrition research lately. It seems to be linked to regulation of both blood sugar and weight, and feeds our healthy bacteria preferentially. Easy to find sources include both potato salad (starch can become “resistant when cooked and cooled) or overnight (uncooked) oats. Start slowly and work your way up to a serving on most days for a happy and healthy bacterial community. More to come on the health benefits of resistant starch in a future blog post! Sign up for the newsletter to stay on top of posts and programs.
Hydrate all day
Fluids keep food moving at a steady pace through the gut and provide much needed moisture and lubrication to these sensitive cells and tissues. Any increase in fibre or plant foods in general without enough fluid will cause uncomfortable digestive distress without enough water to ease their passage. Choose mostly water but teas, coffee and milk are also good ways to keep your digestive tract well hydrated. I tote water with me everywhere – in the car, office, even on long walks. A good supply of reusable water bottles is a great start to making hydration a sustainable habit.
Try a tea
Teas with tummy friendly herbs like fennel or peppermint often help take the edge off an upset digestive system. Try something like this Eater’s Digest and see if it provides the extra relief you need.
Optimizing digestive health is one of the underlying principles here at Westcoast Nutrition – it is built in to our meal plans and guidelines. If you struggle with digestive distress, call and find out if we’re the right fit for your needs.