How can I improve my digestive health?
With the rise of leaky gut syndrome, food allergies, and other gastrointestinal disorders, it is more important than ever to be mindful of your gut health. Much of your over-all health is related to or dependent on the health of your gut. A proper digestive system function is crucial for nutrient absorption and assimilation, immune function, bowel regularity, and much more. There are many factors that can interfere with your digestion such as environmental toxins, food additives, stress, medications, the use of antacids, consuming foods one is intolerant too, and a poor diet with inadequate fibre and water. Luckily there are many things you can do to support your digestion system.
Lifestyle Tips for Improved Digestion
What are some lifestyle changes I can make to improve my digestion?
Consuming plenty of water is essential, which is about 2 litres for the average person, however this will vary depending on individual needs. Including enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will ensure you are getting enough fibre which will help regulate bowel movements and reduce symptoms of bloating. Engaging in exercise and stress-reducing techniques, as well as avoiding alcohol and heavily processed foods may also help with digestion. Another habit that can lead to digestive disturbances is not chewing your food enough and eating too quickly. This can lead to food staying in your stomach too long and make it difficult to pass through the intestines, leading to gas, bloating, and constipation.
What digestive supplements can I take to improve my digestion?
- Digestive enzymes– Some people do not produce enough digestive enzymes needed to break down their food properly, so they may want to consider taking supplemental enzymes such as EnzymeForce with their meals. These can also be taken with large meals to help avoid feeling bloated and lethargic.
- Probiotics– Taking a good quality probiotic such as New Roots Probiotic Intensity is also a good idea as it helps promote a balanced gut microbiome which may improve digestion, immune function, and even mood.
- Fibre Supplements– For those who struggle with getting enough fibre in their diet, there are products such as Dailycleanse which is a fibre-blend powder that can be added to foods like smoothies and shakes. By increasing fibre intake you can increase bowel movements frequency, support detoxification, and help prevent digestive conditions such as IBS, Polyps, and dysbiosis.
- Betaine HCL- This is beneficial for those who experience acid reflux, as many times doctors tend to prescribe ant-acids, which lower and neutralize stomach acid when in many cases the opposite needs to happen. In natural medicine, it is believed that improving the acid levels in the stomach will stop the valve from opening which leads to acid pushing up into the esophagus causing the sensation of heartburn. HCL (hydrochloric acid) is necessary in the breakdown of proteins as well as killing bad bacteria in the stomach. Therefore, inhibiting stomach acid can do more harm than good.
Written by Hayley Dickenson (RHN), certified holistic nutritionist