How to improve your gut health is a hot topic these days and you can understand why, the digestive system is a complex and very important part of the body.

A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases.

Sophia Quayle from Totale Health has some simple tips to improve your gut health and support your body’s ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients obtained by foods.

Rest and Relax

Stress (mental, physical, emotional) can seriously disrupt your digestive system. Introduce stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, time in nature, lower your environmental exposure to stressors and, correct your diet.

Eat slower

Don’t just scoff your meal down. Chewing food thoroughly breaks it into smaller pieces which allows for better digestion and absorption of nutrients. Eating too quickly and not properly chewing food can lead to digestive complaints like bloating, flatulence, cramps, stomach pain and indigestion.

Eat fermented foods

Fermented foods are rich in probiotics which repopulate the gastrointestinal tract with beneficial bacterial needed to support optimal digestion and overall health. Eat foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, yoghurt, kombucha, miso and pickles.

Reduce inflammation

Avoid the consumption of inflammatory foods to support gut healing and repair. Adopt an anti-inflammatory / antioxidant rich diet such as the Mediterranean diet. Avoid consuming highly processed foods, caffeine, excessive red meat consumption, alcohol, refined sugars and fatty/greasy/fast foods.

Consume natural gut healers

Introduce foods and specific nutritional supplements to support the healing, repair and functioning of the gut. These include slippery elm powder, zinc, vitamin A, C, E, L-gluatmine, omega-3’s, good quality proteins, slow cooked nourishing meals, bone broth and collagen.

Ensure adequate clean water intake

It is important for overall health to consumer adequates amount of water daily. Water helps to keep food moving through the digestive tract and benefits the muscosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Aim for 2L of water per day.

Digestive enzymes

These assist with the breakdown of food we consume so we can better absorb nutrients. Introduce foods like papaya and kiwi which contain digestive enzymes, fibre and is high in vitamin C.