For anyone who experiences poor digestive health, they understand that an unhappy gut can lead to a plethora of other issues, with discomfort and pain only a small part of the problems associated with digestive health illness.
Improving digestion also reduces reactivity to foods that can impact health and wellbeing.
Conditions associated with poor gut health:
- Bloating can be caused by weak digestion, lack of digestive juices, parasites, fungus, food intolerances, fluid retention, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, gas and cancer.
- Irritable bowel can result in a range of symptoms, including cramping, bloating and constipation alternating with diarrhoea and gas. This can be caused by stress, food intolerances, a poor diet and lack of nutrients, e.g. magnesium.
- Leaky Gut is a common condition that people often don’t know they have. Over time, the gut lining can become disrupted from constant irritation, allowing bacteria, toxins and food to leak into the bloodstream via the cells of the gut lining. This can lead to food intolerances, candida, parasites, fatty acid and mineral deficiencies and overall gut inflammation.
Other conditions associated with poor gut health include appendicitis, candida, colitis, constipation, diarrhoea, fissures, flatulence, hypoglycaemia, reflux, ulcers, insulin resistance and weight gain.
So what can we eat to assist our gut and help out our digestive system?
Containing a huge dose of nutrients and antioxidants, these tiny seeds are packed full of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals.
Just two tablespoons of chia seeds can provide up to 10 grams of fibre which helps to reduce inflammation and regulate bowel movements.
Although potentially not suitable for those with IBS or anyone following the FODMAP diet, garlic can assist with the clearing of intestinal problems like dysentery, diarrhoea and colitis.
Garlic is also known to destroy harmful bacteria in the intestines.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, ginger has been used to assist digestion and treat stomach discomfort for over 2000 years.
Ginger can assist digestion and reduce pains from gas or bloating, by toning muscles in the intestine and stimulating the breaking down of food particles.
This ancient spice can be eaten raw, cooked, or steeped in tea – for maximum digestive benefits.
This powerful vegetable has a high fibre content, acting to cleanse the digestive tract and stimulate movement through the intestines.
Zucchini also helps with preventing carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon.
To get the most out of your zucchini – leave on the skin when preparing meals, and if possible, eat raw.
Containing high levels of probiotics, they also help to break down and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins within the body.