Improving your gut health can be a complex process and there are a lot of supplements out there claiming to make a huge difference. Let’s start with the basics below first!
Below are some tips to improve your digestive health and ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
1. Chew Your Food
Aim for 20-40 chews per bite to help to break down your food. The closer you get your food to a liquid before swallowing, the easier it will digest.
Following your training program and/or daily steps targets will help to improve the rate of digestion. You could also consider going for short brisk walks before, after, or between meals.
Maintaining sufficient hydration will help with digestion and also help to keep you regular as you pass food and fibre through your body. Ensure that you maintain adequate hydration levels on a daily basis, across the day.
4. Daily Bowel Movements
Consume sufficient fibre to achieve daily bowel movements. Again, ensure you are taking in adequate water as a high protein and fibre diet can be dehydrating. You want to aim for a transit time for 12-24 hours.
5. Breathe Into Your Stomach
By breathing into your stomach before, during, and after meals you will relax your body more and improve digestion. Sounds simple, and it is. Give it a go right now!
6. Use Room Temperature Water
Experts claim that cold water/fluids can contract your blood vessels and restrict digestion. It is believed that your body will utilise fluids once they have reached body temperature, so room temperature or warm water can be a decent approach.
7. Include Broths In Your Diet
Bone broth or stock provides a range of micronutrients and can aid in improved digestion and absorption of nutrients. You could use the broth when cooking or even add it to your rice in a rice cooker. I like the low sodium options.
8. Consume Sufficient Fibre
Including a minimum of two fruits and 200-600g of vegetables per day is a great way to get fibre in. Get a range of high fibre foods which include both soluble and insoluble fibre. I also recommend additions like oat bran or wheat bran which can be easily mixed into protein shakes, breakfast cereals, and yoghurt.
9. Consume Fermented Foods
Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria called probiotics which can help with digestive health. Some examples of this include sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, kombucha, olives, and yoghurt.
10. Improve Your Sleep
By improving your sleep you can also help to lower your stress levels and improve your digestion, just like breathing into your stomach will help in this regard. Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night.