Improving Your Digestive Health
Soup for the soul (and gut)
It is recommended that you add homemade bone broths to your diet and try to include them in meals as often as you can. Use them in soups and stews, gravies, pasta sauces, casseroles and pot pies, or even drink them by the mug with or in between your meals. Truly healing and soothing to the gut, bone broths are a frugal homemaker’s best friend on the road to better health. Broths are cheap and easy to make and when made correctly, are powerhouses of gut-healing gelatin and other nourishing nutrients. Who doesn’t like to eat soup? They are tasty, creamy and go well with everything. Get a taste on hearty soups by famous wholesome food brands like Country Farm or BMS Organics.
Drink less with your every meal
When you drink a lot during a meal, the liquid consumed dilutes the levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Without sufficient hydrochloric acid, digestion cannot take place quickly or smoothly. Try to have your drinks at least 30 minutes before, or 30-60 minutes after you eat. Additionally, beverages that are room temperature are easier on the digestive system than really cool drinks, so skip the ice if you can.
Soak, sprout or ferment your grains, nuts, legumes and seeds
Avoid white flour that has not been naturally leavened with sourdough. Commercial yeast does not properly ferment the grains like traditional sourdough or wild yeasts. Some people who eat white flour face the risk of being constipated. To overcome this, it is recommended that you eat sourdough and soaked oats.
Exercise can actually help with your digestion as it promotes movements within your bowels. In addition to that, as your body needs to assimilate the food into energy, exercise will help to improve your body’s metabolism which will allow your food to be digested quicker. Thus, it is important to remain active each day and develop a consistent exercise/physical activity routine and a healthy lifestyle.
Limit your fibre intake
High fibre foods are very hard on your digestive tract and can damage your gut lining. If you eat grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, make sure they are properly prepared.
Drink and cook with filtered water, not tap water
Why is this important? Because tap water is chlorinated. Chlorine kills bacteria — both good and bad. If you want to put good bacteria into your digestive tract, you don’t want to douse chlorine on it.
Prebiotics feed probiotics, or more easily referred to as good bacteria. We want these good bacteria to thrive, and so we provide them with a source of food. Many foods are prebiotics, including onions, garlic, leeks, apples and bananas, and herbs like chicory root or dandelion root (try drinking Dandy Blend or other coffee alternative — or dandelion root tea). Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is also a prebiotic and is said to help with heartburn.
Do an elimination diet
If your digestion is very bad, you have other health problems related to digestive issues or none of the above has worked, try going on an elimination diet. This is not for everyone but it may solve your problems. It is one of many ways to recover from digestive ills. Elimination diets require you to remove all common allergens from your diet for 3-4 weeks. This includes wheat, dairy, corn, soy, etc. Also you have to avoid all sugar; pathogenic bacteria thrive on sugar and white flour.
Reduce your refined sugar and grains intake
If you care about your gut, remember to eat sugar and grains that are less refined. These sugars and refined carbohydrates feed the growth of yeast like Candida and other bad bacteria in the digestive tract, which is bad news for our gut health. These are a huge part of the reasons why we have to work so hard to rebalance our gut bacteria so that the good bacteria win out. As such, cutting these refined foods out is a major step in the battle for gut health.
Eat coconut oil and cook with it
According to Jordan Rubin, “Coconut oil is anti-viral, and contains lauric, capric and caprylic acids — recommended to combat candida.” Coconut oil makes a good substitute for the peanut oil that we usually use in our cooking. Use coconut oil for frying, curries, even for confectionery and desserts.
Having and enjoying a healthy digestive system is certainly not that complicated if you are willing to put an effort to it for your own good. By following these simple tips and ensuring that you’re consuming the right foods and enjoying a balanced diet and lifestyle, you will significantly reduce the chance of experiencing digestive problems, developing colon cancer and low body immunity.