1) Look forward to your meals – this creates the cephalic effect which is the start of the digestive process. The thought of your meal, the smell and the sight of it will start off saliva production in your mouth and the flow of gastric juices in your stomach to break down your food, digesting it properly.
2) Chew thoroughly – this help break down your food more, making it easier to digest and absorb, getting out of it the nutrients you need for good health. Large pieces of undigested food can cause issue like bloating, gas, indigestion and reflux.
3) Don’t eat in front of TV, computer screen, while working or on the run – focus on enjoying your food and eating it slowly. Reading an annoying work e mail or while dashing about trying to do several jobs at once will switch off the digestive process.
4) Support a healthy microbiome by consuming probiotic type foods – yoghurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso – this will help create an abundant and diverse microflora which play a huge role in not just gut health but overall health and wellbeing.
5) Eat fibre rich foods e.g. fruit, vegetables, whole grains, flax and chia seeds help with motility or flow of food through the gut, adding bulk and lubrication to get the bowels moving.
6) Drink plenty of water – a simple but effective recommendation that supports digestion and can improve constipation. Getting rid of waste daily is important and is another way our bodies detoxify. Aim for 6 – 8 glasses per day.
7) Eat a variety of plant foods – the more variety in our diet, the more diverse and healthier our microbiome is. Aim for thirty different ones per week.
8) Bitter leaves like rocket, spinach, watercress, chicory and dandelion can stimulate digestive juices and also help support the liver. Add to a salads or green smoothies.
9) Apple Cider Vinegar – taken as a quick shot, diluted in water before meals can help the digestive process and reduce bloating.
10) Drink a glass of hot lemon water first thing – this can help cleanse the digestive tract and also stimulate digestion.
11) Avoid or reduce sugar or refined foods which encourage the growth of unwanted bacteria and yeasts like Candida which can cause chaos with our overall health.
12) Avoid overeating – this puts stress on your digestive system. Eating slowly will help you realise when you are full and stop before this happens.