1. Remove sugar and artificial sweetener.
One easy way to protect your digestive system from inflammation or to reduce any current inflammation is to reduce the amount of sugar you're putting in.
2. Consciously chew your food.
I’m sure you’ve heard you should be chewing your food 30 times per mouthful.
I know for most of us (myself included) that’s just too big a jump from where we all are now (practically swallowing food whole).
Let's build up to 30 chews per mouthful, and start firstly by being more conscious that we are actually chewing and delicious eating food. From here even chewing your food 10 more times than you normally would would be a start!
You want the smallest possible bits of food to enter your stomach so it’s easier to breakdown even further… think how hard your body has to work when you take a huge mouthful of food, chew 4 times and let your stomach take care of the rest.
3. Remove alcohol for a minimum of 4 weeks if gut healing is a priority.
There’s no way to get around it. Alcohol is inflammatory to the lining of your gut. If healing your gut is your goal, alcohol has no place in your plan.
4. Aim for wholefoods over processed foods.
Wholefoods are foods that have not undergone any processing (think foods closest to their natural form e.g. fruits, veggies, whole grains). They contain all of the original goodness, are more nutritious, higher in fibre and don’t have any added ingredients such as oils, trans fats and sugar.
Eating wholefoods and reducing processed foods will have an anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive system.
5. Stress management matters.
Our digestive system wears the brunt of our stress. Long-term stress affects our digestive processes, reduces absorption of all of the nutrients in our food, reduces our production of happy brain chemicals and contributes to conditions such as IBS and stomach ulcers.
When stress is uncontrolled all of our bodies energy goes to deal with the stress and there is none left for healing processes. Stress management should be part of your gut healing plan.
6. The more colourful your plate the better!
Colourful foods contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients help to reduce inflammation and prevent chronic disease. Count how many colours you can get into your meals.
7. Overeating harms your gut.
Giving your digestive system a break for a minimum of 12 hours overnight can help to restore balance and give your gut a much-needed rest!
8. Fibre is your friend - make sure you’re getting enough!
Fibre helps to feed the good bugs in your gut, it also helps to exercise the muscles in your digestive system, keeping them strong and happy.
9. Don’t avoid things like eggs and olive oil for fear of cholesterol and high-fat content. These foods are GOOD for your gut (and your health overall).
10. Eat all the probiotic foods.
Including a range of probiotics foods in your week will help to maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut. Try kimchi, tempeh, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, full-fat Greek yoghurt or goat’s yoghurt, kombucha, kefir.
As always get in touch if you're experiencing digestive symptoms and would like to some control back.