Good digestive health is essential to our overall health and wellbeing.
You can help improve your digestive health through a number of different methods. Consider the following ways to improve your digestive health:
Eat a variety of high fibre quality foods
There are a number of different types of fibre, and they act synergistically in order to promote digestive health. For example, soluble fibre such as that found in oats and psyllium helps to slow the amount of time that food moves through the gut, improving the uptake of absorption of nutrients. Insoluble fibre helps to bulk up stools, and to remove toxins and waste from the digestive tract more efficiently. Resistant starch which is found in bananas (and other starchy foods such as potato) breaks down into short chain fatty acids that feed good bacteria in the stomach, and aid in helping repair the cells of the bowel.
Rebalance with Probiotics
Probiotics (which are good bacteria) help to keep the digestive system functioning well, and perform various tasks in the bowels including:
- fermenting and breaking down fibre in the bowel, providing food for cells in the digestive system and enhancing metabolism
- maintaining the correct pH balance in the large bowel, ensuring that metabolic processes are properly maintained
- contributing to stool mass and thereby making fecal matter easier to pass
- prevent the population of nasty bacteria from entering into the digestive tract and causing illness
Probiotic supplements can aid in promoting digestive health, or by consuming them in probiotic drinks and including yogurt in the diet.
Maintain Grains and Carbohydrates in the Diet
Many Australians have believed that the recommended serving numbers of grain based foods was 2.5 per day, however the Australian national dietary guidelines are for four servings of grains per day. Grains contain a number of different types of fibres and minerals that are integral to digestive health and metabolic function. There are grains that are suitable alternatives to wheat for those who prefer to avoid highly processed commercial breads, and many people have moved across to eating foods such as spelt breads, rye and other grains that are less irritating to the digestive tract.
Constipation can be Caused From Dehydration
Maintaining reasonable levels of fluid in the body is critical to optimum digestive function. During the digestive process, up to ten litres of fluid are involved in the process, demonstrating the critical important of ensuring that a person maintains a good fluid balance. Water is the best fluid to maintain hydration and help to flush and eliminate toxins from the body.
Examine Your Life Holistically
Exercise, a healthy diet in general, plenty of sleep, and a reduced intake of toxic substances such as tobacco, alcohol and caffeine that place additional load on the body’s toxin elimination systems can have a negative impact on the digestive system overall. Health is improved by clean living, removing as many toxins and added chemicals from the diet as possible and focusing on wellness.
Naturopathic Assistance in Digestive Health
A naturopath can examine a patient’s current lifestyle and diet, and advise a patient on keeping a food diary. A naturopath can also refer a patient for colonic hydrotherapy which is a treatment modality which quickly removes toxins from the digestive tract and aids in promoting health and wellbeing.
Following a healthy diet, exercising, taking prescribed herbs and receiving colonic hydrotherapy as part of an overall digestive treatment plan can vastly improve the health of a patient.