6 STEPS TO A HEALTHY AND HAPPY GUT
Is your gut leaky, nervous and maybe a little cranky? Join the club. It seems a growing number of illnesses, and in particular autoimmune diseases, stem from an unhappy gut.
We’ve done our research and sought the advice of gut gurus like Tabitha McIntosh, Dr Libby, Sarah Wilson, Mel Ambrosini and Scott Gooding to share with you our 6 simple steps to a healthy and happy gut.
Stomach acid (or hydrochloric acid) is super important for your digestion and nutrient assimilation. Having too little can cause just as many problems (if not more) than having too much. To boost your stomach acid, try these tips:
- Consume a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water about 30 minutes before meals. It will kick in and do the job of the missing acid
- Save your drink for after you’ve eaten. Don’t drink with meals. Especially cold water
- Add 1/4 cup of homemade or unpasteurized sauerkraut to each meal to stimulate stomach acid production
- Drink ginger tea or chew a piece of ginger between meals to stimulate stomach acid production
Slow down and chew
Inhale your food often? We all do from time to time. We’re either in a hurry to get somewhere or are just far too excited by the flavor of our food we forget to slow down and actually chew our food. But guess what? There are no more teeth to chew your food once the food has left your mouth! Why not try:
- Engaging in conversation
- Putting your fork down between each mouthful
- Chewing your food and swallowing it before you put the next mouthful in
Move your body
Contrary to what you might be thinking, and not exactly what you want to do when your feeling bloated and gassy, but moving your body works wonders on your digestive system. Whether a walk, jog or yoga (yoga in particular is a god send!), when you move, you encourage the blood to circulate through the stomach, which will make a world of difference.
Red flag foods to avoid
Gluten in general, dried fruits, too many beans and pulses, alcohol (especially on an empty belly), deep fried foods and sugar (even fruit salads – it’s better to eat one fruit at a time because different fruits digest at different speeds). You might want to consider soaking your brown rice and your nuts and seeds as well before eating to help improve your digestion!
A diet rich with probiotics
Fermented foods like yoghurt, kombucha and kimchi are rich in probiotics, which are great for your health. Fermented foods will introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and help the balance of bacteria in your gut. Probiotics help improve bowel health, aid digestion, and support immune system function, and just generally help you absorb more of the nutrients in the foods you eat.
For an additional probiotic supplement to your diet, there are recommended strains and brands so chat to your health professional first before purchasing.
Eat real foods
If your food was made by someone in a lab coat with ingredients you don’t recognise (let alone pronounce!) or has letters and numbers for a name, this is not real food. Buy fresh, real, wholesome foods grown from earth and served to your table. Try making your own sauces and dressings too. Processed sauces and dressings tend to be high in refined sugars, poor quality salt or oil. Make a couple of basic salad dressings and sauces and keep them in the fridge, ready to go.
Your gut health is key to your overall health so make your tummy your priority and enjoy this exciting new journey!