Digestive health is a major aspect of our overall health and should not be overlooked though it often is. As my GP recently put it “everything you eat and drink passes through your digestive system, only makes sense to make sure the system is in great shape.” Health experts believe that 90% of all diseases begin in the colon ‘death begins in the colon‘. A healthy digestive tract prevents diseases, strengthens our immune system and promotes regularity. By improving digestion we get more nutritional value from the foods we eat.
Probiotics are “live micro-organisms” that are primarily in the gastrointestinal tract. Their benefits include regulating intestinal health, improving digestion, supporting the immune system functions and deterring certain pathogens. Probiotics help intestinal bacteria perform their tasks more effectively.
To keep at being proactive with probiotic before a bacterial infection hits and a doctor prescribes an antibiotic; yoghurt has become a regular breakfast routine to keep my digestive system humming. Even though antibiotics do a great job they kill the good bacteria in our system commonly known as probiotic.
For those with problems digesting dairy, either take a supplement or fermented foods – most fermented foods have the same beneficial bacteria yoghurt has, load up on pickles, soya and rice based probiotic formulations are excellent dairy-free alternatives.
Just as simple things can upset your digestive system simple changes can help relieve an upset digestive system.
#Tip: Ginger – fresh ginger root stimulates digestive enzymes. Add ginger to your stir-fries, saute or sip fresh ginger tea.
#Tip: 7 natural ways to get bowel slowdown moving:
1) Do not skip meals: eating stimulates the reflex to keep things moving.
2) Make friends with fiber: vegetables, fruits, whole wheat breads – make the changes in diet gradually as introducing too much fiber at once can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea.
3) Yoghurt: live culture in yoghurt pushes food more efficiently.
4) Drink water: to soften things up.
5) Use a footstool: propping your feet with knees bent straightens the angle of your bowel.
6) Excercise: this stimulates bowel function.
7) Nutrients for digestive health: Apple, Black pepper, cabbage, cocoa.
The bottom-line is everybody is different. Some of our digestive tracts thrive on broccoli and yoghurt others on fruits,vegetables and water. Sometimes stopping to eat the food that is not agreeing with your body for a while is enough to have a happy gut.
Stay ahead of the pain and discomfort by following some of the tips above and working with your doctor to ensure your digestive system is in top shape.