Gut health is a hot topic these days and it seems like more and more people are suffering with digestive discomfort. Although these easy hacks aren't going to cure any medical conditions, making some simple changes to the way you eat and your general lifestyle could be the solution to your tummy troubles. So before you head to the health food store to load up on expensive gut-enhancing products, give these top tips for better digestion a try…
Chew Your Food
Although many of us chew our food only a couple of times, it’s actually recommended that we chew each mouthful up to 30 times! It might feel strange at first, but giving your stomach a helping hand by chewing more thoroughly could make a huge difference to your digestion.
Over the course of a week we spend a substantial amount of time in the kitchen, however after all the effort of cooking, we often wolf down the finished product in less than 5 minutes! Slow down, take breaks and put your fork down in between bites to prevent sending your digestive system into overdrive.
Eat Without Distractions
Always eating lunch in front of your laptop and dinner in front of the TV? Do you ever eat a meal and hardly register what's going in your mouth? Eating without distractions is great for improving the digestive process, and also helps you to get better at the tips above! Savour your meals and focus on each bite to get in tune with your hunger signals and make sure your stomach knows it’s time to get to work.
You’d be surprised at how much of an effect stress can have on your digestion - there’s a reason that people tell you to trust your gut! Your gut has a strong relationship with your brain, so when your brain is feeling troubled it's likely you'll feel this in your stomach too. Try scheduling a little more rest and relaxation time into your week and make sure to take a few deep breaths before eating your dinner.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, are often found in products marketed as being healthy, due to it's calorie content. However, eating too many of these isn’t always easy on the gut. It's not uncommon for people to blame whey protein for their tummy troubles, until they switch to a naturally sweetened, higher-quality protein and realise that the artificial sweeteners were the real culprits!
Listen To Your Body
Stomach feeling gassy after that soya latte? Always feeling sick after eating mushrooms? Start keeping a food diary to check whether you’re getting symptoms after eating particular foods, as it could actually be an intolerance that’s causing your problems. Listen to your body and eat what makes you feel good… just because it might be ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean it necessarily works for you!
Ditch The Skinny Jeans
Did you know that your skinny jeans could be responsible for some of your poor digestive health? Whilst super tight jeans and high-waisted workout leggings might look great, all that squeezing they’re doing is putting extra pressure on your internal organs, preventing them from doing their job and digesting your food properly - time to get the baggy sweatpants at the ready!