Today I am giving you some tips and information on ways to optimise your digestion and overall Gut health.
Separate drinks by 20 minutes from meals. Any extra liquid dilutes your stomach acid. Chew food well to allow stomach acid and digestive juices to flow and eat in a relaxed environment. This allows your body to be in a state of Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) dominance/ rest & digest.
The size of a person’s stomach is that of when you combine your two fists together interlinked. This is the size of protein and/or carbohydrates you can easily digest at a meal, you can add vegetables or salad to this as they are mainly water. This allows digestion to happen as there is then room for digestive juices to do their work.
Another helpful tip is to explore “intermittent fasting” if you wish, this is where you eat your last meal say at 6pm and then have nothing else until at least 6am the next morning, later on weekends, this gives the gut a break and allows healing to happen.
With gut health, it is possible that you have heard of the term “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability. This is when the proteins aren’t broken down properly and they leak through into the blood stream. The proteins in our food are supposed to get broken down into amino acids to get absorbed by the small intestine. The gut needs acid to do this step (breakdown or uncoiling the proteins), then the small intestine enzymes snip them up into small pieces that go through the blood stream & this is where we absorb our nutrients from. If this part is damaged, then we don’t receive optimal benefits from the food we eat & the bigger pieces that get through from the gut, start to cause trouble, like inflammation. By repairing the damaged villi that allow intestinal permeability to happen and ensuring there is enzymatic production and the stomach is not underactive with acid production or gastric juices, then over time this can be repaired which ideally allows for increased absorption of nutrients from the food you eat.
Keep in mind it has taken many years to get this way, therefore it takes considerable time to heal.
Be kind to yourself with food choices and eat everything in moderation, enjoying a balanced, colourful array of foods. Aim for a rainbow on your plate at most meals (green, red, orange, purple, yellow).
Dairy and gluten are both inflammatory and can affect your gut, bowels and eliminatory pathways and hinder your ability to lose weight. Weight gain is often a sign there is inflammation in your body.
Drink at least 2L per day of filtered water, more when you are working or exercising, room temperature is most suited for optimal digestion. Water not only hydrates you, it is essential to eliminate toxins from the body.
Choose proteins from a good source to provide “slow burn” and satiation. It needs to be in a form your Gut can currently digest. I recommend any red meat is marinated in papaw, pineapple, kiwi or lemon juice for a few hours before cooking, slow cooked meats are preferable. These fruits provide the enzymes your tummy may currently be lacking to break down the protein into amino acids (building blocks of proteins) so that you can digest and receive the benefits, without the added burden to your Gut.
Fish or chicken may be a better option as they are easier to digest. Eggs are a wonderful source of protein and they are a whole food as Mother Nature intended, if you eat the yolk & egg white. Where possible buy organic or a reputable free-range egg.
Carbohydrates need to be in a complex form, they are whole grains, avoid anything white, as it has a deficit effect on your body, more so when your digestion is struggling.