A Guide to Improving your Digestion - Inside Out Beauty
A troubled digestive system can have its roots in a number of different factors and is an annoying, sometimes painful thing to live with. Common symptoms include upset stomach, rumbling bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and in severe cases vomiting. As part of our Inside Out Beauty season, we have compiled a quick guide on how to improve your digestion naturally.
You may be surprised to hear that improving your digestive health can also have a huge impact on the appearance of your skin. Food which has been in your digestive track for a long time will eventually start to produce toxins that spread around your body.
What causes a slow digestive system?
The best way of fighting digestive problems is by looking for preventatives rather than a cure. Simple changes to your diet can drastically improve the health of your gut. Dale Pinnock, also known as the medicinal chef, is one of the biggest supporters of eating your way to better health. When your digestive system is sluggish it is trying to tell you that there is an underlying problem with your diet. Here is a simple dietary checklist to work to:
Are you eating enough fibre?
It is a good target to eat around 20-30 grams of fibre per day. This can be hard to quantify so here is a guide of common ingredients that are good sources of fibre.
2 biscuits of Weetabix = 4g
A banana = 3.5g
Bowl of porridge = 2.5 g
Handful of raspberries = 8g
Two slices of wholegrain bread = 3.4 g
Lettuce = 2g
Handful of almonds = 3.5g
Apple = 2g
100g quinoa = 7g
185g of brown rice = 3.5 g
Serving of kidney beans = 5g
Serving of broccoli = 3g
100g of chickpeas = 17g
Baked potato = 3g
An undetected food allergy can also cause digestive discomfort. Keep an eye out for fatigue, rashes on your skin, swelling in your mouth and blood in your stool as all of these could be indicators of an allergy. You can read more about food allergies, and what to do if you think you may have one, on the NHS website
Regardless of food allergies, there are some food you will want to avoid is your system is working at a snail’s pace.
Cut down on the amount of milk you consume. Dairy is a hard food group to digest and results in bloating when the lactose isn’t properly digested.
Foods that are high in fat stimulate contractions in the digestive tract so it is best to avoid red meat, butter and cheese if you are already feeling discomfort. You should also avoid fried foods.
Foods with high acidity. Tomato sauce and citrus fruits are the most common in our diets.
Drinking too much alcohol can cause indigestion and can lead to dehydration.
The best natural digestion aids
Whilst a sensible diet can help alleviate some symptoms of digestive distress, you may choose to supplement your diet with some digestion aids.
Ginger is probably the most famous of all the natural digestion aids. Its distinct, warming flavour is commonly used to treat gastric complaints. There are many ways to take ginger but the easiest is probably as a tea. You can make a fresh ginger tea by adding ½ teaspoon to 200 ml of water and ½ a juiced lemon or buy ready-made lemon and ginger teabags for convenience.
Angelica has been shown to improve the symptoms of an upset stomach. A popular way of taking Angelica is as a tincture. The effects of angelica has been shown to be even more potent if taken in a combination with peppermint leaf, chamomile, milk thistle, celandine and lemon balm.
Turmeric is very popular in the culinary world but is heavily under-rated for its medicinal properties. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and shares many of the same properties, especially when it comes to aiding digestion. It is used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as a digestion aid and a calmative.
Turmeric will reduce gas and bloating as well as improving your body’s ability to digest fats.
You can either add Turmeric powder to your diet by knocking up some tasty middle-eastern recipes (careful on how spicy you make it) or by adding it to bitters.
Milk thistle helps to increase the production of bile which is used to break down fat in the small intestine. This should help to relieve constipation and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We’d recommend Dr. Stuarts Liver Detox Tea as an excellent source of milk thistle.
A prebiotic is a non-digestible fibre that can be used to stimulate the growth of favourable bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Vogel have created a powdered drink which is calorie free and suitable for vegetarians.
No related posts.