The Good Gut Guide
This newsletter is all about the gut because efficient digestion and absorption are fundamental to good health. Constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating, pain, acid reflux and gut spasms are signs that all is not well. Patients with digestive complaints make up a significant part of my case load. It’s unusual for me to see a health questionnaire that doesn’t feature some digestive difficulty!
Our modern western diet with its over reliance on grains, sugar and fast food is not conducive to good gut health. You may know or suspect that certain foods make you feel uncomfortable and bloated. Here’s an idea: jot down everything you eat and drink over the course of four or five days and highlight any foods that occur regularly. My guess is that wheat may be one of them. Often, just reducing the amount of wheat consumed can make a big difference to symptoms of bloating, constipation and acid. There are lots of wheat-free recipes on my blog, the most popular being gluten-free muffins
(wheat is a gluten grain).
Choose a different coloured highlighter pen to mark foods that add fibre to the diet such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and whole grains. If the tally is on the low side, say four portions or fewer a day, I recommend you start to increase your intake to help sluggish bowels to come to life. You’ll also be feeding the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and are essential for good health and digestion.
Do you rush through meals or eat on the go? If so, you’ll do your digestive system a big favour by slowing down and chewing your food thoroughly; smaller particles of food mean less work for digestive enzymes and stomach acid.
Stress is known to affect the digestive process. So being calm when you eat and taking time to savour what’s on your plate is another good habit to develop.
Finally, don't put up with those uncomfortable symptoms. Contact me
for a confidential chat to see how nutritional therapy could transform the health of your gut.
If you suffer from prolonged digestive discomfort or blood in your stool, it is advisable to visit your GP.