Perks of a Healthy Digestive System
Digestion. It happens inside all of us every day, and put simply converts food in to nutrients. In practice, digestion is a complex system and has the power to influence how we feel on any given day. Healthy digestion can be the difference between feeling energised, or feeling lethargic and bloated.
5 Ways to Improve Your Digestion
We've found digestion to be a very personal thing. Some people have food intolerances, others don't. Some people are more prone to reflux, heartburn or bloating, while others seem to be immune no matter what they eat or drink.
Here are 5 methods you can try to keep your digestive system running smoothly. Each of these can help with absorbing important nutrients efficiently, while minimising distressing symptoms.
Increase your fibre intake
A diet rich in fibre can help improve digestion, and reduce constipation. It is also absolutely essential for a healthy gut microbiome (or a happy tummy!) Most people in the UK still do not get the minimum recommended 30g a day.
The best sources of fibre? Plant-based food! Veggies, beans, and wholegrains are all wonderful sources.
Is there such a thing as too much fibre? It's a great question, and one we are going to write an upcoming blog about. In short, no... as long as you're used to it. Discomfort can occur if you jump from (for example) 5g daily to 50g daily. For a smooth transition, try adding more plant-based food to your diet gradually. We've heard a Nourish Bud Build Your Own package is perfect for that ;).
Lots of water is brilliant as a digestion aid. For some people, caffeine and fizzy drinks can cause heartburn and/or reflux. If that sounds like you, cutting back could be an option. And, if you can't imagine life without your morning coffee (we're on your side), perhaps try limiting it to 1-2 cups a day.
Eat "Real" Foods
Some major components of a typical Western diet include refined carbohydrates, and food additives, which are found in highly processed foods. These have been linked to an increased risk of digestive issues. Although hugely difficult to cut out any modern diet altogether, basing the majority of your diet on "whole foods" (or "real" foods) that humans have eaten for millennia can have myriad health benefits.
Take steps to manage stress
Again, modern lives, modern work, and modern expectations make it virtually impossible to avoid stress altogether. But, stress hormones can wreak havoc with our digestive system. Stress-related IBS and stomach ulcers are just two potential consequences.
Solutions a lot of people find useful include yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. Personally, we find that a spot of yoga, and taking time to properly wind down and switch off in the evenings are great tools for managing our own stress.
Exercise to improve digestion
The simple act of physically moving round is one sure way to... well, "get other things moving"!
Everything from a walk to HIIT can improve digestion, as well as having so many other health benefits! Especially if you work at a desk most of the day, just 30 minutes of exercise can make the world of difference.
By Luke Tonks
Luke is one of the Nourish Bud co-founders, and a ‘foodie’ through and through. Loves cooking but mainly because it means he gets to eat straight after. Created Nourish Bud to share the delights of quality plant-based food with everyone.