At the London Gastroenterology Centre, conducting private endoscopy in London, we understand that it can be hard to understand why your body is behaving in such a way when you feel you are eating healthily. We’ve discussed food which can benefit your digestive system, helping to alleviate undesirable issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, but what of drinks?
Some drinks are a great way of helping to flush your body out and others serve to exacerbate existing issues. Drinks containing caffeine are better skipped as they serve to stimulate mobility in the gastrointestinal tract; if you’re suffering from an existing stomach irritation, then you might want to stay near a toilet, as you’re asking for problems.
…having said that! Coffee can help you regulate your digestion by inducing the above, however drinking too much will have a laxative effect and could even lead to diarrhoea. This is not only undesirably uncomfortable, but also will lead to your body pushing through nutrients before it has even had time to absorb them. Don’t go caffeine crazy!
In every blog ever written about what’s good for XYZ, water always makes an appearance, so take heed! Every cell in your digestive tract contains this miracle of nature, which should indicate to you that it’s pretty important. So important in fact that without it your cells will fail to function fully. The moist environment created by water also allows for lubrication for food to move through your digestive tract.
Other digestive lubricants also rely on water, such as fibre which helps to regulate bowel movements. If you’re ever constipated, it could in fact be down to lack of water; if fibre is consumed without water it can have a slowing effect on the digestive system and leave you feeling uncomfortable. Respect the water! Around 20% of your daily recommended consumption of water is found in your food. The Institute of Medicine has determined that the sufficient amount of water to intake is around 13 cups (3 litres) for men and 9 cups (2.2 litres) for women.
Ginger tea has a wonderful effect on calming inflammation in the body. Drinking a warm cup of ginger tea may not necessarily be your thing but it is an excellent addition to a diet, soothing cramps and aiding in relieving nausea. Another wonderful trait of the humble ginger tea is its ability to aid in balancing stomach acid levels thus making your stomach more susceptible to a greater intake of nutrients. For flavour, (and for added live enzymes!) squeeze in some lemon juice.
Acidophilus milk is different to ‘run of the mill’ milk in that it is equipped with the probiotic lactobacillus acidophilus. This probiotic helps to promote stool regularity and can even prevent diarrhoea. Not only that, acidophilus milk helps to generate healthy intestinal flora which helps to break down food in your intestinal tract, making passing easier and increasing the absorption of nutrients through your intestinal membrane. Do not use acidophilus milk if lactose intolerant as you are setting yourself up for further digestion problems! Your body won’t thank you…
OK, it’s not strictly a drink but it’s drinkable. Jam-packed with soluble fibre, potato soup is easier to digest than insoluble fibre found in foods such as corn and bran. Potato soup helps to regulate your toilet usage and, like ginger, helps to reduce inflammation. Not only that, a small amount will keep you full, reducing the risk of scoffing-induced heartburn. Other benefits of the humble spud come in the form of it being an excellent source of Vitamins B and C as well as potassium. Plus, it’s delicious!
Helping your body to normalise your regularity will go a long way to making you feel that little bit more chipper, as well reducing the discomforts that come with a poor diet. Experiencing discomfort shouldn’t be ignored as, whilst it can just be attributed to eating poorly, it can sometimes be a sign of a larger problem. To speak to one of our professionals about any discomfort you may be feeling or to simply have a check up, don’t hesitate to contact us where we will be happy to help.