Many of us suffer from digestive problems, such as bloating and these can be a pretty unpleasant to deal with. However you don’t have to accept digestive discomfort as being a mere fact of life.
There are a number of lifestyle changes, such as eating the right foods and avoiding certain eating habits, that can go a long way to improving your digestive health.
Here we give a guide to some simple changes you can make to help improve the health of your digestive system.
Eat More Fibre
Fibre is an important part of any diet and can have a number of health benefits. For example, there is evidence to suggest that a diet high in fibre may help prevent conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.
Foods rich in fibre can also have a number of benefits for your digestive health too and are essential for the health of your digestive system, helping to aid digestion and prevent constipation.
There are two main types of dietary fibre and it’s important to include sources of both types in your diet.
Soluble fibres are water soluble and absorb water during digestion. They bind with special molecules known as fatty acids and help slow digestion. In this way they also act to slow down the absorption of sugar, helping to keep your blood sugar levels steadier. Important sources of soluble fibre include oats, barley, and root vegetables.
The other main type of fibre is insoluble fibre; these fibres remain unchanged during digestion and cannot be digested.
This kind of fibre aids the movement of waste through the digestive system, helping to prevent digestive problems. Insoluble fibre can be found in foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrain products and cereals.
Many of us are guilty of not including enough fibre in our diets. However, there are a number of easy ways to increase your fibre intake. For example, try swapping white bread for wholemeal and white rice for brown.
Cut Down on Fat
In addition to promoting weight gain, fatty foods can cause a number of problems for our digestive system too. For example, they are typically hard to digest and can make your digestive system more sluggish.
There are a number of ways you can cut back on your fat intake, such as by eating leaner cuts of meat and swapping whole milk for reduced fat options.
Physical activity can speed up digestion and exercise is in fact essential for regular bowel movements. Aerobic exercise helps to stimulate the contraction of your intestinal muscles helping waste to move more quickly through your digestive system.
Exercising can even help tone and strengthen the walls of your colon too. However, as a handy tip make sure you wait at least an hour after eating a large meal before engaging in any rigorous exercise.
Beat The Bloat
Bloating is a common problem that isn’t just triggered by overeating. Many people suffer from bloating on a regular basis, even when they haven’t eaten a large meal.
There are a number of ways you can beat the bloat, for example by cutting down on foods known to cause bloating, such as beans, cabbage and onions. Other common culprits include artificial sweeteners and rich fatty foods.
Eating too quickly has also being linked to an increased risk of bloating, so take your time and eat more slowly, this can help prevent overeating too.
The presence of gas in the abdomen can also contribute to bloating. Whilst roughly half of all gas in our digestive system is produced by the bacteria in our gut, the rest is swallowed air.
Cutting back on carbonated drinks and chewing gum can help reduce the amount of air you swallow, thereby helping to reduce bloating.
Hopefully these few handy hints and tips will help you to improve your digestive health.
Here at the London Gastroenterology Centre we are experts in digestive health. Our experienced doctors are renowned specialists in gastrointestinal diseases, and can offer a range of treatments, including acid reflux treatment and IBS treatment.
For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today, by giving us a call on 020 7183 7965 and a member of our knowledgeable team will be happy to help you with your enquires.