10 things that will aid your digestion
Good foods and bad foods: no matter who you are, I am sure you have a very comprehensive list! Growing up, one of my best buddies was severely lactose intolerant. This was before food intolerances became very fashionable and for the most part, she hated having to avoid dairy products because she loved them. An afternoon of ice cream would be followed by a night of throwing up. Bad digestion can be terrible for you and everyone around you.
There are many things which we can do to aid digestion. Here are some of the best I have found in my research.
1. Good bathroom posture
I will start with this as not enough people sit correctly on the loo. Not to be too graphic here, but you should be in the squatting position when you visit the smallest room in the house. If you would like some more information on how to “poop” properly – check out this great how-to-poo post from Wellness Mama.
2. Lemon juice
Every man and his dog is now telling us to drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon in the morning to aid digestion. I think this is a load of BS to tell you the truth but I do love squeezing lemon on just about everything. Body + Soul says: ‘Lemon juice is similar in atomic structure to the stomach’s digestive juices, it has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. It helps cleanse the bowel by flushing out waste more efficiently and stimulates the release of gastric juices, which aid digestion.’
3. Lots of water
This is something that I really believe in. If you have poor digestion I suggest that you start to drink as much water as you can (within reason – there have been many cases of people dying from drinking too much water, but you have to drink really excessive amounts, including a US radio stunt that caused a death).
According to Web MD: ‘Fibre, particularly insoluble fibre, can help people prevent constipation. It bulks up stools and keeps food moving through the digestive tract.’ OK – that’s fairly gross but we’re all adults here, right? Get some fibre into your diet and reap the benefits. Remember natural fibre is best.
5. Pro biotics
Pro biotics are organisms such as bacteria or yeast that are believed to improve health. They are available in both supplements and within foods. Personally, I am a huge fan of Yakult – it’s really popular in Australia and you can get it in many countries. It’s basically a mini yoghurt drink that tastes awesome. You can get it in 31 countries today.
6. Move more
If your digestion is sluggish – try moving more! Our bodies are designed to walk, run, jump and climb so try to let your body do these things once in a while. If your digestion is not what it should be, try some gentle exercise and see if you can ease yourself into better health.
7. Eat some good fat
It’s true: good fats can be great for digestion! At the moment, everyone is raving about coconut oil which is hilarious because for the last two decades we’ve been told that palm oil is the worst sort of fat you could eat. Some people find that fibre doesn’t work for them, but often good fats can help with constipation too.
Proceed with caution: some people find that beetroot helps with their digestion – some people find the opposite. Some people report bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain and other nasty side effects. However, for some, beetroot can help. Dr Kim says: ‘If you have a problem with constipation, red beets and their green tops may provide significant relief. Both are rich in fibre that can help keep waste materials moving through your small and large intestines at a healthy pace.’
Steel cut oats are the best, never get instant oats as they are overly processed. Eating a bowl of steel cut oats in the morning gives you a massive fibre hit that can aid your digestion and help with constipation and bloating. As well as this, they should keep you satisfied and full for a long time.
10. Cod liver oil
Ok, I have to admit that I have never, ever tried this, but it is highly and frequently recommended online. Cod liver oil is a nutritional supplement derived from liver of cod fish. As with most fish oils, it has high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Cod liver oil also contains vitamin A and vitamin D. It’s weird but it has been used since ancient Rome and before. Want to know more about it? Read this awesome post on cod liver oil by Keeper of the Home.