7 Expert Tips For Better Digestion – SheerLuxe

“If you can’t start the day without a slice of toast or are partial to a sandwich at lunchtime, switch your regular loaf for sourdough. Sourdough is easier to digest as it contains live cultures which help support the growth of the good bacteria in the gut. Sourdough is also fermented for a prolonged period, which helps break down some of the gluten proteins, which also makes it easier to digest. Bertinet Bakery is a great brand to know. If you struggle with bloating and gas, try peppermint oil capsules, which studies show may slow intestinal movement. Yoga is also fantastic for stress-related bloating as it engages the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming us down.” 
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“Stress is one of the main factors that affects our digestive system. When we’re stressed, we’re far more likely to experience constipation, bloating and stomach pain. It can be easier said than done to ‘just relax’, so try taking a supplement for support. CBD products have been proven to help with stress, anxiety, pain and insomnia, and are worth a try if you feel you’re constantly on edge. CBD oil is by no means a miracle solution to digestion, but studies do show noticeable improvements to IBS symptoms with regular use.”
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“Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic recipe that’s known for its stomach-soothing properties. A combination of split mung beans and white basmati rice, it’s comforting, nourishing and great for intestinal repair and rejuvenation. White rice has contains less fibre than brown rice so it’s easier to break down and digest, while the lentils are high in protein, which makes it a balanced meal. Stir through a spoon of asafoetida – an Ayurvedic spice – to further support the stomach, aiding digestion and flatulence. If you are prone to bloating, consider cutting back on lactose – it’s estimated 65% of us are lactose intolerant – and avoid foods high in FODMAPs like onions, garlic and beans.”
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“Did you know digestion starts before you’ve started eating? When you think about food, look at food or smell delicious cooking, this helps secrete digestive enzymes from the stomach, which kickstart the digestive process. If we’re distracted when we eat or don’t pay attention to our food at mealtimes, we risk missing this crucial stage of digestion and bloating and indigestion is likely. Meanwhile, the vagus nerve – which runs from your brain to your stomach – tells the stomach to produce acid and churn food. If we’re stressed, the vagus nerve impairs digestion, resulting in gut symptoms. Activating the vagus nerve can improve the speed of digestion – try humming, singing or deep breathing. If you struggle with constipation, have a couple of kiwis and chia seeds for breakfast. The fibre in a kiwi has incredible water-holding capacities, while the fibre in chia seeds absorbs fluid and helps to create bulky, soft stools.”
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“Prebiotic foods are imperative for optimal digestion. Prebiotic foods contain non-digestible carbohydrates that we can’t digest – but our gut bacteria can. When our microbes have this food, they produce certain chemicals that can improve our overall health and immunity. Rich sources of prebiotics include onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, asparagus, olives, plums and apples. If you struggle with bloating and poor digestion, try to leave four hours between meals without snacking. If we constantly eat, this can lead to an accumulation of bacteria in the small intestine, which can lead to various digestive symptoms.”
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“Eating mindfully makes a difference. Get into the habit of chewing each mouthful 15-20 times and leave the table when you are 80% full. Taking your time with your food will help you gauge a better sense of your satiety levels before you overwhelm your digestive system. Starting your day with lemon juice in hot water will help your body produce adequate levels of stomach acid, enzymes and bile to break down and absorb nutrients from your food – add cayenne pepper for an added gut boost. Drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water before meals will also help increase stomach acid production to aid digestion. Bone broth is also fantastic for the gut – it’s restorative and anti-inflammatory, and contains amino acids which support the gut lining.”
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“Eat at least 30 different plant-based foods per week – this includes fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and spices. Studies show the more variety in our diet, the more diverse our gut microbes, which equates to better digestion. It is also worth eating more omega-3-rich foods – think oily fish like salmon, trout and mackerel – as these nourish your gut-brain axis, the communication system between your gut and brain which aids digestion. Polyphenol-rich foods – such as berries, olives and coffee – can also promote healthy gut bacteria. Don’t discount the power of exercise, either. Just 20 minutes a day, whether it’s a morning walk, yoga, swimming or weight training, will get your gut going (this is useful if you struggle with constipation) and has been shown to boost levels of our good gut bacteria.”
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DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.
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