Have you ever experienced symptoms such as indigestion, reflux, wind, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea? These are among the most common health complaints that people live with every day. In fact, if these symptoms are left untreated, they can lead to more serious problems and affect the health of the whole body.
There are four key elements that promote healthy digestive function:
• maintaining the integrity of the gut lining
• having a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut
• adequate digestive enzyme function to break down foods
• eating a healthy and nutritious diet
It may seem simple enough, but if one of these areas is out of balance, it will impact on digestion and overall health.
There are lifestyle choices we make that can have affect and damage the gut such as drinking coffee and alcohol, poor diet choices and stress. The following nutrients help maintain a healthy gut lining:
• Glutamine is an amino acid beneficial for protecting and healing the gut, energising the cells in your gut and helps to repair your lining after trauma from infections, food intolerances and anti- inflammatory medications that affect the gut
• Licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory, soothing the lining of the gut and speeding healing time. It has been proven to improve symptoms including heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea
Our gut is home to a huge population of microbes. When the balance between microbes goes out of balance you may start to experience symptoms. Probiotics are a way of restoring the right amount of good bacteria, and making that balance just right. Probiotics can also be beneficial during and after antibiotics, and can relieve symptoms such as flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation.
Your body creates enzymes to do a multitude of functions, including the breakdown and digestion of food. The following enzymes support digestive health:
• Hydrochloric acid is a gastric enzyme in stomach acid, helping to break down food, and eliminate bad bacteria and microbes introduced to the digestive tract
• Pancreatic enzymes are produced by the pancreas, and are dispensed through pancreatic juice. These enzymes are involved in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the stomach
• Brush border enzymes are found in your intestines and further digest food particles
• Bile helps to break down fats and is needed for cholesterol synthesis
Making healthy food choices to achieve optimal gut health include:
• Cut out refined, processed and fast foods. Restrict sugary foods, cakes, lollies, soft drinks, bottled juices, ice creams and pastries
• Limit starchy carbohydrates to two serves daily and include protein rich foods at every meal and snack
• Eat fresh and organic as much as possible, choosing two serves of fresh fruits and at least three cups of fresh vegetables daily
• Include healthy oils, nuts and seeds in your diet too
• Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses per day and avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine and salt
If you are suffering from indigestion, reflux, wind, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea or suffering from a digestive condition contact the clinic for an appointment on (03) 9484 4668 or [email protected], about the many ways to help you restore your gut function and make your digestive system its healthiest