This is the perfect time of the year to ensure your digestive system is in tip top shape! Especially when you know that the strength of your immune system is largely dependent on your gut health – so here are Go Vita’s top tips to improve your gut and immune health:
From a naturopathic perspective, people who suffer from tummy troubles are advised to avoid coffee, especially if they are prone to diarrhoea as caffeine stimulates the gut. Instead sip a cup of calming chamomile, it helps relax intestinal muscles, and alleviates stomach cramps, indigestion and bloating. Even just swapping out one coffee a day will have some benefits!
There is nothing better for your digestive system than pure alkalised water – a lack of water will slow down your digestive system and make stools harder to pass. The best way to know if you’ve drunk enough water is by the colour of your urine – at the end of the day it should be almost clear!
When you’re stressed your body diverts energy from digestive system to the brain and muscles to help respond to the stress stimuli – so it’s best to eat in a quiet and relaxed environment and to keep stress under control.
Because the fermentation process makes foods more digestible and introduces friendly bacteria to the digestive system, foods like miso, tempeh, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and yoghurt, are all great to eat on a daily basis to improve your digestion.
These are a type of non-digestible carbohydrate found in foods like leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, beans, chickpeas, lentils, Jerusalem artichoke, psyllium and slippery elm. Prebiotics are fuel for probiotics, and promote the growth and activity of the good bacteria in the gut.
If you aren’t a sauerkraut kind-of-person and you suffer from digestive health problems then a daily supplement of herbs, nutrients and prebiotics can help alleviate digestive discomfort and bloating. We recommend NutriVital Premium Gut Support Complex as its gentle but effective formula helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal and immune system function. As well as helping improve any digestive imbalances. It features slippery elm, marshmallow, turmeric, chamomile, globe artichoke and aloe vera – all these herbs provide benefits to the gut, ranging from soothing irritated or inflamed tissues to assisting with digestion. The formula also contains the prebiotic inulin, and two key nutrients glutamine and zinc, which assist with protein synthesis and support the body’s ability to recover from stress. Simply mix a teaspoon in water two or three times a day. It has a natural orange flavour.
Go for a short walk after your meal; exercise speeds up digestion, gets your heart pumping, increases blood flow to all organs, and stimulates muscles in your digestive tract.
Canadian research has shown that constipation and the pains associated with it are relieved by consuming soluble fibres such as psyllium husks – add a couple of teaspoons to juice at breakfast time.
With its strong antibiotic properties, Manuka honey is believed to help digestion. The presence of this sweet treat in the gut has been seen not only to kill disease causing bacteria, but improve the immune system by restoring the balance of probiotics in the gut. Mix with water and apple cider vinegar and take half an hour before a meal.