One of the most disruptive everyday health problems, even if we’re eating healthy, is digestive issues. Arising in forms such as indigestion, bloating, IBS, acid reflux and even diarrhoea, issues with digestion are not only uncomfortable but can also lead to serious health problems if left unattended.
On this episode of B Inspired with PurelyB, holistic health coach Nika Karan sheds some light on the digestive system and shares tips on how we can avoid common mistakes and what we can do to heal our digestive systems naturally.
Spot The Symptoms
Symptoms can range from the general feeling of discomfort after a heavy meal, headaches and even fatigue.
While these are all simple issues not often associated with the digestive system, they can often be linked back to indicate the status of your digestive system. Popping a Panadol might relieve discomfort temporarily, but it will only cause you more harm to your overall health.
A simple course of antibiotics can actually wipe out the good bacteria in your gut in the process, and in turn harm the health of your digestive system.
Did you know: It can take up to one year to rebuild your gut health to its optimal level again after a course of antibiotics?
But Why Does It All Matter?
Scientist now know that 70% of our immune system depends on the health of our gut.
With this in mind, it’s crucial that we start taking care of our digestive systems by being mindful of what we eat and learn to nourish our bodies with wholesome and healthy foods that will benefit our digestive system.
We Are What We Absorb
But how is it possible that some of us may eat the healthiest foods and still not feel the benefits?
Put simply: We are not what we eat, we are what we digest and absorb.
After all, if your body is unable to break down and absorb the nutrients from the food you are eating, it will not be able to reap the benefits. Your efforts to eat the most nutritious foods may not be as effective if your body can’t assimilate and use the nutrients.
Could You Be Weakening Your Digestive System?
To ensure we optimise our overall health, we need to be aware of the factors that can actually weaken our digestive system. Many habits in our modern lifestyle are some of the biggest causes of degrading digestive health.
In today’s busy world, we are all constantly on-the-go which leads to the tendency of consuming processed and ready-made food for convenience. In turn, we become immune to just what we are putting in our bodies.
Processed and ready-made meals are often filled with additives, colouring, MSG, trans fat which all will have a negative effect on the digestive system, especially when accumulated by being consumed on a regular basis.
Lack of water consumption
Not having enough intake of water is a common epidemic. When we’re busy we often forget to keep hydrated throughout the day which will in turn, influences the gut bacteria present in our stomach.
Something we experience everyday in life, stress has an major impact on our gut health and is a major killer of the good bacteria in the intestine. Stress management is key to a healthy gut. While we know we can’t avoid the imminent reign of stress in life, one thing we can take control of is how to manage and have a healthy response to stress.
Nika’s tip: Practicing yoga and even meditation can help keep your stress levels in check.
Practices To Improve Your Digestive Health
There are a number of simple and effective things that you can do to heal your gut through diet and lifestyle.
Start your day with a glass of warm water
Warm water with lemon will stimulate your digestive system and is a great way to wake up the body. Another great alternative to can add to your water is apple cider vinegar.
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are full of antioxidants and as a modern diet tends to be acidic, adding alkalizing foods such as leafy greens will help improve digestion. It also works as a probiotic that feeds the good bacteria in our gut.
Implement more fermented food into your diet
Foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir have all good bacteria that will start populating your gut. Not only will you start feeling better but your digestion will improve as well.
Practice undistracted, mindful eating
Small changes like eating a little slower and chewing your food more can make all the difference. The longer we chew on our food the easier it will be on our digestive system. So slow down, enjoy your meal and no rushing!
Daily movement to stimulate digestion
Get moving! We should definitely move more everyday and exercise on a regular basis to stimulate the digestive system. It doesn’t have to be strenuous strength workouts everyday, but simple walks and yoga stretches can help too.
Are You Making These Common Mistakes?
Being inspired to make a lifestyle change is great, but if not properly prepared you run the risk of doing more harm than good to your health.
1. The Quick Fix
The number one mistake made when wanting to start a lifestyle change is the expectation of immediate results.
Being used to your old eating habits can mean your body needs more time to adapt to the new changes.
Nika’s story: Inspired by what she’d seen online, she prepped a whole week’s worth of salads — but this only made her feel bloated and worse. Why? The adjustment to raw foods that her body wasn’t familiar with was too sudden.
And one size doesn’t fit all either. Avocados may be the poster health food but Nika found out she was allergic to it by observing that she felt sick everytime after she consumed it. What might work for others might not be the best for you.
Do This Instead
Listen to your body. Mindfulness around food is crucial. Understand your body and then be the judge of what kind of foods are right for you. How your digestion reacts to certain food is the way to understand your body.
2. Not Being Equipped With The Correct Information
On top of taking it slow, don’t just take any advice from a simple Internet search. You may read information that seems valuable online but without the proper foundational knowledge, you may not have the awareness needed to make judgements on such big changes on your own.
Do This Instead
To ensure you go down the right path with your health changes, it’s best you follow a guided programme or even seek out for expert nutritional advice. Get your information from a trusted source and this will equip you with the knowledge that will help you understand what your body needs.
If you’re ready to start you health transformation journey, get your hands on the Nourish, Heal, Glow 28 Day Programme, a step-by-step guide designed by health expert, Carina Lipold to help you heal your digestive system, skin problems and weight loss issues naturally.
With a recipe book of over 60 nourishing Asian dishes, daily lessons and downloadable ebooks and worksheets, you will be able to have all the support needed to help you improve your digestive and overall health.