Having a healthy gut isn’t just about avoiding bloating, gas and heartburn. Since 70% percent of the immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract, taking care of your digestive system is vitally important for overall health. Incorporating the right foods and supplements will set you on the path to better digestive health and full body wellness.
It’s no surprise that fibre would top this list for healthy digestion. We’ve been told to eat more fibre from nutritionists for years. On average, Canadians only get about half the recommended amount. Have no fear, though, because fibre is found in a whole host of foods, not just grains. One of the best ways to get a good amount of fibre is to eat a wide variety of fruits such as pears, raspberries and apples, all of which provide over four grams of fibre per serving. In fact, raspberries have a whopping eight grams. Make sure to eat both insoluble fibre (roughage such as wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains) and soluble fibre (oat bran, legumes, nuts and seeds).
Limit High Fat Foods
Fat is essential to a healthy diet, but too much fat can slow down your digestive system. Eating high-fat foods in conjunction with high fiber foods can make digesting them easier.
Fermented Foods. Fermented foods like yogurt, miso, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi all have live active cultures of good bacteria that help to populate your gut, support digestion and aid your immune system.
If you don’t eat fermented foods, or if you need a more therapeutic dose of probiotics, then a quality probiotic supplement is a great addition towards a healthy digestive system. They are an easy way to get a lot of beneficial bacteria into your system on a daily basis.
Samantha Gladish, Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Coach, not only likes probiotics for better digestive health, but to support your immune system. She tells us, “For all the clients that I have come through my door and probably the number one supplement that I recommend for everyone is a probiotic. Your immune system lives in your gut. It's so important that we make sure that we are replenishing all that good bacteria. Things like smoking, eating sugar, being stressed, having a lot of pesticides or herbicides and eating genetically modified foods all throw off that delicate bacterial balance, so probiotics are so important.”
Water not only helps maintain the proper balance of fluids in our bodies, it also aids in digestion by keeping everything flowing. Drinking enough water is essential to avoiding constipation and it helps our kidneys flush waste out of our bodies effectively.
Digestion is an intricate process but with a good diet, the right supplements and plenty of water, keeping our guts healthy can help us avoid problems, boost our immune systems and, along with exercise and keeping our stress down, can help us to live longer healthier lives.