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  • Writer's pictureDavinia Goodes

Digestion and gut health starts here...

If you are suffering from IBS or digestive complaints, these 4 steps are a great place to start on the road to improving your health and reducing your symptoms.

Our digestion starts in the mouth so do your part to help your digestive system and get chewing!! Chew until the food is liquid. As well as breaking food down into smaller particles, chewing releases saliva which contains digestive enzymes to break your food down and also tells the stomach that food is on its way down so it can start producing stomach acid.

You can support your stomach acid production by drinking 2tsp of apple cider vinegar in warm water before you eat. Looking after your stomach acid also helps prevent SIBO or small intestine bacterial overgrowth which can lead to bloating throughout the day.

Reducing stress by relaxing and eating mindfully at meal times can have a huge impact on your digestive health. I am well aware that this can be tricky to achieve, especially when your 2 year old is hurling rejected food across the room and your 4 year old is demanding tomato sauce on their broccoli and peas, but let me explain why reducing stress is so important.

You might not even be aware that you are stressed at meal times but if your body perceives stress in the form of shallow breathing, a racing mind, elevated heart rate, then the digestion process is put on hold as the body thinks it needs to prioritise survival.

How do we tell our body that it is safe to focus on digestion? Sit down to eat; focus on your meal without multitasking such as watching tv or scrolling on your phone; take a few big deep breaths before you start eating to reduce your cortisol levels and tell your body that all is well and there is no big bear coming to eat you! In our busy lives with work and family, this may not be possible at every meal, but just be aware of it and make positive changes where you can.

Water is involved in every step of the digestive process from producing salvia and digestive enzymes, to protecting the mucus lining of your stomach. Staying hydrated with at least 2L of water a day is also vital to keep the food you eat moving through your digestive tract.

Living with bloating, reflux, diarrhea, constipation or gas is not normal and there are even more steps you can take to improve your symptoms and enjoy a healthier life. To find out more book a consult here.

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