Much of what we’ve talked about over the last 9 weeks have revolved around your daily habits; sleep, exercise, diet, stress, hydration and when we eat are all contributing factors.
This week we’re just going to cover a couple of habits that have not been mentioned, but should definitely be considered! Below are 8 things to consider when looking to nurture and support your gut…
Limit snacking – Eating causes a healthy immune response called postprandial inflammation. Whilst this is completely normal, if you are frequently eating (or more importantly snacking), then you are extending this inflammatory response out over a longer period of time. Our simple suggestion to preventing this from happening is not to buy snacks when you’re doing your weekly shop. You may also want to eat something before going on your shop… that’ll help you shop with your head and not with your stomach – sounds trivial, but we’ve all been there.
Reduce portion sizes – Eating too big a portion can cause a number of gut pains including simply feeling overly full, bloated and experiencing reflux. So our advice would be to reduce your initial portion size – you can always go back for seconds!
Eating too quickly – Have you ever been told you ‘inhale’ your food? Eating too quickly often means you overeat, as you don’t give your digestive system enough time to process the fact that you’re full. It may also mean that you’re not chewing your food properly, leaving more work for your digestive system. Try slowing down how quickly you eat – smaller portion sizes will help with this. You could even try using a smaller knife and fork – the equivalent of using a t-spoon instead of a big spoon when you’re tucking into a dessert.
Eat less sugar and sweeteners – Eating too much sugar can negatively impact your gut microbiome. We’re not saying cut it out completely, just be aware that sugary foods could be the cause of any upset.
Don’t chew gum – Chewing gum can result in you swallowing too much air, which can, in turn, lead to you feeling bloated.
Drinking fizzy drinks – It’s no secret that fizzy drinks are not particularly good for our teeth, and it’s probably not particularly surprising that they don’t always sit well in our gut. Again, there’s no need to cut fizzy drinks out completely, but just worth noting that it can cause flatulence – a build-up of gas in the digestive system that can cause discomfort.
Eat more greens – Your greens play an important role in nurturing good gut bacteria. So next time you’re at the supermarket, throw (place) a few more leafy greens in your basket; spinach, peas or kale if you’re feeling extra boujee.
Stop Smoking – Smoking has an endless list of health risks associated with it, and your gut health is one of them. Smoking has been linked to digestive disorders including common heartburn, reflux and some liver diseases. It is also thought to increase the risk of more serious issues such as Crohn’s disease and pancreatitis. We completely understand it’s not a simple fix, but if you are looking to quit then there is a lot of support available.