Fibre for constipation
When it comes to tackling constipation, it doesn’t have to be prune juice. There are plenty of other delicious, natural solutions to help keep you regular. Fill up with fibre-rich foods like cherries, peppers, beans, wholegrains, lentils and nuts to help the digestive process.
Look after your digestive system.
Most people in the UK don’t eat enough fibre – the official recommendation is 18g a day, along with plenty of fluids. Fibre may have other health benefits too, including staving off weight gain, heart disease, blood sugar swings and piles.
Weight loss and heartburn
Fatty foods and rising levels of obesity have been linked to the rise in heartburn cases in the UK. Carrying extra weight can worsen digestive issues like heartburn and some research suggests that obese and overweight men and women who suffer from heartburn may get relief by losing some weight.
A healthy diet and regular exercise are a critical part of any weight loss programme. Check with your GP to ensure any new weight loss plan is right for you.
Eat less to beat bloating
A simple step to curb the discomfort of bloating, indigestion and heartburn, is to eat a small amount often. You can also eat smaller, more frequent meals more slowly – to avoid overloading your digestive system. Getting into a routine with smaller meals may also gradually reduce your stomach volume – making you feel full when eating less.
Fluids for constipation
Fueling your digestive system with plenty of fluids helps remove waste and curb constipation. Water and juices work well, along with foods that have a high water content, such as salad. Drinking plenty is especially important if you are increasing your fibre intake in order to counteract constipation. Talk to your doctor about how much fluid is right for you but the general recommendation is about 1.2 litres a day or 6-8 glasses.
Exercise for bloating
Staying active is excellent for your digestive health. Taking a brisk 20 – 30 minute walk, 4 times a week, can improve your bowel function and reduce bloating. Exercise, along with sufficient hydration, keeps things moving and helps eliminate waste. Exercise is also an excellent reliever of stress that can be a key trigger of digestive problems.
Probiotics are often referred to as “friendly bacteria”. They are microorganisms that are similar to helpful bacteria found in the body.They occur naturally in fermented foods like some yoghurts and may be added to juices, snacks and supplements. Some research suggests that probiotics may help stomach upsets, such as diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, more research is needed and it’s unclear what type of probiotics may help and the dose needed.