Are you listening to your gut? 5 common habits that lead to poor digestion
1. Not chewing enough
If food is being eaten under time pressure, chewing is usually neglected – this means a lot more work for your gut. In addition, quick eating usually comes with swallowing a lot of air, which can lead to bloating.
Stress doesn’t only have a negative effect on the digestion, but on the entire body.
Stress can initially enhance the performance of the body and brain, but it causes reduced activity in the gut. Why? In stressful situations, the body releases more adrenaline – it prepares itself to escape or fight.. As a result, digestion slows down, all the energy is being used to keep the body alert. No wonder, stress can cause bloating, cramps or nausea.
A beer here, a glass of wine there and a quick digestif: For many, alcohol is part of a relaxed get-together. However, the gut is less relaxed when it’s supposed to break down alcohol. Too much alcohol damages the gut flora and upsets the digestion.
4. Simple carbohydrates
As delicious as a slice of white bread or pasta may be (although there are so many better alternatives that are not only good for the soul, but also for the body!) foods that consist of simple carbohydrates contain very little fibre and are therefore a particularly good breeding ground for viruses and bad intestinal bacteria. This leads to an imbalance in the gut microbiome and can lead to digestive problems.
5. Too little movement
Many of us are working from home right now and are not exercising enough (sometimes we’re guilty of that, too!). Due to the lack of movement, digestion slows down and it can become more difficult for the gut to break down food.
Happy gut, happy day: 4 easy tips to improve your gut health naturally
1. Conscious chewing
ensures that the food reaches the intestine in smaller pieces and that digestion already begins in the mouth. Saliva contains special digestive enzymes that break down food during chewing. The enzyme amylase, for example, is responsible for breaking down sugar molecules in the mouth.
2. Eating enough fibre
A varied and plant-based diet supports a diverse gut flora – and the more diverse the bacteria, the better. Friendly gut bacteria love prebiotics that contain lots of dietary fibre.. The British Nutrition Society recommends to eat at least 30g of dietary fibre per day.
Fresh fruit, such as berries and apples, legumes, lentils and vegetables, such as carrots or Jerusalem artichokes are full of dietary fibre. However, it can still be hard to reach the daily recommended intake. We have combined the 6 best plant-based digestive aids in our new superfood mix: Gut Feeling.
Exercise is not only good for our muscles, but also for our gut health. And it doesn't have to be a competitive sport. Just 30 minutes of casual exercise or even walking per day will help. Remember to incorporate exercise into your daily routine: Just take the stairs or the bike instead of the bus.
4. Tummy massages
improve blood circulation and relax abdominal muscles which can help with bloating.
Place your right hand on your stomach and massage it in a circular motion. Start clockwise, then change direction. Alternate between lighter and stronger pressure and always use the whole hand. Be sure to breathe throughout the massage, inhale and exhale deeply. For that extra spa feeling, use your favourite body oil!