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A happy and healthy gut

At this time of year, digestive health could be more important than any other. Bloating, stomach pains, spasms, and gas can be a real nuisance. Such problems can stop us working, relaxing, and even sleeping. It’s a busy time in all ways, and can be emotionally fraught as well. Are you guilty of “hoovering up” your food, not sitting down to eat with a plate at a table? Meals can be missed if you focus too much on the plethora of other things you need to get done!

Here are a few general quick tips that may help:

  1. Plan what you’re going to eat and set the table, if possible.
  2. Remove distractions (phone, TV, books).
  3. Slow down, take time to chew each mouthful about fifteen times – this means you may end up feeling full sooner and eat less overall.

Aim for variety. It’s best for gut health to have as many fruits & vegetables, herbs, and seeds as you can. Try “five baked bean mix” instead of your normal variety. Sainsbury’s has a great one to try! How about red onions instead of white? Have sweet potato as well as the regular variety. Mix up your colours of peppers, cabbage, and salad leaves. Add herbs to dishes. Coriander leaves in salads are delicious.

Never be afraid to try something new when you shop. I like to keep sliced pineapple and fruit compôte in the fridge for when I’d like a sweet treat. A little so-called “naughty” sugary treat or chocolate is fine – just relax and savour it!

I regularly dry-fry a mix of seeds, and keep them in a jar to sprinkle on food. Lunch today was green leaves, roast butternut squash, and toasted seeds. Yummy!

Keep a few jars of spices handy to add fresh or ground ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon to your dishes. Add pysilium husks for fibre and chia seeds for protein to your mornijng porridge. Don’t overlook a calming mint tea after a meal. It soothes digestion effectively. Breath work and some yoga poses can help digestion. Let yourself unwind by taking a bracing walk (well wrapped-up!) and aim for eight hours sleep nightly.

If you take Aloe Vera, probiotics, natural yoghurt, and fermented foods, your gut will thank you. And I will thank you for reading this, too! x