We tend not to think about the health of our gut until it gives us problems and makes us feel unwell or uncomfortable. However, our gut is vital for our general health and we should make caring for it a priority, especially our digestion. Afterall, the main function of digestion is to break down the foods we eat and utilise the nutrients for energy, growth, repair and immunity – all very important factors in our overall health.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to poor digestion, from stress to smoking, however today we are going to focus on eating habits for a healthy gut.
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and water in conjunction with regular exercise can help to maintain good digestion. Here are some top tips to keep your gut healthy when it comes to your eating habits.
- Chew your food well
- Eat slowly with smaller mouthfuls of food
- Try not to eat in a rush or when stressed
- Avoid drinking large amounts whilst eating
- Eat a variety of fresh foods – take advantage of seasonal produce for variety
- Eat at least 5-6 portions of different fruit and vegetables (approx. 80g of fresh fruit or vegetables is considered a portion)
- Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol
- Drink 1 ½ - 2 litres of water per day
- Eat at least 25g of fiber a day
- Avoid ready meals and processed foods that contain artificial additives
With your gut health being responsible for so many key elements of our health, including up to 90% of your immune functions, skin health, weight control and even mood and sleep, it’s no wonder why many scientists refer to the digestive system as ‘the second brain’ due to its overall importance in keeping you healthy and functioning properly.