One of the most important body systems for maintaining our health and well being is our digestive system. Sadly, most people’s diets leave a lot to be desired, and as a result not many of us have a digestive tract in optimum condition. There are many ways to improve the performance of your digestive tract. I like to do a detox at least once or twice a year. (I’ll go into that a bit more over the next couple of weeks). The problem with a detox is that your health really should be quite robust before embarking on it, as a proper detox takes quite a bit of energy. So if you’re feeling run down, with low energy levels and a weak immune system, a detox really is not a good idea. There are however a number of easy steps you can take to improve your digestion, and if you implement these you will be rewarded with a more efficient digestive process, higher energy levels and better health :-
Top Tips to Improve Your Digestion
- • Before each meal drink half a glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, this will stimulate the production of gastric juices which in turn will improve the breakdown of your food.
• Try to incorporate a range of all flavours in each meal (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent). Each of these flavours has its own effect on the secretions of digestive juices.
• Chew your food well. Chewing produces saliva which kick starts the breakdown of especially carbohydrates and fats. The longer you chew, the better your digestion will be.
• Pay attention to your food, don’t wolf your dinner down in front of the TV. Chew well, and when you do your first burp, be aware that this is a sign of your body indicating it is ready to stop eating.
• Don’t drink a lot of fluids while eating your meal. Fluids dilute your digestive juices, reducing their effectiveness in breaking down your food.
• Improve the digestion of nuts and seeds by soaking them in water overnight before eating them.
• Eat as many whole foods as possible. Brown rice instead of white for instance. The outer shell of many grains contains the nutrients and minerals your body needs to break these foods down properly. This also helps in the regulation of blood sugars and thus in energy levels experienced during the day.
• Eating properly fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut, unsweetened yoghurt, kefir, tamari and tempeh increase the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the bowel, and through this enable your body to keep harmful bacteria in the bowel under control.
• If you regularly feel bloated, cramped, tired or mucousy after eating, try to identify if there is one specific food type involved. These symptoms are messages from your body telling you that something in your diet is not agreeing with you.
• Make sure you get about 30 minutes exercise every day, even just going for a brisk walk will do. Exercise improves your circulation to your digestive system, thus making digestion more effective. It also improves the muscle tone of your body and stimulates the peristaltic movement of your intestines and bowels, making it easier to pass stools.
NB: This information is not intended to replace the advice of your health professional, if symptoms persist please consult your health professional
This website will cover everything about healthy and clean living, without toxic chemicals.
I will cover topics like cleaning your home without chemicals; hidden toxins in your daily environment; sustainable living and buying in a way that helps your dollar go further; healthy food, and easy, cheap alternative remedies.
Secondly my aim is to provide information about common, everyday health conditions, how they come about, and what is actually happening in your body, as well as and what you can do to improve your health, as well as what questions to ask your health professional.
Thirdly, as the final part of this website I will research and critique new products, and where possible I will provide alternative choices.
In my role as a naturopath and massage therapist I have seen time and time again that most of us have completely lost the ability to tell healthy food and a healthy life-style from what is bad and toxic for us. The first thing I usually hear from clients is: ‘I look after my health and I have a healthy diet’…..only to find out later that that is about as far from reality as you can get. We are bombarded with advertising every day, telling us that we need to eat this spread for a healthy heart, and take that supplement to stop developing cancer, and drive that car to be happy, and buy this freezer meal for real taste… Well, the good news is that none of that is really true. The only thing any advertisement really tells you is that the advertiser wants your money. As long as you keep that in mind, that will provide you with a healthy dose of cynicism, which will go a long way to protect you, as well as your wallet.
What a beautiful day we have in sunny, summery Melbourne today. The soaking we’ve had during the massive thunderstorms of last friday have left everything sparkling clean and fresh. As I look out of my window at the sad remains of my sunflowers I can’t help but smile at the vandals who are responsible for the demolition job: two sulphur crested cockatoos. They look like they are thoroughly enjoying life.
A friend brought me a couple of bags of little apples the other day. Out in the Yarra valley there are lots of little roads and laneways where you can find wild fruit trees growing along the road. Not a lot of traffic out there, so the apples are about as clean as they come. No wax or pesticides or herbicides or any-cides. They are wonky, small and irregular, some are bigger and others tiny, some have brown spots, some even have worms! (sign of an honest to goodness real apple that is!) There was about 6 kgs in total, no way am I going to eat my way through that many apples in a hurry, so I decided to do my mum proud and turn the lot into dutch apple sauce, (you can find the recipe on the recipe page). I would have preserved the lot in glass jars, but my collection is still a bit small, so decided to divide it into 6 batches and freeze them. Will see me right through winter hopefully.
I love gathering free foodstuffs from the roadside like that. There is something to be found all through the year, from onion weed, cleavers and nettles in spring (great steamed as green vegetables, but we’ll get to that in time) to dandelions, blackberries, apples, cherryplums etc etc. All you need to do is look around…Another way of saving money on foodstuffs is going to the markets and buying a box of whatever is cheap and in season. Mangoes are going for $10.00 a box at the moment..and they are soooo ripe and juicy. I bought a box the other week. All I did was peel them and cut segments of the flesh which I laid out in layers on a tray. Once frozen all you need to do is separate the pieces and put them in a freezer bag. Great for smoothies over winter, and it beats the taste of canned mangoes any day.
I’ve got my eye on a couple of boxes of big fat juice tomatoes for next week…will keep you posted.