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5 Strategies to Supporting Your Digestive System

Updated: Jan 24

When our digestive system is not functioning properly, this can impact us in a number of ways. We may feel uncomfortable, bloated, experience indigestion, flatulence and possibly have constipation or diarrhoea, any of this sound familiar? However, did you know that a suboptimal digestive system is also unable to break down your foods optimally and therefore absorb the foods we consume.

So how does our digestion work?

1. Digestion begins even before we put food in our mouths. The simple sight, and smell of food triggers salivary glands to begin creating saliva and preparing digestive juices, there is a lot behind the saying – ‘good enough to make your mouth water’.

2. Our mouth maybe the physical gateway to the digestive system but it is also used as the initial mechanical stages of chewing to breakdown our foods and for enzymes such as amylase to begin breaking down carbohydrates.

3. When the food enters the stomach, it continues to mechanically breakdown our meal along with a number of digestive acids, juices and enzymes.

4. When our stomach deems it is ready our food transits onto the small intestine where further enzymes do their work, and this is where most of our nutrient absorption takes place.

5. When we reach our large intestine much of the water and waste material is recycled. Hopefully any nutrients not already utilised will be captured and our bowel flora dines out on what we have chosen to eat. Here we can convert vitamins K, B1, B2, and B12 too, and the remnants are formed into faeces.

Each person may have a different reason as to why their digestive system is unhappy, however here is a few key strategies to help improve our digestion.

1. Reduce our stress. Digestion works best when we are in a relaxed state. Often when we stressed our bodies attentions is turned towards more vital tasks and digestion takes a back seat. Remembering to find regular relaxation time as well as being present and mindful when we eat can be helpful. Often we eat on the go, at our desks while working, in the car, therefore choosing times to eat where we can be mindful over our meal, perhaps taking some deep breaths and savouring our food before and during our meal can be helpful.

2. This is one we can all be guilty of I'm sure. Slowing down and taking time to chew our food, not only allows digestion to begin earlier taking more pressure of the stomach but also this allows time for enzymes to do their job. Being mindful to take time with each mouthful or putting down your knife and fork while you chew can be helpful.

3. Hydrate. Are you drinking enough water! It’s a simple one but often one we can all improve on. Staying adequately hydrated through the day supports our food transit and also our digestive functions.

4. Keep it fresh and varied. Our gut flora loves nothing more than a very varied diet helping keep out microbiome in good shape and balance as well as giving us a good variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Think different colours, types and try adding a few new items to your weekly shopping list, as well as fermented foods such as natural yoghurt, sourdough, kefir, and fermented vegetables.

5. Get Moving. Movement is useful not only for reducing stress but also for stimulating our circulation and muscle contractions in our body and gut to aid digestion. A 15-minute walk after a meal can be a great way to improve your digestion.

The good news is I am here to help! My aim is to investigate and understand possible contributing factors and support your digestive function to help soothe, calm, and repair the digestive system. Diagnostic testing can also be beneficial in providing information to help determine the root cause. When our gut is healthy, we will feel healthier in general.

‘All disease begins in the gut’ – Hippocrates

Book A Free Discovery Call with Claire Today. Start Your Journey to Digestive Health

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