Now - I love to share my knowledge on the what, the how and the why that goes into your pantries and fridges - but sometimes I like to change the topic, and talk about you and your gut health. This particular topic is one that is rarely discussed, to be put simply, your poo says a lot about you. Having less than perfect regularity = less than perfect health!
I liken the digestive tract to a road, it is designed to provide transport for our food into our stomach to extract the goodness that keeps our body functioning well and provide an offramp for the waste products to exit the body. When traffic is flowing freely, with no traffic jams, there is no road rage, everyone can get to where they need to go and do the tasks they need to do. When there are traffic jams, potholes, speed bumps and other slow downs in the digestive tract, our body can experience a little road rage, it could be gas, bloating, constipation amongst other effects.
The importance of making sure traffic flows well in your digestive tract is something often missed, or ignored by us every day. Listen to your gut, when something feels off, don't ignore it, make a change! When the digestive tract is not working well it generally means one of two things:
- Your digestive tract is moving food and waste too quickly through the body, meaning poor absorption of key nutrients for the body;
- Your digestive tract is moving too slowly (generally in the intestines), putting pressure on the lower digestive tract.
These digestive issues present in multiple forms - constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas and reflux - and can be triggered by many stressors - general stress, poor diet, allergens, lack of fluids. When the body is under pressure or stress, it can slow proper function of some of the body faculties to conserve energy. Should you encounter digestive symptoms that concern you, I recommend you consult your preferred health professional!
Are you having trouble with your regularity? Finding it challenging to maintain a regular toilet schedule? I have some tips and recommendations on how to help you maintain better regularity - and tips on how to get the traffic jam moving. Read on for 4 easy tips for keeping regular:
- Step 1 - Drink 500ml water on rising before any other food/drink. While you sleep you dehydrate through breathing, this water re-hydrates the body and also prepares the digestive tract for your meals throughout the day. Many people experience an urge to go to the toilet after this, this is due to the response from the large intestine that the body has received the necessary fluid replacement to evacuate the bowel. I recommend repeating this before every meal throughout the day, hydrate those cells!;
- Step 2 - Consume at least 2 Tbsp of any combination of the magic fibres (psyllium husk, flax seeds, chia seeds, slippery elm powder). These natural brooms are great for keeping things moving and clean, I have created a formula that puts Metamucil to SHAME! (watch for the newsletter!);
- Step 3 - Move your body! When you move your body you massage your digestive tract, giving it a little help along. Take some time throughout the day to walk, stretch, swim, yoga or hike;
- Step 4 - If you find yourself a little bogged down digestively I have a few little tricks that work for me - make your own aloe vera juice (here is a simple recipe to follow) or find some herb capsules of Cascara Sagrada at your local organic shop (this is safe, natural laxative - only use this for short periods if you are "stuck") are great natural methods to use;
- Step 5 - Probiotics! Not just yoghurt, I'm talking quality gut supporting probiotics that help recolonise your gut with - I recommend the Miessence InLiven & Fast Tract products. Fermented foods are also a great way to combine them into your meals, live sauerkraut is my favourite!
So don't ignore your poo, it's an indicator for how things are going for you. Keeping the road clear for easy digestion is super important and will ensure you stay at the top of your game.