Gut and digestive issues seem to be very high up on the list for peoples biggest health concerns. There are various reasons that are impacting our gut health: high stress levels (cortisol), not enough good gut flora (and not enough diversity of gut flora), gluten consumption and extreme fad dieting.

Here are my top tips to combat gut and digestive health issues like bloating, constipation, wind, slow digestion, leaky gut, poor absorption and lethargy (to name a few):

  • Take care of stress levels. The gut basically freezes when you are stressed – commit to stress reducing exercises everyday, such as meditation, laying down with your legs up the wall or having a relaxing bath. Also, chew every bite of food when stressed. Eating fast means your body will not have time to digest properly!
  • Add probiotics or fermented vegetables to each/most meals. Invest in a high quality probiotic. You’ll feel a difference straight away!
  • Cut down (or cut completely) gluten, flour & grains ONLY if you’re intolerant! – these sticky foods just don’t digest very well for most of us. I’ve found people find their gut really improves after 2-4 weeks off these foods – try it. Carbs are still so important – especially for thyroid health. So go for gluten-free options such as oats, quinoa, almond meal, rice (brown & basmati), sweet potato & root veggies. Green veggies and berries are also great sources of nutrient dense carbohydrates!  •  Give up refined sugar – sugar damages the gut and feeds bad bacteria. If you can’t completely give sugar up, gradually reduce your consumption and use natural alternatives such as stevia.
  • Dairy – be mindful of your dairy consumption and figure out how you respond to it. If you eat dairy and react immediately with bloating or any gut discomfort – avoid it.
  • Dark leafy Greens at every meal for your fibre hit! So important. I also love adding 1-2 tbsp oat bran to my breakfast for extra fibre. Greens are also anti-inflammatory.
  • Use food to fight inflammation. Along with greens, turmeric or curcumin can be used to help reduce systemic inflammation. Drinking aloe vera in water is highly soothing to the system and the gut, and colourful fruit and veggies are super important to gut health. They contain various nutrients and antioxidants that help fight inflammation and disease, so it’s essential to eat a diverse range of colourful wholefoods each day.
  • Protein is so important at every meal, but not too much – A good portion guide is to make your protein serving the size of your palm. This can help the gut lining to repair itself. This is true of plant-based protein too, such as beans.
  • Give up dieting and fads! The endless cycle of dieting and following unhealthy fad diets and proclaimed quick-fixes just cause gut strain and stress, which contributes greatly to ill-health. Many people with disordered

eating tend to experience long term IBS issues. Commit to a health lifestyle that is sustainable instead of dieting.

  • Finally, I suggest adding 2tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother) to a 1litre water bottle to sip slowly throughout the day. This helps to increase stomach acid which decreases bloating, reflux and helps with absorption of nutrients.

During times of stomach distress try to cut down your sessions of HIIT and weight training. Opt for more gentle exercise such as walking, yoga and swimming.