6 foods to ease bloating and help digestion
I recommend foods to fill up on for less gas, gurgles and groaning.
If you are suffering from continual stomach gurgles, bloating or feeling constipated, it could be that your digestive health has gone a little bit out of whack. I talked to Women's Health about it here. Although the above symptoms could be a warning sign of something bigger such as IBS, coeliac disease, or ovarian cancer, and, if experienced frequently should be reason to book in pronto with your GP, they could also be a simple plea from your gut that it needs a little bit of TLC. The good news is that there are plenty of foods to help digestion so pepping up your digestive tract can be a tasty experience. More women come to my clinic complaining about bloating than ever before. My clients are always surprised when I tell them that their lifestyle is the culprit, not just their diet. We live our lives at a fast pace and that takes its toll on the gut. Snacking on the run, working through lunch, eating late: it all puts pressure on your digestive system. Add in big life stressors, like striving for a promotion and always being ‘on’, and your gut just can’t cope.
Digestion is a complex system which needs everything in harmony. When this is interrupted by stress, it can trigger chronic digestive problems like IBS and, putting it bluntly, what you put in your mouth influences what comes out the other end. If you’re eating smoked salmon on rye for lunch and a vegetable stir-fry for dinner, you’re getting antioxidants, fibre and Omega 3 fatty acids – all great for a healthy gut. But if it’s brioche with jam for breakfast and spaghetti carbonara after your run, your digestive system will start to suffer.
So, what are the best foods to help digestion – that also fit into a fast-paced lifestyle? I share my top powerhouse foods for digestive health. Read my full interview with Women's Health magazine here.
Oats are an excellent source of resistant starch, a soluble fibre that promotes a healthy colon. It’s digested slowly, so it’s less likely to cause gas and bloating. Eat uncooked oats for maximum benefit, such as overnight oats.
Just two tablespoons provide a good dose of gut-friendly probiotics. Make sure it's presh sauerkraut from the supermarket fridge section.
Spelt sourdough bread
Spelt is an ancient form of wheat that’s lower in gluten as well as fructans, which are a FODMAP (short-chain carbohydrates that can cause digestive problems for people with a sensitive gut, like those with IBS. The sourdough making process makes spelt even more digestible.
Fruit, veg and wholegrains
Specifically those high in soluble fibre. Getting your 30g of fibre is important – but so is making sure you get the right kind. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a thick gel in the gut, reducing the risk of constipation and painful trips to the toilet. Find it in in oats, fruit and veg like oranges, sweet potato and carrots
Apple cider vinegar
A tablespoon a day is not just an old wife’s tale. Apple cider vinegar contains acetate, a short chain fatty acid. New research shows that dietary sources of short chain fatty acids could keep our gut cells healthy.
One recent study of 69 women found that those with IBS had lower levels of beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids than healthy participants. The best way to get your Omega 3? Oily fish like salmon, mackerel or anchovies. Just stick to two portions a week if you’re pregnant or thinking about starting a family.