DigestionIf you are trying to lose weight, then you need to understand the role a healthy digestion plans in your weight loss plan.
Digestion is the process in which food is transformed into chime, then travels down into your stomach through your intestines and into your bowel to be eliminated. If you drink enough water, move your body enough and have working enzymes, then all the lovely nutrients will be absorbed along the way and you will have a perfectly functioning digestive tract.
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This is not so for many people due to the overuse of anti-biotics, the excessive consumption of sugary foods and due to conditions such as candida. Maintaining your weight depends on a great digestion so its imperative that you correct any dysfunction you may be experiencing.

Top 10 foods to include in your diet to aid digestion.

  1. Pears –  We normally opt for an apple as a portable piece of fruit, but pears are exceptionally higher in fibre than apples, are affordable and can also be eaten with the skin on. At around 7g of fibre per whole fruit it’s a great one to include in your everyday diet to aid in digestion.
  2. Prunes  – a great snack to combat constipation, prunes are a great little fruit to keep handy when the ‘going gets tough’. Eat a small handful a day and you will be saying bye bye to bad digestion.
  3. Ginger  –  a great warming spice that keeps gas at bay and settles a bloated tummy. Grate some ginger into a cup and steam with some hot water to alleviate poor digestion.
  4. Grapefruit – a nice bitter fruit that boosts metabolism and helps sluggish digestion. Cut a slice and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon to cut through the bitter taste.
  5. Inulin – A soluable fibre is a type of fiber that our gut flora can actually consume and ferment, Inulin  is a prebiotic that stimulates the growth and maintenance of beneficial gut microbiota.
    This is so important in digestion as this is a major contender in keeping our probiotics healthy and in check. Your healthy mummy smoothie contains inulin to help keep you regular and healthy all round.
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  6. Kefir  – Cultured dairy foods such as yogurt and kefir can be great sources of healthy or friendly bacteria. This simply means bacteria that are needed for healthy digestion in our intestinal tract. Find it in the fridge of any good health food shop, in Harris Farm markets, or buy the grains to start growing your own colony, with alternative milks such as organic coconut milk.
  7. Fennel – Bitter herbs such Fennel are especially useful in the digestion of fat, so it’s best to take them with high-fat meals. Use this herb as a tea and it them when you experience excessive gas or an upset stomach. Fennel is gentle enough for children and is great when mixed with chamomile.
  8. Coriander – Digestive issues such as heart burn, constipation, upset stomach, and nausea can all be treated naturally using coriander. Coriander is an herb that contains antioxidant oils called ‘monoterpenes’ that help cool down the digestive system and help treat your digestive discomforts fast and naturally. It even helps remove toxins from the digestive tract that cause digestive issues in the first place. I find it such a versatile herb that goes with most dishes and its also easy to grow.
  9. Kiwi fruit – contains the enzyme ‘protease’ which helps to digest proteins. Recent research undertaken at the Riddet Institute has confirmed that eating green kiwifruit with a protein-rich meal helps improve digestion of several food proteins. This confirms beliefs that have existed for some time – that enzymes in green kiwifruit can break down proteins for better absorption in the digestive process.
  10. Bananas – a misunderstood food, the banana is high in fibre and helps to move the bowels and prevent constipation. Bananas are best eaten as a pre workout to give a boost in energy and provide immediate energy to be quickly burned. Make sure your banana is ripe or else it could have the opposite effect.

If you keep your gut flora healthy, then your digestion problems and constipation can be prevented. If you suffer from constipation, you will have more toxins in your system and you may feel sluggish and bloated all the time. Healthy mummy smoothies  are an excellent way of providing some of the added fibre needed to keep your digestion in tip top condition. Enjoy 1 or 2 per day to keep trim and healthy.
Written by Elisha Danine – Natural Medicine Practitioner/Nutritionist/Food Coach
(Adv. Dip. Nutritional Medicine)
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