Some of the most common digestive issues Canadians face include heartburn and intestinal discomfort due to bloating and gas. Although sometimes these symptoms can be associated with other conditions, they are most often a result of the type of food we have consumed.
Heartburn, also called gastric reflux, is a common gastro-intestinal symptom with a number of dietary triggers. These include coffee and other caffeinated beverages, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomato products, fatty foods and spicy foods. This burning sensation in the lower chest is the result of acid from the stomach entering the esophagus, causing irritation. Simple steps to avoid heartburn include identifying and removing trigger foods from your diet and not overeating.
When it comes to excess bloating due to intestinal gas, there are a number of potential sources. Over-eating and inadequate chewing of food can be common causes.
In fact, much of our intestinal gas that can cause discomfort is due to swallowing air with the food we eat.
Taking your time with meals and thoroughly chewing food can contribute to less swallowed air. In the lower gastro-intestinal tract, mainly the large intestine, gas can also be produced by the intestinal bacteria that are fermenting undigested fibre and starches in our food. Ensuring a healthy balance of bacteria is an important step towards proper digestion.To give these good bacteria a boost, consider introducing a probiotic supplement, gradually, to your daily routine. It can sometimes take a week or two for the healthy flora to become established.
Digestive health is essential to our overall health. Being attentive to our digestive tract allows us to absorb the essential nutrients our bodies need to thrive. Simple steps can be taken to reduce your likelihood of common digestive issues like heartburn and bloating, and natural health products specific to digestive health can support your often overlooked inner ecosystem.
Here are CHFA’s top five tips for enhancing your digestive health:
- Consume plenty of fibre rich whole foods.
- Eat slowly and chew your food well.
- Add a probiotic supplement to your regime for microbial health.
- Exercise to stimulate healthy intestinal muscle contractions.
- Drink plenty of fluids – we make about 10 litres of digestive juices each day! Drinking fluids keeps our digestive tract lubricated and healthy.
To find more tips on how to maintain a happy and health gut, visit chfa.ca.