Gut health

Maintaining good gut health is essential for overall well-being. From preventing constipation to alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and heartburn, making informed dietary choices can positively impact your digestion.

Fibre

  • Increase your fibre intake to support proper digestion and prevent constipation.
  • Aim for the recommended daily intake of 30g of fibre.
  • Include fibre-rich foods in your diet, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, fruits, vegetables, beans, and oats.
  • If cereals and grains cause bloating or IBS symptoms, opt for fibre sources from fruits and vegetables instead.

Hydration

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Water helps in the passage of waste through the digestive system and softens the stool.
  • Drink a glass of water with each meal to ensure adequate fluid intake.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine-containing drinks, as they can contribute to heartburn.

Reduce Fat Intake

  • High-fat foods like fried foods, burgers, and chips are harder to digest and can lead to stomach pain and heartburn.
  • Opt for lean meats, fish, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, and grilled rather than fried foods.

Managing Spicy Foods

  • Spicy foods may trigger heartburn, stomach pain, or diarrhoea in some individuals.
  • Mild foods like garlic and onion can also contribute to these symptoms.
  • Monitor your tolerance and limit the consumption of spicy foods if they cause digestive discomfort.
  • Individuals with existing conditions like heartburn or IBS may need to avoid them entirely.

Identifying Gut Symptom Triggers

  • Certain foods may trigger digestive symptoms in some individuals.
  • Acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, salad dressings, and fizzy drinks can cause heartburn.
  • Wheat and onions may exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • If you experience adverse effects from specific foods, keep a food diary to identify and avoid triggers.

Choosing Digestion-Friendly Drinks

  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee, colas, and certain teas can increase stomach acid, leading to heartburn.
  • Fizzy drinks can contribute to bloating and worsen heartburn.
  • Opt for non-fizzy, caffeine-free drinks such as herbal teas, milk, and plain water.
  • If you can't resist coffee or tea, limit your intake to 1 or 2 cups per day.

Probiotics

  • Probiotics are "friendly bacteria" naturally found in the gut and available in certain foods and supplements.
  • They may aid in restoring the natural balance of gut bacteria, especially in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • While the evidence is limited for many health claims, probiotics appear to be safe for most individuals.
  • Incorporate probiotic-rich foods, such as live yoghurt, into your diet or consider probiotic supplements for potential benefits.
  • Consult a healthcare professional before starting any probiotic regimen, especially if you have an existing health condition or a weakened immune system.

By following these guidelines, you can promote a healthy gut and improve your digestive well-being. Remember to listen to your body and consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and recommendations.

Doctor
General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.

Dermatologist

At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.

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