One of the first things that many people turn to in times of stress are foods that may provide a bit of comfort, but not much nutritional value, especially when you can't or haven't been able to go out for a long time. There are a number of ways to look after your health, but we tend to overlook several aspects of our gastrointestinal health. In this article we will look at three ways you can keep healthy and informed about your gut health.
#1 Foods to Avoid
There are a number of problems that arise from an improper diet and here in Australia we tend to eat a lot of meat. Meat is a great protein source and may taste great, but consuming too much, especially red meat like beef and pork, is bad for your digestive health. The body has to work hard to process and digest red meat, so eating a lot of it frequently can lead to problems in your intestinal tract such as gastrointestinal inflammation. In general, sticking to a diet that is heavily plant based is a good idea. There are a lot of great options for plant based proteins that even mimic the texture of meat, and I'm not talking about vegan bacon here. So maybe skip that Sunday roast on occasion and replace it with something high protein of the flora variety. Vegetarian options that are high in protein and fibre include chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, brussels sprouts, almonds and sunflower seeds.
#2 Healthy Ingredients
It may seem obvious which ingredients are good to cook with and which ones aren't. But there are some real superfoods out there that you should probably be cooking with more often. The health benefits of yogurt for your gut are well known, but you want to be getting the right yogurt for the job. Definitely avoid those that are high in sugar - it's best to stick with a nice natural Greek yogurt for gut health. Also consider adding kefir to your routine, this wildly healthy probiotic is packed full of good bacteria and can be added to soups, smoothies or even used in salad dressings. Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and miso soup are excellent choices for optimal gut health. There are plenty of great ingredients to add into your cooking that are good for your gastrointestinal system, including olive oil, garlic, ginger and many more.
#3 Keep Up To Date With Your Gastroenterologist
For many people, even thinking about having an appointment with a gastroenterologist can be scary. The good news is, the more you stay on top of your gastro health, the less likely you will need invasive procedures. So be sure to get a regular check up with your gastro specialist even if you don't feel like anything is wrong. If you are aged over 50, you are eligible for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program - a free service provided by the Australian Government.
Exercise is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people think about getting and staying healthy. But don't forget your gut while you are putting in the work at the gym. All too often, issues that could have been avoided go unnoticed until there is a serious problem. So get out there and enjoy your life while adding in a few ingredients, taking some away and of course, keeping up to date with your gastro specialist!