I’m thrilled to be hosting a few intimate cooking masterclasses on gut health at The Healthy Chef headquarters in Surry Hills, Sydney. For those that know me, striving for a healthier digestive system has been a lifelong personal journey, which is why I’m so passionate about helping people implement gut-healing recipes and strategies into their daily routine for perfect digestive health.
Even if you aren’t around Sydney to attend my gut health events this month, I’m sharing some of my top practical tips in this post to help you stop feeling bloated and start on your journey to better gut health.
1. EAT REAL FOOD
Eat fresh and natural foods for maximum nutrition. Make sure the majority of your meals comprise of vegetables, salads and nourishing soups. Remember to make the meals yourself, or get it prepared by someone who loves you. That way, you’ll know exactly what’s going into your body. For a convenient and delicious way to enjoy more greens try using Healthy Chef Green Smoothie. It’s the perfect blend of organic greens plus probiotics to help keep your gut happy.
Remember to make meals yourself, or get it prepared by someone who loves you. That way, you’ll know your meals are prepared with care in regards to your health and you know exactly what’s going into your body.
2. STAY HYDRATED
Drink plenty of water each day. Aim to drink a minimum of 2–3 litres per day (8–12 glasses). Water nourishes the digestive tract, supports the absorption of nutrients and removes waste and toxins.
3. ENJOY LIVER-LOVING FOODS
Stimulate your digestive system by introducing bitter foods into your diet that incite the digestive juices and cleanse the liver. Every day I enjoy the juice of one fresh lemon in two glasses of filtered water. This helps to stimulate the production of bile, which acts as a natural laxative and increases stomach acid allowing you to break down your food more effectively.
I enjoy the juice of one fresh lemon in two glasses of filtered water. This helps to stimulate the production of bile, which acts as a natural laxative and increases stomach acid allowing you to break down your food more effectively. Here’s a great recipe for a liver-cleansing tonic: Juice together 2 carrots, 1/2 an apple, 1 lemon, a few sprigs of parsley and 1 beetroot. Then drink and enjoy!
Other citrus fruits, herbs and spices such as limes, grapefruit, dandelion, peppermint and ginger are also fantastic. The pectin in the fruits helps bowel motility so you feel less bloated. Sipping on teas like my Relax + Renew or Lemon Delicious help to releive bloating as the ingredients peppermint and lemon assist the body in removing unwanted gas.
In natural medicine, ginger is used as a potent detoxifying and antiviral herb that helps the body get rid of toxins, stimulate circulation and boost your immune system. Ginger tea such as my Gingersnap Chai is perfect to support a healthy digestive system.
4. RESTORE WITH PREBIOTICS
Prebiotics fuel our intestinal probiotics. Prebiotics refer to natural soluble fibres that feed the good bacteria in our large intestine, helping to promote balanced gut flora and healthy bowel function. Natural prebiotics are found in a variety of plant-based foods, which is another great reason to eat a nourishing wholefoods diet. Rich sources of prebiotics include green leafy vegetables, citrus, flaxseeds, chia, sweet potato, beetroot, carrot, leeks, cabbage and kiwi fruit.
Organic Superfood is rich in prebiotics and contains one of the finest sources of dietary fibre, Jerusalem artichoke, to promote healthy digestion and regularity.
5. DISCOVER THE POWER OF PROBIOTICS
Take probiotics and/or eat fermented foods. Fermented foods are naturally packed with probiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria.
Take probiotics and/or eat fermented foods. Fermented foods are naturally packed with probiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria. Examples include kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented vegetables. If there is one thing that anyone can do to help improve their gut health, it’s probiotics.
I’ve specifically designed The Healthy Chef Green Smoothie to have probiotics – it will help balance your gut bacteria, which in turn will help with the digestion and absorption of the nutrients from your diet.
6. PRACTISE MINDFUL EATING + HARA HACHI BU
The people from Okinawa, Japan, follow a principle called hara hachi bu, which translates as ‘eat until you are only 80 per cent full’. Slow down and relax when you eat and chew your food. This will help to reduce bloating and assist with better digestion. Eating slowly gives your stomach time to prepare to digest the nutrients you are giving it, and allows your body and brain to recognise you’ve had enough to eat.
7. DON’T SLEEP ON A FULL STOMACH
Avoid going to bed on a full stomach or lying down after eating. Give your body time to digest properly (i.e. try not to eat at least 3 hours before going to bed). I often make a light soup or a protein-rich shake in preference to a heavy meal in the evenings. I make dinner the smallest meal of my day.
8. REDUCE THE SUGAR
Reduce inflammatory foods in your diet such as sugar and coffee which can aggravate your digestive system and cause bloating and weight gain. If you love your morning caffeine hit, then swap coffee for a revitalising GENMAICHA or MATCHA TEA that are rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Avoid inflammatory foods such as wheat, gluten, milk, refined sugar, alcohol and coffee, which can aggravate your digestive system during the healing process.
9. TRIAL LOW FODMAP
FODMAP = Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. A Cluster of natural sugars found in some foods. Some of you may have difficulty in digesting some of these natural sugars, which become susceptible to fermentation by the bacteria that live in the gut causing bloating, pain, constipation etc.
If you are sensitive to FODMAPs - avoid sugar replacements and artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol and erythritol that may cause digestive distress.
10. GO GREEN
Green juices and smoothies are alkalising and packed full of essential nutrients for optimum health. Make a green juice or smoothie a daily habit. Green juices and smoothies containing superfoods including wheatgrass are rich in chlorophyll, which helps to alkalise the digestive system and work as a natural anti-inflammatory. If you’re after a powerful hit of alkalising greens, taking a wheatgrass shot every day can help nourish the digestive system, supports detoxification and the elimination of waste.
Green juices and smoothies containing superfoods such as wheatgrass are rich in chlorophyll, which helps to alkalise the body and works as a natural anti-inflammatory.