Monday, June 25th, 2012
Summer 2012 is here! It will definitely be a busy one, with over half (53%) of the population expecting their diets to be disrupted by the various events and celebrations that will be taking place. So below are some tips for those who are planning to indulge on a variety of foods, to look after their gut;
- Swap traditional sausage rolls for low fat sausages and Filo pastry – if you’re planning to make sausage rolls for a party, try to use low fat sausage meat and Filo pastry, with a little onion. Bake them to reduce the oil required.
- Swap muffins for muffins made with olive oil or a sugar substitute – muffins are always a party favourite so having a healthy option would be even better, use olive oil and less sugar, or a sugar substitute like agave.
- Swap chips for baked skins or wedges when you’re out – it can be tempting to grab a portion of chips but they are high in fat so choosing baked skins or wedges would be a healthier option.
- Swap stuffed crust pizza for low fat mozzarella and tomato pizza – the thinner pizzas are a better option than the deep pan fried ones; the low fat cheese has only 3% fat.
- Swap crisps for low fat bakes – try to choose the low fat bakes to replace your usual bag of crisps and choose bean dips with less olive oil.
- Swap ice cream for frozen yoghurt – frozen yoghurt gives a refreshing and satisfying feeling! As they are fat free and a good source of calcium, it is a much healthier option compared to ice creams.
So how are you looking after your gut this Gut Week?
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Whether you are planning on going a bit further afield this year or staying closer to home we are all sure to be over indulging in food and drink and possibly trying new delicacies. Whilst this can be fun and exciting it can often lead to stomach upsets, feeling bloated and uncomfortable or in worst cases constipation or diarrhoea.
Ensuring we have a healthy digestive system before we go on holiday will help to reduce the likelihood of feeling unwell whilst on your well-deserved break. Consuming foods that will help promote the growth of good bacteria along the gut wall to stop the bad bacteria getting through and causing infection. This will also help keep our digestive system ticking along nicely and keep us nice and regular.
Foods such as asparagus, garlic, leek, onion and artichoke are good sources to help promote the growth of good bacteria however if we ensure we consume the recommendation of five fruit and vegetables per day this will also help ensure the growth of good bacteria and provide us with good sources of fibre as well as consuming whole grain foods such as brown bread, pasta and rice.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
What a great Jubilee Weekend!!
I hope you all had a wonderful time off, with the extra 2 days we had! The weather was a bit of a damper but nevertheless, it was a fantastic weekend!
With modern day life, everybody will experience stress to some degree or another. Small amounts of stress may actually be good, as it keeps us alert and energised. However, too much stress may result in problems!
One of the first parts of the body to react to stress is our digestive system, causing gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
The release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, makes our heart beat faster, this will in turn influence the motility and the natural movement of our digestive system. Hence, after an episode of extreme stress, people are more than likely to suffer a bout of diarrhoea, and in some case even vomiting. Long term stress can increase the risk of chronic conditions such as ulcers and a range of gut complaints.
Not only stress itself can affect the digestive system, being stress also means we may be more likely to indulge in lifestyle habits that are not ideal for our digestive system, such as excessive smoking and drinking, less exercise, poor eating habits resulting in an unbalanced diet, in turn causing an unbalance of good and bad bacteria in our gut.
A few points to consider in relieving stress:
- Breathe deeply – take long deep breaths which may calm us down
- Plan ahead – make plans for your commitments so you feel more in control
- Limit intake of caffeine – stimulants can worsen stress levels
- Exercise – exercise dissipates the adrenaline that builds up within us during stress
So make sure you take time out to relax and enjoy life!