Posts Tagged ‘fibre’

Exhausted digestive system? Show your gut some love!

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Christmas and all the partying which comes with it may have resulted in a higher consumption of sugary and fatty foods for a number of us. Coupled with increased alcohol intake and disrupted eating times, this can really wreak havoc on our digestive systems.

Perhaps instead of placing our focus on those New Year’s resolutions to lose those extra pounds we should place more emphasis on our internals – which will hopefully lead to weight loss anyway!

heart-stomach

 

Give your digestive system a rest by cutting out processed foods (e.g. white bread, biscuits, pastries etc), sugary drinks and snacks and alcohol.

To get those bowels working at their best again try adding in a little bit more fibre into your diet. Fruit and vegetables provide great sources of fibre, as do brown rice, brown pasta, oats and various cereals. Try to keep the diet as natural as possible. Yogurts can provide a great source of protein as well as calcium and beneficial bacteria.

And as always, try to stay as active as possible! Exercise will help to regulate our bowel movements as well as releasing our ‘happy hormone’, which will in no doubt assist us through the cold winter months ahead!

It is windy outside, but is it windy inside too?

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Flatulence and wind are common symptoms experienced by most people. Such symptoms are related to gas in the gastrointestinal tract. The production of intestinal gas is a normal part of digestion. However, some people can experience excessive amounts, which can be uncomfortable and very embarrassing.

Diet and the colonic flora are typically linked to the type and amounts of gas produced. Intestinal bacteria produce gas. Experiencing the odd bout of wind is not uncommon. However, excessive amounts of gas may be related to a number of factors, such as: diets high in fermentable carbohydrates (i.e. pulses and bran), a change in diet (such as a sudden change to a high fibre diet), a change in the composition of the bowel flora, diarrhoea, constipation, IBS, malabsorption, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine and lactose intolerance.

bloated stomach

Be aware of any foods which may be linked to wind. A number of fruit and vegetables contain starches which are poorly digested. For example: beans, lentils, prunes, brussel sprouts, cabbage and onions.

toilet

Any changes in bowel habits warrant further investigation from a doctor and should not be ignored.

This week is National Cholesterol Week

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

This week is National Cholesterol Week. High levels of cholesterol are linked to heart disease and strokes. There are a number of risk factors linked to increased cholesterol levels, poor diet being one.

 

It is important to note that cholesterol is essential for human function, being vital for cells, hormones and the digestive system. Furthermore, while cholesterol is found in various foods such as eggs, prawns and kidneys, it is not the cholesterol in food that has such an impact on our blood cholesterol; it is the saturated fat from our diets that has the biggest impact.

 

Foods high in saturated fats include:

  • butter, ghee, lard, cream
  • cakes, biscuits and pastries
  • coconut or palm oil
  • fatty meats, including sausages.

 

Fibre (soluble) can help to lower cholesterol. Good sources include:

fruit and veg

Exercise can also play an important role in keeping cholesterol levels in check.

running

For further details about National Cholesterol Week and to find out more information about this area visit: http://heartuk.org.uk/

Gut Health

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

With Gut Week running all last week, here at Love Your Gut, we have been talking – even more than usual – about our digestive health. We hope you have too!

But what steps can we take to ensure we look after our bowels?

fruit and veg

We have created some simple tips to help improve digestion:

Breakfast: Evidence shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast tend to eat more dietary fibre, more vitamins and less fat. This may all help to stimulate the bowels to empty more regularly.

 

Fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals: High in fibre as well as antioxidants and other protective nutrients, these types of foods can offer benefits to the digestive system. However, individuals who experience digestive symptoms such as diarrhoea, IBS and bloating should be aware that foods like this may also contain poorly absorbed sugars or starches that may not help with such symptoms.

 

Exercise: Regular exercise can really help to stimulate the digestive system. At least 30 minutes per day can offer numerous health benefits.

 

Alcohol: Not only will alcohol damage the liver, it can also cause harm to the digestive system. The risk of disease increases with consumption of 14 units per week for women and 21 units for men.

 

Smoking: STOP! Smoking is linked to a number of diseases.

 

Sleep: Poor sleep can affect a number of aspects of our health, including bowel function.

 

Stress: This can cause changes in our bowel habits and is frequently liked to IBS.

 

 

The Perfect Picnic

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The Perfect Picnic

Why not make the most out of the sun with The Perfect Picnic?

This is a great opportunity to have a meal with family and friends, top-up your vitamin D levels, get active and help contribute to your 5-a-day of fruit and vegetables.

Why not try out the healthy salad recipe below:

 

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

 1 can (400g) of red kidney beans

picnic-food-ideas

2 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped

80g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 can (150g) sweet corn1 orange pepper, sliced into thin strips

2 green apples, chopped into cubes

Handful of red seedless grapes, halved

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Method:

1)      Mix the kidney beans, avocados, tomatoes, pepper, sweet corn, apples, and grapes in a bowl.

2)      Then add the olive oil and lime juice.

3)      Add the salt and pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients and dig in.

 

 

A handful or 80g of any fruit or vegetable, raw or dried makes one of your 5-a-day. So include these in your picnic in

stead of high-calorie and high salt treats, such as chocolates and crisps. Additionally, instead of sugary, fizzy drinks, why not make your very own lemonade or fresh fruit juice, to help contribute towards your 5-a-day.

To add carbohydrates to the healthy picnic, why not roast potatoes in olive oil, add a pinch of salt, pepper and dried herbs.  Carbohydrates provide an important source of energy for the day. Choose wholemeal or wholegrain breads and pasta. This provides a great source of fibre.

Get active with a walk around the park or some fun games. Finally, don’t forget the sun protection – cream, sunglasses, and hats, and make sure you drink plenty of water too!

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