Dietary advice to aid digestion
Many symptoms of digestive problems can be relieved with simple food and lifestyle changes like: stomach ulcers, hiatus hernia, pain and discomfort after eating, constipation, and Heart burn.
NHS choices quotes good foods to help your digestion:
· "Fill up on foods containing fibre to prevent constipation e.g. wholemeal bread, brown rice, fruit & vegetables, beans and oats. If cereals and bread cause bloating try fruit & vegetables
· Drink plenty of fluids- especially water, helps soften stools and prevent constipation
· Avoid caffeine drinks which can cause heart burn
· Cut down on fatty foods for a healthy gut e. g chips, burgers, fried foods. These foods are harder to digest and cause stomach pain. Try lean meat, fish and grilled food instead.
· Be careful with spicy foods which can bring on heart burn, stomach pain and diarrhoea
· Acid foods e. g tomatoes, citrus fruit, fizzy drinks can trigger heart burn.
· keep a food diary to see which foods are causing the symptoms
· Try pro- biotic yoghurt with friendly bacteria for healthy gut."
There are no hard and fast rules or wonder food that aid digestion alone but here's some useful ideas that may help within a balanced healthy diet:
· Have regular meals at 4 hourly intervals
· Avoid having large heavy meals, take small and light meals instead
· Try to eat slowly and chew thoroughly remember mindful eating! from my previous blog, healthy teeth or good fitting dentures are also important
· Avoid rushing meal times- rest before and after meals as much as possible
· Sit in an upright position during and after meals.
· Avoid fatty or highly seasoned food which you have found from experience with a food diary that are likely to upset you
· Avoid stimulants e. g strong tea, cola, fizzy drinks, limit coffee to 2 cups/day and smoking. Instead try plain water, herbal tea, milk if tolerated.
· Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Avoid especially if there's pain and indigestion
· If there are no symptoms and you are feeling better, alcohol can be taken in moderation. If you smoke try very little/cut down and have only after main meal
· Avoid very hot/cold foods.
· Regular exercise helps keep your gut active and healthy. If you are feeling well, take up some walking e. g walking the dog, outdoor fun family time.
· Remember if your digestive symptoms do not resolve and you are still unwell or losing weight seek a doctor's advice and see a Dietitian.
For specialised Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby kabeer