When it comes to maintaining overall wellness, people often focus their attention on the heart or bone while neglecting the importance of their digestive health. Little do you know, the condition of your gut is tightly linked to the body’s immune system as all foods, good or bad, go through your gastrointestinal tract. Start taking control over your digestive health through simple changes before it’s too late! Besides drinking plenty of water or eating fruits and veggies, switching to a whole foods diet can also aid in a healthy digestion.
Psyllium husks are one of the popular food supplements nowadays used for weight control and digestive health. Not only does it maintain regular bowel movements, it also helps soften your stool and relieve constipation. This is how it works – when combined with water or other liquid, psyllium husk swells and expands into bulk, causing the intestines to contract and ease the passage of stool along the digestive tract.
So how do you eat them? Studies suggested a general dose of 3 to 6 grams of psyllium husks, 2 to 3 times a day. These “bulking fibres” come in a variety of forms, from powder to cookies. In powder form, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon is normally added and mixed into water or juice for intake. For those who dislike the taste of the drink mix, you can opt for psyllium wafers or cookies that come in flavours, or add 4-6 tablespoons to your baked goods!
Thanks to Mother Nature, we are so lucky to be surrounded by various natural foods that have similar health benefits. Other than psyllium husks, here are 5 other foods that help promote a healthy digestion:
Alfalfa is often referred to as “the Father of All Foods”. It is packed with digestive enzymes that assist the body in breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. For a nutritional lunch, you can add a handful of fresh alfalfa sprouts to your tuna or chicken salad sandwiches!
Chia is a powerful source of fibre, as one serving alone can fulfill the recommended daily intake for an average adult. Chia seeds are commonly consumed in the mornings as they regulate bowel movement and increase satiety. However, a lot of people tend to skip breakfasts in exchange for a few extra minutes of sleep. If you are one of them, try this easy microwavable oatmeal recipe that takes less than 5 minutes to make!
Microwave 1/3 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds in a bowl for 3-4 minutes. For an extra boost in fibre, add 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and top it up with whatever ingredients you like. Check out our blog for other healthy breakfast ideas!
Chickweed is named one of the top ‘Superfoods’ for its soothing and healing qualities. Besides, it also helps relieve constipation and stimulate digestion due to its high-fibre nature.
Chickweed can be consumed in a variety of ways. For those who enjoy herbal teas, you can add 2 teaspoons of the dry herb into hot water and let it steep for 5 minutes. Others who prefer something chewy can opt for a cup of chickweed leaves in your greens or salads!
Chamomile is a savior to people who suffer from digestion problems such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, indigestion and even menstrual cramps. Its antispasmodic quality promotes the relaxation of muscles in your stomach to help ease pain! Add 2 tablespoons of chamomile flowers to boiling water and steep for 3-5 minutes. For more flavour, you can also include slices of apples or mint.
Chamomile is also well-known for its ability to induce sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, a warm cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before bed might be helpful!
Similar to chia, hemp is very high in fibre, which is a key nutrient needed for a healthy digestive system. It is also a powerful source of branched-chain amino acids, which aid in the growth and repair of lean muscle mass. This makes it a perfect smoothie ingredient for post-workout recovery.
To all gym enthusiasts out there, sprinkle a spoonful of hemp to your smoothies or juices. You can also substitute or add in chia and flax for an extra pump in nutrients!