A healthy digestive system is essential for a healthy body and well functioning immune system. The following are some simple tips to keep your bowels in tip top shape.
1. Ground flaxseed - Enjoy 1-2 heaping tbsp of ground flax or chia seeds daily – both are gentle sources of fiber that can help promote bowel movements. If you have been taking 1 tbsp try increasing to two, but don't start at two, slowly increase. And did you know, ground flax can reduce your risk of breast and prostate cancer.
2. Psyllium fiber - Adding 1 tsp of psyllium powder to your smoothie can be helpful. Or try adding ¼ cup of Bran Bud’s to your morning yogurt and berries. Bran bud’s is one of the few cereals on the market that contains psyllium fiber.
3. WATER! WATER! WATER! Bowels need to be hydrated to pass stools. If you are experiencing hard stools that are difficult to pass it can often be lack of water as the culprit. Ensure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water per day.
4. Drink fresh lemon juice and warm water in the morning. Lemon juice is great for the liver, stimulating bile flow which gets the rest of the digestive system moving.
5. Magnesium –Magnesium is the 2nd most abundant mineral in the body next to calcium. Magnesium stimulates peristalsis, which is the rhythmic contraction of your digestive system, moving things along the digestive tract. Great sources of magnesium include; dark leafy green veggies, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and black beans. Talk to your Nutritionist about supplementing with magnesium.
6. Probiotics – healthy bacteria in our gut is essential for the proper breakdown and absorption of nutrients from our food as well as proper elimination. Plain yogurt with probiotics is a good place to start. Other food sources of proboitics include naturally fermented sauerkraut, kefir, miso and tempeh. For many, supplementation is needed for a more therapeutic amount of these healthy bugs. A brand I like is Udo's Choice Probiotics.
Have a great week, we'll check in with you soon.
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN, Personal Trainer
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