There are a number of factors that help your body absorb nutrients efficiently:
– presence of good bacteria
– the right amount of fibre
– avoiding the wrong foods
– nourishing with the right foods
Parts of your small intestine are very easily damaged. Known irritants include fried foods, alcohol, food allergens or intolerances, by infections or even by antibiotic use.
To maximise your gut, some great supplements include:
– Vitamin A
Find it in liver, kale, pumpkin and tomatoes.
Oysters, beef, pork, chicken, almonds and peas are great options.
I use a supplement, find one which is pure and doesn’t have any added colours or flavours.
Check it includes Lactobacillus and Bifidus bacterias for adults, for children you are looking for infantis and bifidum. There are so many great benefits of probiotics including vitamin synthesis, infection fighting, boosting immunity, reduce inflammation and restores gut health.
– Vitamin D
The sun is your friend! But avoid peak UV times, try going for a walk or sitting outside in the sun early in the morning, or later in the evening.
– Try fermented foods
Think yogurt, sauerkraut, tofu, tamari or sourdough bread.
Are a great prebiotic, prebiotics are the food for good bacteria. If you haven’t tried it before, check out Banana resistant starch and add it to your smoothie.
If you take a daily vitamin, you should be getting a healthy dose of most of these. Glutamine you may need to purchase in powder form, and take either first thing in the morning, or last thing before bed,
Avoid or minimise:
– Fried/Fast foods
Full of chemicals that irritate the digestive tract.
To put it simply, alcohol is an irritant, it causes damage to the digestive tract wall, we all know the risks of binge drinking, keep drinking to a minimum. I no longer drink at all.
– Phytates found in wheat
Don’t stop eating wheat unless you have an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity, but consider swapping for quinoa, rye or buckwheat at times to give your gut a break.
– Oxylates in spinach and rhubarb
Kale is a much better option than spinach, and you reap the rewards of the nutrients much more greatly, so if you are going to go green, up the kale!
– Methylxanthines in tea, coffee and cocoa
You don’t have to give these up completely, but avoid drinking these while enjoying a meal.
Its in their name, they are due to kill bacteria, including the good ones! Use them as a last resort, but avoid if we can, not just for your gut health but also to help with antibiotic resistance, because that is scary!