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The Quintessential Guide to Bowel Health

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A healthy digestive system is essential for a healthy body and optimal weight loss. The following are some simple tips to keep your bowels in tip top shape:

1.    Ground flaxseed - Enjoy 1-2 heaped tbsp of ground flax or chia seeds daily – both are gentle sources of fibre that can help promote bowel movements. If you have been taking 1 tbsp try increasing to two.

2.    Psyllium husk/fibre - Adding 1 tsp of psyllium powder to your smoothie can be helpful. 

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 water and fluids regularly (not coffee!) and up your intake if you are constipated.

4.    Drink fresh lemon juice and warm water in the morning. Lemon juice is great for the liver by stimulating bile flow which gets the rest of the digestive system moving.

5.    Magnesium –Magnesium is the second 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 Naturopath or Registered 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 probiotics include naturally fermented sauerkraut, kefir, miso and tempeh. For many, supplementation is needed for a more therapeutic amount of these healthy bugs.