11 Steps to Better Digestion & Gut Health

Young beautiful woman is having stomach ache.Do you feel like your food is just sitting in your stomach for hours after you eat?

Are you constantly bloated and suffering with gas?

Or are you are running to the bathroom before you have even finished your meal?

You are not alone! Many people suffer daily with indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain and digestive upsets. In fact, most people feel these symptoms so often, that it’s become the norm for them! There are things you can do improve your digestive and gut health.

Your gut is like your second brain, so if you’re struggling with digestive symptoms, there’s a good chance you aren’t absorbing minerals and your gut flora is out of balance, leading to bloating and gas. 

What the heck is gut flora? It’s bacteria in your gut. We have good bacteria and bad bacteria that are in a constant combat against each other everyday. Sugar, caffeine, digestive issues, stress, lack of HCl (hydrochloric acid), processed foods, antibiotics and the birth control pill are all things that can effect this delicate bacterial balance. Bottom line, we want more good and less bad!

Here are eleven steps you can take now to improve your digestive and gut health and reduce or eliminate the bloating, gas, indigestion and heartburn:

  1. Start Food Combining – When foods are combined properly, they do not sit in your stomach and rot. Rotting food feeds the bad bacteria and yeast that is residing within your digestive tract. To combine food properly, I always have my clients eat only ONE type of protein with their meal. Ideally, 3 meals a day would mean 3 different sources of protein. This will ensure you are giving your body a wide variety of amino acids. Also, if you are combining protein with grains or carbohydrates in a meal, I typically recommend to limit the amount of grains during that meal. Protein and grains can be hard to digest together. 
  2. Eat Fermented Foods – Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and pickles are naturally fermented foods. When eaten, they will feed the good bacteria in your gut and balance your inner ecology.
  3. Take Enzymes and Probiotics – I suggest that everyone take digestive enzymes and probiotics to help with the digestion of their food and to strengthen their immune system. Yes, your immune system LIVES in your gut! Enzymes are important if you are eating a large meal and if it generally takes you a long time to digest your food. Probiotics will help replenish good bacteria and can potentially help reduce gas and bloating. 
  4. Drink More Water – We all know we need to drink plenty of water. I LOVE my spring water and recommend everyone visit www.findaspring.com to locate a spring near you. A little known Ayurvedic trick is to drink a glass of water 15 minutes before your meal. This will get your digestive juices flowing and help to improve digestion. 
  5. Follow the 80/20 Rule – This rule is to eat until you are 80% full. That leaves 20% of the room left in your stomach for your digestion to work. No one likes that uncomfortable full feeling! Your tummy will thank you if you stop just before you are full.
  6. Eat Loads of Fiber – Your body needs fiber to carry out toxins, excess hormones, and junk. Eating lots of water-soluble fiber, found in veggies, will ensure that you get plenty of fiber. Just don’t forget step #4! Drink lots of water, too, so that you don’t end up constipated. Water will help flush the fiber through your system. Flax and chia are also great sources of fiber too. 
  7. Include Short Fasting Periods – Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that you don’t eat for a day. What I am suggesting is that you take some time between meals. Give your system about 4-5 hours to allow for you food to assimilate. When your gut is constantly bombarded by food all day long, it can be a stressor on your system. Give it some time to work on that last meal before you head to the kitchen for a snack. Also, try to keep a 12 hour window between your dinner and breakfast the following day for optimal digestive health.
  8. Cut out Sugar and White Carbohydrates – These foods will feed the bad guys in your gut. Avoid them and you’ll experience less gas and bloating – and you don’t want the insulin spike that comes with them either. These foods are DEVOID of nutrients. 
  9. Cut out the Gluten – A large percentage of people are gluten intolerant and don’t even know it! I suggest eliminating gluten from your diet for at least 3 weeks, then reintroducing it to see how you feel. Also, running out and stocking up on gluten free products IS NOT the answer. Be conscious of ingredients, like sugars and starches that many of these gluten free foods contain. 
  10. Start your day with ACV – I’m talking about Apple Cider Vinegar. This incredible healing elixir helps improve your HCl and supports your digestion. If you’re popping an antacid, try switching to 1 tablespoon of ACV in 1 cup of warm water every morning and see how you feel. Trust me, it works like a charm! Read more on the benefits of ACV here – 7 Reasons to Drink ACV. 
  11. Eat or Drink some Bone Broth – The #1 most soothing and healing drink that you could ever ingest is bone broth. Homemade bone broth contains all of the nutrients you need to heal your gut and provides the minerals you need for strong bones. It’s a win-win, must-consume food! 

Our digestive and gut health is vital for our overall health. Do not ignore the signals your body sends you. If you are constantly experiencing gas, or bloated, or suffering with pain, indigestion or heartburn, something is UP! Pay attention to these symptoms, follow the suggestions above and more importantly, work with a nutritionist to truly get to the bottom of your digestive woes. 

To your optimal digestive health!
Samantha xoxo
Have questions? I’ve got answers! Email me at – samanthagladish@gmail.com    

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