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Digestive Health

  • 5 Foods that may trigger IBS

    IBSIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a combination of symptoms related to the digestive system. These symptoms stem from a variety of factors, often including one or more of the following: diet, allergies or intolerances to certain foods, difficulty with digestion or malabsorption of certain nutrients and or foods, malfunction of (or biological issues in the stomach area) its lining, and the intestines.

    The symptoms of IBS are as painful as they are problematic, particularly for people with busy schedules who cannot afford to be slowed down by pain or bowel disturbance. Unfortunately there is not one dietary answer for all IBS sufferers. Each individual would benefit from following an elimination diet in conjunction with their health practitioner’s advice. There are, however, a few common dietary changes that may help reduce many of the symptoms associated with this condition. Here is a small list of 5 foods that are commonly thought to trigger IBS:

    Fibre - Many people do not know how much fibre they are really consuming. Along with the consumption of fibre, there must be also be a high consumption of water and moderate exercise because fibre to help move the fibre through the digestive system. Without enough water and body movement, fibre may become stagnant, causing excess gas and cramps. Ask your healthcare practitioner to recommend the fibre to water ratio that you should consume according to your weight and height.

    Cruciferous veggies - The kings of gas, namely, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower are excellent sources of nutrients that are low in carbohydrates, fat, sodium and calories. However, for IBS sufferers, these wonderful choices of food can be quite painful. They can produce excess gas and, in stomachs already weakened by inflammation, gas is not just a nuisance, but a cause for cramps, nausea and even diarrhoea.

    Legumes - You all know the song, ‘Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot!’ Well, not surprisingly, beans, hummus, and all things “starchy” also produce gas, contain excess fibre, and may not be good choices for IBS sufferers. Legumes make popular side dishes with just about every meal, but for IBS cases the best substitute for legumes is brown rice. This latter choice does not bulk up your belly and may not irritate it either. The best thing to do if check with your healthcare practitioner to see which legumes are suitable for you.

    Grease - Excess fat in meals means that your body will have a harder time processing the high oil content of food. It also means that your stomach will have extra work to do trying to make “something” out of the fat that it will have to break down with the help of your pancreas and liver enzymes. Try to go without excess fat for at least three days and note the difference in your digestion.

    The extras - Those fake foods that we consume, and do not belong to any food group, wreak havoc in our system. Sweets, alcohol, soft-drinks and chips of any kind contain something in excess (alcohol, sugar alcohol, fat, sodium, food colouring and other preservatives). These add-ons are foreign substances that can really hurt IBS stomachs. Eating foods that don’t come in a packet are the best choices. Eating food in moderation is the key to healthy digestion. Make the swaps that you need to lead a healthier, happier life.

    Always consult your healthcare practitioner before starting major dietary changes.

  • Beating Indigestion

    Indigestion refers to the constricting pain that sometimes occurs in the upper abdomen following eating.  Also known as heartburn and dyspepsia, indigestion is frequently accompanied by other symptoms, like flatulence, burping, bloating, reflux and nausea.  Continue reading

  • Tips To Help Relieve Minor Digestive Problems

    Occasionally, we all experience some minor tummy upset.  The following provides some helpful tips you can apply to hopefully relieve some of the most common digestive problems you may face.

    Simple tips to help relieve minor digestive problems Simple tips to help relieve minor digestive problems

    Continue reading

  • Summer Holiday Survival Guide

    Summer Holiday Survival Guide Summer Holiday Survival Guide

    It’s coming up to that time of year again where you get the chance to relax, put your feet up and enjoy the festivities with family and friends. But it can be a busy time of year, with parties, late nights, present shopping and other occasions. Diet choices are frequently poor. The following tips might help you take care of particular areas of your health that could experience the strain of the holiday season.


    As socialising comes to a peak at Christmas and New Year, healthy eating habits often go out the window. We easily consume excess alcohol and party foods that wouldn’t normally enter our diet, potentially leading to upset digestion, weight gain and hangovers. During the summer, people might also travel overseas or on family road trips. To help get your digestive system through the festive season, try the following tips:

    • Interchange alcoholic drinks with water.
    • Be food wise: instead of eating chips, lollies and cakes, choose unsalted nuts, cheese on crackers or fruit.
    • To soothe an upset stomach, try Chamomile.
    • Try taking a Probiotic as poor diet and travelling can cause the healthy bowel flora to become imbalanced. A probiotic will help to replenish the normal flora.
    • Milk Thistle can be very beneficial to consume when drinking alcohol and eating rich, fatty foods, as it supports your liver and digestion.
    • Try ginger or travel sickness bands for car or motion sickness.


    The holiday season can be a rather stressful time, with lots to do and seemingly little time. However, try to take 30 minutes of relaxation time for yourself each day which may help to minimise your stress levels. When it comes to stressful holiday events, like Christmas dinner with the relatives and Christmas present shopping, leaving extra time to prepare could help you to reduce your stress levels. Congested roads on public holidays can also be a source of anxiety so if possible, try to avoid travelling at these times.

    The body’s adrenal glands release hormones during stressful situations. You can support this response by taking supplementing with some of the key nutrients required to produce these hormones, such as magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin C.


    Late nights, poor eating habits and stress can make us vulnerable to catching a cold during the summer holidays. The following nutrients and herbs can help to bolster a healthy immune system:

    • Echinacea: it is thought that Echinacea can stimulate the immune system’s “non-specific” defences involved in fighting infections.
    • Garlic may help the immune system to defend the body against upper respiratory tract infections and colds.
    • Vitamins C and E are needed to help maintain the proper functioning of the immune system.
    • Zinc is necessary for healthy immune function.


    Your skin will need special care during the summer, as it receives more sun exposure. The following tips may help:

    • To relieve dry, scaly skin, use nourishing body butters, drink 2L of water every day and take essential fatty acids like flaxseed oil.
    • Try to avoid getting sun burn with Slip, Slop and Slap; that is, put on a shirt, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
    • When outside, apply a natural insect repellent and burn citronella candles to reduce insect bites.

    You can be happy and healthy all summer long with a little bit of forward planning and having some natural products at the ready. Happy holidays!

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