According to the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines 2010, it is recommended for adults to consume 25 grams of fibre each day. Fibre helps move digested food from the colon faster and also prevents constipation and bloating. It also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the colons and helps with weight control by making us feel full longer.
Now when people hear fibre, they immediately turn to banana but did you know that the kiwifruit has more fibre content than the banana? With just one kiwifruit, you can easily fulfill your daily fibre intake.
And when we say fluids, we don't mean coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. Think H20. By drinking loads of water, it moves the passage of crap and waste in our digestive system and helps soften stools, making doing the number 2 a less painful affair. So drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a daily.
Personally, I keep a 500ml bottle of water by my side at work and make it a point to finish it throughout the day. I also drink a glass of water before every meal as it 'tricks' my body into thinking it is full and I wont end up eating so much. And whenever I am feeling peckish throughout the day, I down a glass of water first to curb the hunger and craving.
Step 3: Choose the right beverages
Coffee, colas, tea and some fizzy drinks can boost acid in the stomach, causing digestive discomfort aka farts, burps and badly timed tummy aches. Fizzy drinks also tend to cause bloating which can lead to heartburn.
If you can't do without your caffeine intake, limit yourself to no more than one or two cups a day. Avoid taking your drink with sugar or creamer if possible.
Step 4: Cut down on Fat and Spices
Aside from cutting down on sugar and creamer, eat less fat and spices as well. Particularly when it is fried as fatty, fried and spicy food makes your digestive system work harder to digest and cause discomfort.
Instead opt for lean meat, fish, skimmed or low fat milk. Avoid deep-fried food if possible. The best way to know how your food is made is to make them yourselves. This helps you know what goes into it and allows you to adapt your healthy meals to suit your liking.
Step 5: Exercise regularly
Exercising is a given for overall fitness. But finding the motivation to move is another challenge altogether. Did you know that the chances of heartburn increase with higher heavier weight? Zespri Malaysia recommends taking up activities that you enjoy and can do with friends on weekends such as hiking, zumba and yoga.
Step 6: Say NO to stress and just breathe.
A lot of people have issues saying no to stress especially at work and this brings on a bout of anxiety and unnecessary stress that causes your tummy to act up. Stress can also worse digestive conditions like peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation.
Avoid eating when anxious, stress or unhappy. Exercise instead as it releases your happy hormones. Take up yoga or pilates as its breathing and meditation techniques helps you clear your mind.
Step 7: Eat right
Eat right, eat smart. Take note of your eating habits such as meal times and portion of meals. Skipping meals and binge eating at the next meal is bad for your digestive health as it may cause indigestion and in the long run, weight gain. Don't rush when eating. It takes 20 minutes for your mind to register fullness so take your time to bite and chew. Avoid eating a big meal before bedtime. Try not to eat a heavy meal after 8pm or two or three hours before bedtime.
Special thanks to Zespri Malaysia for providing these tips to a better digestive health and for inviting me to the yoga session with Atilia Haron as well as providing the Zepri Green Kiwifruits. Stay tune for more healthy homemade meals recipes.
To get more on the go ways to stay fit while eating well, follow me on Instagram (@taniawee13).