At GIDOCJHB, we care about providing digestive health care to help our patients find the appropriate treatment for them.
Selecting the right gastroenterologist that provides the best care for your unique needs is extremely important.
The team at GIDOCJHB provides diagnostic procedures and treatment options for patients with disorders of the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, digestive tract problems, and related digestive issues.
We also have experience in inflammatory bowel disease, therapeutic endoscopy, and nutritional evaluation.
What is the Digestive System and Why is it Important?
The digestive system is the group of organs (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, and large intestine) that break down food to absorb its nutrients.
The beneficial parts of your food are absorbed, giving you energy and nutrients for day to day tasks. The leftover parts of food which cannot be broken down, digested, or absorbed are excreted as bowel movements (stool) research has shown that your digestive system can affect mood and overall mental health due to the strong connection between the digestive system and the brain.
A healthy gut microbiome is important not only to properly digest and break down the foods you’re eating but also for nutrient absorption and toxin elimination, meaning that when your gut health is negatively impacted, serious health problems can occur.
Among those problems are bloating, stress, inflammation, skin issues like acne, poor sleep, and obesity are tied to the health state of your gut.
To learn more about the best foods for your digestive system and maintaining gut health, I recommend this article
So what’s the key to helping ensure you have a healthy gut? Focus on a diet rich in probiotics and plant-based foods that promote good bacteria. All the foods that promote a healthy gut are also waist-friendly.
Here are some superfoods that we believe can be be good for your digestive health:
Ginger is a plant that can reduce bloating and gastrointestinal upset and nausea. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols, which block pro-inflammatory compounds and can lessen pain.
Sweet potatoes are best eaten with their skins if you want to benefit your digestive system.
They contain a wealth of Vitamin A, a nutrient that is key for maintaining and healing the intestinal barrier, as well as supporting a healthy immune system.
Yoghurt is packed with probiotics, as long as you choose a variety that contains live and active cultures (such as lactobacillus bulgaricus).
It’s important to read nutrition labels carefully as many brands add a large amount of sugar to their yogurts.
Coconut oil is an excellent substitute for butter or oil. Unlike oil or butter, it contains antimicrobial properties and fatty acids that can improve digestion, boost immunity, boost energy, and metabolism.
Bananas are very effective in treating gastric problems as they help restore bowel function and can help treat diarrhoea.
They are rich in electrolytes and potassium which help in restoring good digestive health.
Wild salmon contains protein for gut healing and repair, omega-3 fats to reduce inflammation, and Vitamin D which is essential for good immune function and autoimmune disease prevention.
Berries are packed with fiber and antioxidants and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
If you suffer or struggle from irritable bowel syndrome or bowel sensitivity, then chicken breast is a ‘must’ in your diet as it is rich in lean protein and essential amino acids. Lean protein is easily digestible and not fermented by gut bacteria.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, are excellent sources of fiber, as well as nutrients like folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. Leafy green vegetables are helpful for digestion.
Like yoghurt, apples are also rich in bacteria that helps maintain good gut health. Apples are very good sources of vitamins A and C and nutrients and minerals such as folate, potassium, and phosphorus.
These all help in restoring good digestive health and ensuring the proper functioning of your intestines.
Whole oats are great fiber-rich food and resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that doesn’t break down in the small intestine, but instead, ferments in the large intestine and feeds the good gut bacteria.
Digestive Health Tips
Eat a High Fiber Diet
Fiber has a wide range of health benefits, from lowering cholesterol to reducing the risk of heart disease. It can also help improve digestion by regulating bowel movements.
Stop Eating When you Feel Full
It can take up to 15 – 30 minutes for your brain to receive signals from your stomach telling it that you are full, so eat slowly and chew your food. Poor chewing habits can compromise the first stage of the digestive system.
Get Your Body Moving
Regular exercise triggers muscle contractions in the large intestine which speeds up the movement of food. Try taking short walks during the day and use the stairs instead of the elevator to stay active. Adults need at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week.
Do Stay Hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated is essential to your digestive health. That’s because fiber draws water into your colon to create bulkier yet softer stools, which allows them to pass through more easily.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.