Your bowel is very sensitive and has numerous nerve endings and responds quickly to your emotions and hormones. It is normal to experience a difference in bowel habits if you alter your lifestyle, diet, routine, exercise more, are stress at work or relationships.  So how can we make it easier and have a healthier digestive system while still eating the food we love?

It can be found in fruits, cereals and vegetables. There are two kinds of fibre, soluble and insoluble. You need both of them to enjoy the ‘joy of movement’ in your bowels. Fibre cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes and therefore passes through the stomach without its acid being affected. When it reaches the big intestine, it would break the fibre down and produce gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen and methane and short chain fatty acids are absorbed into the cells or passed into the bloodstream.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and bind to other substance such as cholesterol and hormones. It also slows down the blood sugar into the bloodstream. Some of the soluble fibre:

  • Most fruits
  • Barley
  • Most vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Oats
  • Pulses – beans and lentils

Insoluble Fibre means it will not dissolve in water but it attracts water and therefore soften stools and increase bulk that gives the muscle walls something to contract against and help push the waste material out. Some of the insoluble fibre:

  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Chickpeas
  • Soybeans
  • Almonds
  • Oat brans
  • Green beans, sweet corn, cauliflower, peas, broad beans
  • Wholegrain food

The benefit of eating fibre is lower blood cholesterol level, helps remove excess hormones and toxins from your body and control blood glucose levels. It is good is you are concern with weight loss and diabetes.

Some food can irritate the bowel and cause constipation and therefore a solution is to cut out certain food and reintroduce them after a few weeks then recording the difference and getting to know your own body and how it reacts. Keep a food diary and list what you ate and drank. Some suspicious foods could be:

  • Wheat as it contains gluten that triggers an immune response to attack the wall lining of the gut wall.
  • Caffeine-containing food as it stimulates the bowel walls.
  • Dairy products as some people can be lactose-intolerant. If you do not have enough of the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose sugar in milk.
  • Fruit juices and they are acidic and contain fructose.
  • Additives and preservatives used in food such as sulphur dioxide.
  • Artificial sweeteners as many low-carbohydrate diet food are sweetened with lacitol or sorbitol and contain high sugar alcohol.

Keep having a balanced meal and look out for fibre that will help with your digestive system. Also, if you are planning to take up a personal trainer, make sure his or her service comes with a legitimate nutrition plan that will help you alongside your personal training.

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