Antacids, laxatives, fibre supplements etc.: why do we need all of these when all we have to do is eat properly?
Our digestive systems are seemingly massively complex and require specialist knowledge to keep healthy, but the truth of the matter is that eating properly and maintaining a healthy diet will go a long way to ensuring digestive health.
There are many foods that can assist our bodies naturally, let’s have a look at some that are not just good for your digestive system but for your brain too.
- Chia seeds: These little seeds are great as two tablespoons can provide 10 grams of fibre! They are more or less tasteless and are easily added to salads or smoothies. These are an excellent source of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants.
- Fish! Fatty fish are great as not only are they tasty and versatile to cook, they’re also loaded with Omega 3’s and DHA, which are an important component in the structure of the brain. DHA’s are essential for normal functioning of neurons in the brain and the central nervous system. They are also the good fats that are needed for the body, not the ones found in junk food such as pizza and potato chips.
- Fermented products such as Korean kimchi, miso, fresh sauerkraut and pickles are great for the digestive system. These foods are so rich in probiotics it would be like eating ‘gut food’. The yeast and bacteria in these foods produce probiotics and in turn, allow the good bacteria to roam freely.
- Slow releasing carbohydrates are foods that release energy slowly and take away the ‘sugar drop.’ These are ideal as instead of the sudden bursts of energy that are often found when eating food rich in sugar, slow releasing carbohydrates do this slowly. This keeps energy levels up and doesn’t spiral the brain into confusion. Examples of these are wholegrain products, most fruit, vegetables and legumes such as beans and lentils.
- Wine, in moderation! A glass of red wine a day has been proven to slow down the onset of dementia.
- Another indulgent: Dark chocolate! This delicious snack can also be good for the brain as it contains antioxidants, thereby promoting good brain health.
- Healthy sources of fat such as those found in avocado and sunflower seeds are great for the brain. Not only are avocados a good complement to many dishes or even by itself, avocados may also help to reduce to effects of Alzheimer’s. Sunflower seeds have also been proven to reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s by 67%!
- Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and even peanut butter are said to be good for brain development as they are rich in folate and healthy fats. Be sure to opt for salt-free peanut butter though!
- Berries: Who doesn’t love these colourful and tasty little bites? They have been noted to slow down the ageing process of the brain.
10. And of course water. The brain is 2/3’s water and needs to stay well hydrated at all times to function at its optimum. Try aiming for a minimum of 2 litres a day, or 8 glasses.
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In the interest of our patients, in accordance with South African law and our commitment to expertise, MediHub cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.