How to help maintain your digestive system

We've all experienced the unpleasant effects of an upset tummy at some time or other. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps we can all take to help look after our insides on a daily basis.

Eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, based on starchy carbohydrates like bread, rice and potatoes with modest amounts of meat, fish, eggs and dairy foods and that is low in fat, salt and sugar is a great recipe for a healthy digestive system.

Eating plenty of fibre

Even though fibre is important for a healthy digestive system, most of us aren't eating enough. Fibre rich foods like wholegrain breads, rice, breakfast cereals and fruit and vegetables are great for good digestion.

Have a healthy breakfast every day

Try getting up a little earlier and treating yourself to a healthy breakfast. It's a great way to top up on those fibre-rich foods.

Avoiding heavy, rich meals, especially late at night

Eating large meals which are high in fat or spicy can make us feel sluggish and bloated. Smaller lighter meals eaten regularly is a smarter way to eat and much easier on your digestive system.

Drink lots of water

Aim for at least 6-8 glasses of water a day - 1.2 litres a day - rather than lots of coffee, tea or alcohol.

Be food safe

Always wash your hands - especially after handling raw food or visiting the toilet. Storing and preparing food hygienically will help reduce your risk of an upset digestive system.

Have an active lifestyle

The Department of Health recommends 30 minutes of daily activity for adults and 60 minutes for children.

Take some time out

Our emotional state can have a huge impact on how our digestive system works. Taking time out is important not just for good digestive health, but also for overall health. Try finding something you like doing or are good at, make time for it, and stick to it.

Nutrition Information