Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

Easy ways to improve your gut health!

This is a sponsored post, sponsored by Danone Activia.

Digestive comfort is on the minds of many Aussie women with data showing that that up to 90% of women report some type of digestive discomfort regularly. With symptoms ranging from bloating and gas to constipation and general discomfort, building a healthier gut is on the minds of many of us as we try and juggle the demands of a very busy life with work, families and careers which can see us frequently picking up quick meals and snacks on the run. The health of our gut is influenced by many variables and while some of these we don’t have a huge amount of control over, others including what we eat and the specific foods we choose to actively promote gut health can dramatically improve our gut comfort on a daily basis. I see many, many clients who have ongoing digestive issues and I often recommend Activia probiotic yoghurts as part of their tummy management plan. Here are some of the steps I take to help my clients improve their digestive comfort*. 

1. Target probiotic rich foods

Probiotics are the ‘good bugs’ found naturally in the digestive tract that play a powerful role in keep our gut healthy and working optimally. Specifically adding probiotic rich foods into our diet has been shown to help reduce digestive discomfort, constipation and bloating, help to restore gut flora after consuming a course of antibiotics and to help rebalance the bacteria required for optimal nutrient absorption.

Probiotics are frequently found in yoghurt but the types and strains of probiotics differ between brands. I generally recommend Activia as it has been scientifically proven to help improve digestive comfort* as it contains the exclusive probiotic strain, Bifidus ActiRegularis, which lasts through the stomach to reach the intestines alive where it can help improve digestion. Probiotics are also found in a range of other foods including fermented drinks such as kefir and kombucha, miso and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi. 

2. Choose the right yoghurt

While many yoghurts contain probiotics, not all are proven to have digestive benefits and many contain added sugars and a high number of calories. Recently the popular yoghurt Activia, which has been shown to improve digestive comfort* has been reformulated with No Added Sugar or artificial sweeteners so you can get all the gut health benefits with no nasty extras. Each pot of Activia contains 4.4billion live probiotics to help you build a happy and healthy gut and just 100 calories per serve allowing it to be included as part of a healthy, calorie controlled diet.

3. Look for foods with No Added Sugar

When it comes to promoting a healthy gut, it is known that consuming a diet high in added sugars can actually reduce the amount of good bacteria in the gut. For this reason, actively seeking out low sugar foods or foods with less than 5g of sugars per serve is an important step in keeping your overall sugar intake low. Sugar can also be slipped into our daily foods such as yoghurt, breakfast cereal and snack bars without us even realising it, so always look for products that specifically state they contain No Added Sugar.

4. Get enough fibre

Few Aussies get enough fibre on a daily basis. Inadequate fibre can slow down the digestive process leaving you feeling bloated and heavy. Ideally adults need at least 25-30g of dietary fibre each day via a piece or two of fresh fruit, 2-3 cups vegetables or salad and a serve or two of wholemeal or wholegrain breads or cereals. With a busy lifestyle it can be challenging to get this much fibre. Specially formulated nutrient rich foods such as Activia shots, offer 2g of prebiotic fibres in a handy 80ml shot, is perfect for busy people who need their fibre nutrition on the run!

5. Drink plenty of water

One of the most important yet rarely mentioned steps towards good gut health is drinking enough water. The digestive system is heavily affected by dehydration and on a daily basis few of us are drinking enough fluid to maintain optimal levels of hydration. Ideally we need at least 2L of calorie free liquids each day via water, herbal tea or infusions to keep on top of our fluid intake, and an extra ½ – 1L for every hour of high intensity activity that we participate in. Once you making drinking enough fluid a priority, each day you will notice the gut related benefits almost immediately.

*By consuming a 250g serving a day during 4 weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.