It could be a different summer than we had hoped for as travel restrictions stay in place but we will no doubt be enjoying house parties, BBQ’s and a trip to the beach if we are lucky! And of course, let’s not let’s forget the UK has some beautiful holiday destinations.
Here are some of the common problems you and your gut could be facing this summer!
☠️ Food Poisoning – Where there’s food and fun at BBQs and picnics, there’s also the not so fun risk of food poisoning. If you’ve been the unlucky one this summer, what can you do to speed up your digestive system recovery when food poisoning strikes?!
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea are the most common symptoms, but you can have a high temperature and a general feeling of unwellness such as weakness or chills. Food poisoning should only last a few days or up to a week. If it lasts longer, you may have a more serious infection and should consult a doctor.
The bad bacterium in the contaminated food infects the intestines, causing the body to draw extra fluid into the digestive system to flush it out. This then causes diarrhoea or vomiting to expel the bacteria out. You shouldn’t try to stop this from happening by taking anti-sickness medicine, or diarrhoea combatting drugs, as it’s the body’s way of ridding itself of the contamination.
There are many home remedies to help your digestive system fight the bacteria and some to help you recover and start to feel a little better. So here are my favourites that you can try:
- Let your stomach rest. After a horrible episode of vomiting or diarrhoea, the last thing that your digestive system needs is food or drink inside it. Avoid all food and drink for a couple of hours and let it rest. If you’re very thirsty or dehydrated though, take small sips of water, the more water you can keep down the faster you can flush the nasty bugs away!
- Increase the number of good bacteria in your stomach to help fight the bad bacteria, by taking a high-quality probiotic. You can get infant powders that are easily added to drinks if you want to use child ones.
- When you can eat something (try not to eat anything for a few hours after a bout of food poisoning symptoms), try food that is gentle on your stomach. Avoid anything too fatty so that the gut doesn’t have to do much work to digest it. Some examples are bananas, porridge (made with water only), mashed potatoes, rice, plain toast and stewed apple.
🍖 Watch what you eat! Just because you CAN eat it all, doesn’t mean you HAVE to! – Firstly, eating small and regular meals is much better for your digestive system than having a massive binge at one sitting. Just because you CAN eat it all, doesn’t mean you HAVE to all in one meal. Piling your plate high at a BBQ is tempting but try not to have bigger eyes than your belly!
🍹 Drinks anyone?! When we have been starved of social occasions over the last year it could be tempting to have one too many when we finally get out and about! And of course, those house parties you will no doubt be attending!
Which drink is the ‘healthier option’? Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that on the calorie front, the sparkling versions of wine are the best choice – champagne and cava. But don’t forget about all the gas in those bubbles. They’ve got to come out one way or another, and if they don’t you can end up feeling more bloated the next day.
Spirits are low in calories but are careful what you’re mixing it with. If you want a cocktail, then have one, but keep in mind, they are the highest in calories, so probably best not to have them all night, every night! And don’t forget to watch the size of the measures, they tend to get larger through the night if you’re not buying at the bar!
🚰 Flush your system regularly – Did you know that your brain interprets being thirsty in the same way it does being hungry? Topping up your water throughout the day helps avoid this confusion. You won’t be overeating when really you should be over drinking (water that is…). Drinking a glass of water with your meal helps the stomach to digest the food as well as filling you up
You can always change this for water with lemon, or peppermint tea. Just a gentle reminder from the Colonics Queen to drink the stuff!
🌿 Include lots of Herbs (not the illegal kind) in those summer salads!
I bet you all have some herbs in your cupboard or in your garden. Maybe an Italian herb blend, or a bay leaf, or oregano. But do you know that herbs can play a major part in keeping your digestive system healthy? Curry is not only a delicious meal, but it has all the added benefits of the herbs and spices within it – ginger, turmeric, garlic, fenugreek – they all help to ease digestive issues.
Bitter herbs such as rocket can aid the liver and digestive tract if you eat a small amount before your dinner. Adding into your salad is an easy option. You can even add to the top of your pizza! It stimulates bile which prepares the body for the food it’s about to ingest leading to better digestion.
Add oregano, cumin and cardamom to meals to get rid of excess gas in the intestines. These are in spag bol and chilli, so you don’t need to make anything fancy.
Just a few tips and tricks to keep you in tip-top shape this summer! Enjoy, get out and about, and enjoy all the summer has to offer!