Monday, 14 February 2011

Keep our digestive system healthy

The stomach is a very tolerant organ when compared to other organs in our body. It is a strong grinder, and can hold up to one gallon of food and liquid when fully stretched. (This is the upper limit of comfort.)

“It can tolerate a lot of abuse, so people are generally not sensitive to it. So, when they get indigestion, bloatedness or angin, as they like to call it, they generally ignore it until they experience pain or develop constant irritation.

“By that time, the problem has already become serious.”

Certainly, our stomach is not the only organ in our digestive system. It also includes other organs in the digestive tract (our mouth, esophagus, small and large intestines, rectum and anus), and supporting organs such as the liver and pancreas.

It may be a complex system, but the things we can do to take care of it are rather simple.

This figure may have improved over the last decade, but Easaw-John doubts Malaysians are getting enough fibre today. “When I look at my patients over the years, at least about 60 to 70% had not achieved their fibre intake, and many of them had not even achieved their five to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily,” she notes.

Of course, fruits and veggies are not the only sources of fibre. Grains, beans and oats are also good sources we can choose from.

Various studies have shown that fibre, either in supplements or in its natural form, can relieve chronic constipation, reduce blood cholesterol, and maintain the stability of the digestive tract. On top of that, fibres can provide “food” for the good bacteria in our intestines and make us feel full after our meal (hence stopping us from eating more), says Easaw-John.

Supplements are not the alternative, but it can ‘do the trick’ for the moment. But supplements are just that – supplements, says Easaw-John. “They are add ons and they are supposed to enhance your diet, not to replace a meal,” she notes.

Above article is partially extracted from the star online dated 13 Feb 2011

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