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Top tips on taking care of your body and improving digestion

As the years pass by taking care of your body becomes ever more important. It's often the simple things that make a big difference to how much energy you have or how well you feel, but sadly it seems that it's the little things we're most likely to ignore.

Research conducted by Activia shows that 8 in 10 women in the UK believe they have a healthy digestive system , even though 60% still experience bloating.

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These health complaints don't just affect us physically. 44% of British women experience digestive discomfort say it makes them feel uncomfortable in their clothes or skin; 23% feel bad tempered and 1 in 5 suffer from a loss of confidence. This is true reflection that British women are suffering in silence with a condition that can be improved with very easy steps.

What became evident from the survey was that areas reporting the lowest levels of bloating, the highest consumption of probiotic yogurt was reported. Highest yoghurt consumption was evident in the South West, Greater London and the East of England - all areas that correlate to comparatively low bloating levels.

Conversely, the survey's findings also showed that those women who report the worst digestive discomfort also consume too many foods that could aggravate digestive health. Fried/fatty foods being consumed at least two to three times a week by 25%of British women - highest in the West Midlands (31%). Women in the South West are also drinking too much alcohol - an incredible 22% drinking it 4-5 times per week or more!

The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) offer the following tips to reduce the likelihood of suffering from bloating:

  • Eat slowly - of those who experience digestive discomfort, only 15% take more time to eat meals

  • Avoid eating copious meals - 7 in 10 women questioned made no change to their portion sizes or amount they ate, despite suffering from digestive discomfort

  • Restrict your intake of pulses, cabbage, cola, soft drinks and chewing gum, particularly sugar-free

  • Consume fermented dairy products and probiotics with proven benefits on digestive health - such as Activia

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter says: "Digestive health is an excellent indicator of our overall health. Discomfort isn't just something women get from time to time. It really is something that shouldn't be ignored. If things don't improve, talk to your local practice nurse or GP."

For more information visit www.activedigestivehealth.co.uk

Peterborough UK Community Website - June 2008

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