Topic 6: A delicious dinner designed to beat digestive problems

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If you find your digestive system playing up more often in 60s and beyond, you’re not alone.

Digestive problems including constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, ulcers, indigestion, and acid reflux are all more common as we age, for many reasons, including:

  • The muscle contractions that move food through our bodies slow down
  • Our metabolism becomes more sluggish
  • We take more medication, which affect digestion
  • Our stomach lining becomes less resistant to damage
  • Bacteria grows more easily in the intestine
  • The production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes weakens, and
  • The oesophageal sphincter loses strength.

These issues, and more, can mean you lose your enjoyment of food, because so many items can set off an upset stomach or another uncomfortable symptom.

The list of foods to avoid can be a long one; dairy foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, fatty foods and fried foods are just some of the danger zones.

On the flipside, there are some foods that are better for a delicate digestion.

Lean meats such as chicken and fish are less likely to cause upset than a fattier red meat. Meanwhile. several foods, including leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus and chicory, feed the good bacteria in your stomach.

Using this knowledge, Sean Anderson, the general manager of food at Cater Care, created a delicious dish called Chicken and Kale Pot au Feu. It’s a hearty, warming dinner option that’s designed to ease digestive problems.

“It’s a good source of fibre, low in saturated fat, and mild in spices, making it a suitable dish for individuals with digestive issues such as reflux and diverticulitis,” he explains.

“Kale also contains a particular type of antioxidant that has been studied for its role in reducing the risk of colon cancer.”

Anderson says that because kale goes through the colon undigested, the antioxidants it contains protect the cells of the colon from free radical damage.

“This is an exceptionally healthy dish that’s perfect to share with family and friends,” he adds.

Are there some foods you’ve learned to avoid? What do you do to treat digestive issues naturally?

Uniting is passionate about helping older people to lead happy, healthy lives. Whether you are looking to downsize for a more relaxing retirement, need support to remain independent at home, or require full time assistance with your health and care, we can tailor a solution that’s just right for you and your family. Uniting provides lifestyle, health and care services to 14,000 older people across New South Wales and the ACT.