A better belly means improved digestion, weight loss and reduced bloating, and these five tips from dietician Dr Joanna McMillan are easy to adapt into your lifestyle.

1. Eat fibre-rich foods

Fibre is essential for a healthy bowel and has the added benefit of lowering cholesterol.

There are three types of fibre – soluble fibre (lowers cholesterol), insoluble fibre (keeps us “regular”) and resistant starch (similarly to insoluble fibre, resistant starch keeps you regular and aids with digestion).

The best sources of fibre include whole grains (such as brown rice or oats), beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables, however there is also a new type of barley called BARLEYmax, which was developed by the CSIRO which also contains high amounts of fibre.

For those looking for a fibre boost I’d recommend trying BARLEYmax, which is available in the Goodness Superfoods range of cereals and porridge, in addition to fruits, veggies, and other wholegrains, to boost your digestive health.

2. Add probiotics to your diet

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria which create a healthy environment in the large intestine (or the colon). Probiotics are present in yoghurt but also in other foods such as kimchi, miso soup and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut.

3. Chew your food

It sounds simple, but if you suffer with indigestion you may simply need to start chew your food properly.

Oftentimes we’re so busy that we’re quickly grabbing a bite to eat and not actually concentrating on chewing so much as swallowing our food. It is important to chew our food properly because it is the first step in the digestive process and will help get our stomach ready for when the food passes through.

4. Reduce sitting time

Not only does sitting at our desks cause us to struggle with our weight, it can also affect our digestive health and make us to be less ‘regular’ than we should be.

Standing work stations are emerging in other parts of the world and will come here, but in the meantime think about how you could stand more during the day.

When I work at home I put my laptop on the high bench between my kitchen and living room so that I can stand while I work. I always say don’t sit when you can stand and don’t stand when you could walk. 

5. Try to do more intense exercise at least three times a week

Intense exercise gets your heart rate up and makes you puff and pant. However this is not about burning kilojoules – this type of exercise changes the way your body and digestive system works – for the better. There are also other added benefits that will result from intense exercise such as feeling more motivated and being in a better mood. 

For more tips on how to improve your digestive health visit