1) Grain of Truth
Eating leftover Thai takeaway straight from the container doesn’t have to be like swallowing a ticking time bomb. Research from Food Australia shows a starch found in rice that’s been cooked then cooled neutralises the colon-cancer risk from your green curry, quashing those “cool rice equals instant death” claims.
2) Crack Your Risk
Your post-work pub visits can pose a cancer risk, but counteracting it might be as simple as finding the balance between beer and snacks. An EPIC study (yes, that is its official name) found that for every two units of alcohol you average a day, your bowel cancer odds jump eight per cent. But your risk falls for each 10 grams of extra fibre. A bag of nuts takes you halfway there.
3) Pain Kriller
This sup may come from the ugliest crustacean in the ocean, but if you’re feeling digestive stress, you need to krill out. The pill’s antioxidant astaxanthin protects against bowel inflammation, according to the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Try Swisse Ultiboost Wild Neptune Krill Oil ($41; 50 capsules).
4) Switch Meds
Popping pain pills like mince pies might offset hangovers, but aspirin can damage the stomach and intestinal lining when used excessively, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Switch to alternatives such as paracetamol. Or just jog it off.
5) Mint Condition
Peppermint oil is more effective for easing bowel irritation than prescription antispasmodics, according to a review by McMaster University. Add three drops to your water bottle: as it also increases stamina and power, you’ll be running smoothly in all senses of the word.
6) On the Safe Side
It’s smart to be left-leaning. In a Clinical Gastroenterology study, subjects were fed a high-fat meal, then asked to spend four hours lying down. Those who napped on their left side had significantly less acid reflux. Worth remembering for the cricket-and-couch snack binge.
7) Golden Nectar
Antacids can be a health antagonist. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found heartburn drugs inhibit the absorption of vitamin B12, a crucial nutrient for brain health and energy. If you’ve been overindulging, put out the fire with a brew of ginger, turmeric and honey instead.
8) Grape Escape
Blend this in your protein shake and down it. Grape seed extract has earned its reputation as a pre-workout boost, but it’ll also jack up your digestive health. Research by the University of Adelaide found it has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects on the gut. Well worth a shot.
9) The Low Blow
Strengthen your insides while building muscle with “breathing squats”: sink as low as possible, fully exhaling as you drop. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that regulates digestion and excretion. The C.H.E.K Institute fitness group prescribes five sets of 10 reps a day.
10) Kettle Power
Here’s further ammo for sitting-is-the-new-smoking crusaders: a University of Regensburg study found that people who spent the most time sitting had a 24 per cent increased risk of colon cancer, compared with those who spent the least time sitting. Make the next tea round yours: regular brews dunk your risk up to 14 per cent.
11) Keep it Real
Artificial sweeteners won’t stave off new year weight gain. Sorbitol and xylitol might seem waistline-friendly, but because they aren’t fully digested, they can trigger bloating and diarrhoea. Seems living off diet banoffee-fudge whey powder isn’t wise – who’d have guessed?
Often feel like you’ve swallowed a football? Try cutting these stealth allergens for a comfier gut
Baked goods, stock cubes, Vegemite, dried fruit, (gulp) beer
Vinegar, soy, parmesan, processed meats, canned fish
Tomato-based sauces, citrus fruits, soft drinks, car batteries and rain