Tips for Improving Your Digestive Health
- Posted on: May 6 2015
Your digestive health is heavily affected by the foods you eat and by the lifestyle that you live. Your digestive system is responsible for breaking down food into the nutrients that your body needs. However, when neglected, your body can run into issues breaking down and absorbing needed nutrients, thus causing a host of health problems. In order to improve your health and well-being, one must take small steps to improve their overall digestive health. This will help your digestive system function more efficiently, which in turn can improve your body as a whole. If you are not sure where to start, try these tips for better digestive health:
Limit fatty foods
While often delicious, fatty foods have a tendency to slow down the digestive process, and can make you more prone to bouts of constipation. However, it is important to get some fat in your diet, so when you do eat fatty foods, be sure to pair it with high-fiber foods in order to make them easier to digest.
Add fiber to your diet
Eating a high-fiber diet rich with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can help improve your digestive health and help keep everything moving. In addition, it can help treat or prevent various digestive conditions, and keep you from getting constipated. However, it is important to consume both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, in order to receive the greatest benefit possible. You can receive soluble fiber from legumes, seeds, nuts, and oat bran, while good sources of insoluble fiber are whole grains, wheat bran, and vegetables.
Limit red meat
Fatty meats should be limited as much as possible, as it can lead to painful digestion. While getting protein in your diet is essential, when choosing meat select the leaner cuts, such as poultry and pork.
In your digestive tract, you have a host of healthy bacteria that is naturally present. Probiotics are healthy bacteria you can use to repopulate your gut, as stress, poor diet, and taking antibiotics destroys the beneficial bacteria that is present naturally. In order to replenish your system, it is recommended to ingest probiotics on a daily basis. Probiotics can not only help strengthen your immune system, but can also enhance nutrient absorption and help break down lactose. For more information on probiotics, and for a list of sources, check out our past article on probiotics here.
Stay on schedule
In order to keep your digestive system in tip-top shape, try to consume your snacks and meals on a regular schedule. Setting an alarm, or having other reminders can help you get into the routine of sitting down around the same time each day for snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Staying hydrated is excellent for your digestive system and for your body; drinking plenty of water daily is recommended. Having water in your digestive system helps dissolve soluble fiber, dissolve fat, and allows these substances to pass through the digestive system easily.
Skip the bad habits
It is important to avoid excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, and smoking, as coffee, cigarettes, and liquor can interfere with your digestive system. Using these substances can lead to problems such as heartburn and stomach ulcers.
Regular exercise not only can help you maintain a healthy weight, which in itself is good for your digestive health, but regular exercise helps keep everything moving through your digestive system. This will help issues like constipation from occurring, so it’s good to make it a point to exercise regularly.
Anxiety and stress can make your digestive system go haywire, causing diarrhea, constipation, as well as other stomach ailments to occur. It is very important to find stress-reducing activities that you enjoy, such as reading, yoga, making art, as well as meditation, and add them into your daily regime.
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