Have you been feeling constipated lately? Have you accepted bloating and heartburn to be a part of your life? Despite having moved ahead in science and technology, it is still too embarrassing for most people to discuss digestion-related issues with others. Most people make peace with the consistent grumbling and mumbling of their digestive system. However, it shouldn’t be that way.
Unresolved digestive concerns can open the doors to more health problems. In fact, several times a problem in the digestive system doesn’t come alone; it is a symptom of a whole other ailment. This is why, it is necessary to pay attention to the complaints of your body, no matter how minor they may seem.
Research shows that 60 to 70 million people have digestive diseases. This makes digestive problems more common than one may think them to be. Know that there are several ways one can naturally improve his digestive health. These can ensure that one doesn’t have to deal with digestion-related issues anymore.
Below is a list of 9 ways you can better your digestion naturally.
1. Chew thoroughly
Most people underestimate the importance of chewing each morsel slowly and steadily. As a matter of fact, chewing is the first step of bettering digestive health. Experts at Ohio University suggest chewing softer foods for 5 to 10 times while denser foods must be given up to 30 chews.
When your food is properly chewed, your esophagus is under less stress. In the same way, your stomach is also less stressed and metabolizes food more smoothly. The benefits of chewing your food thoroughly run deeper than this as well.
You see, thorough chewing also reduces your meal size. Chewing can aid in weight management and even appetite control. It reduces the risks of bacterial overgrowth in the colon as well. So, next time you find yourself in a rush and taking huge bites only to swallow them without properly chewing them, stop yourself and chew thoroughly.
2. Increase your water intake
Pay attention to how much water you drink and when you drink it. Most people who face digestive problems don’t stay as hydrated as they should. If you want to improve your digestive health, drink more water. Also, drink water throughout the day rather than guzzling a liter down right before starting your meal.
Several people are of the belief that if they drink enough water before a meal, they wouldn’t eat too much. That’s not the right approach as too much water around mealtime can cause stomach acids and digestive fluids to get diluted, in turn, making it difficult for them to break food down.
So, no, you’re not doing any favors to yourself when you chug down water like that. A better idea? Take small sips between the meals. Also, add herbal teas and other healthy drinks to your routine along with drinking water without any excuses of being too busy to remember your body’s basic needs.
3. Add probiotics
Probiotics help with digestion in several ways. They comprise of helpful bacteria strains that make a home in your digestive system. These microorganisms produce fatty acids and vitamins that grow other pathogenic bacteria. Good bacteria help in the breakdown of food.
Another way they improve digestion include better nutrient absorption. They improve gut health as they are a part of the gut flora. They also aid by preventing infections, strengthening the immune system and decreasing chronic inflammation.
Probiotics may help greatly in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well. You can add healthy bacteria to your lifestyle by means of taking a probiotic supplement or by simply adding more foods such as yogurt and kefir in your diet.
4. Increase fiber consumption
Eat a diet which is high in fiber. Fiber eases movement of the food through the digestive tract. It also prevents several health concerns such as IBS, hemorrhoids, etc. Therefore, increase your intake of fruits and vegetable.
Make sure you get an ample amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both of these provide assistance in improving digestion in different ways. Soluble fibers can prevent watery stools and slow down digestion by attracting water and turning into gel.
Insoluble fibers help with the passing of food through the stomach and the intestines. They also add bulk to stools. Certain insoluble fibers may also prevent heart diseases and offer diabetes protection. Fiber can lower cholesterol, maintain blood sugar markers and aid in weight loss as well
5. Don’t let stress get to you
Stress is another culprit, controlling which can improve digestive health. It can impact various aspects of your digestive system. Stress can influence blood flow in such a manner that the contractions and the secretions that digestion requires can be impacted.
It can make one feel nauseous as well. While some amounts of stress cannot be avoided, too much of it for prolonged periods can worsen digestive diseases for those who already deal with them. Stress can also make hunger go away or invite too much hunger both of which have a link with causing digestive problems.
Stress can result in regular overeating which can increase one’s appetite, along with causing several other problems. The health of the gut is very much related to one’s brain functionality. So, when we say “gut feelings” we’re not kidding.
6. Eat properly
Make sure your diet is healthy. Your diet must contain a balanced amount of nutrients. Fiber, healthy fats, and lean proteins must be present. Avoid too much caffeine. Cut out artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives from your diet. Do not go big on processed foods. Quit smoking.
Junk food is bad for health overall. Cut out gluten from your diet because it is a common allergen. Also, avoid processed soy as it can cause troubles when it comes to nutrient absorption. Furthermore, avoid eating foods that trigger inflammation. Too much alcohol is not good for you.
Excess toxin intake can cause a whole lot of digestive problems to rise such as constipation, diarrhea, etc. Figure out if there are any problem foods in your diet and reduce their intake. For example, certain people are lactose intolerant. Such individuals cannot entirely eliminate lactose consumption, but they can take measures to make their condition better.
7. Maintain a proper eating schedule
Another thing that you should keep in mind is to eat balanced meals and avoid snacking on junk food throughout the day. You would have heard that eating small snacks of healthy food throughout the day is a better idea than taking three full meals.
However, that is not true. “Research shows that eating frequently is actually unhealthy and detrimental to weight-loss goals,” says celebrity Nutritionist and author of Body Love, Kelly LeVeque. When you snack throughout the day, you exert pressure on your digestive system.
Food takes its time to digest, how can you dump more in when the snack taken previously has not even been processed yet? Snacking doesn’t give your body a break. A better idea? Eat three meals a day and stick to your eating schedule.
8. Detox responsibly
Detoxification is one term that is often must understood. Detox programs are irresponsibly followed despite it being known that, when done wrong, detoxifying can be dangerous. This is why it is important to note that one must not detox for too long and must choose his detox plan wisely.
That said, detoxifying may help improve digestive health by rebooting it depending on the underlying condition causing gastrointestinal problems. Some safe ways to detox include increasing your intake of fibrous fruits and veggies whilst reducing the consumption of high-calorie foods.
Detoxifying works to flush out toxins from the system. And the best way to do that is by increasing the intake of water. Spices and herbs like ginseng, turmeric, and ginger can also be used for detoxifying and boosting immunity.
9. Don’t forget to exercise regularly
Working out on a regular basis can improve your health on several levels. You get to cut off inches from your waistline along with being able to maintain better cardiovascular health. Know that exercise can also do wonders for your digestive health.
However, there’s a catch here as well. You have to be careful about when your exercise. Working out right after taking a meal can cause indigestion. Ideally, you should wait for some time and not exercise directly before or after taking a meal.
Also, choose an exercise which suits your physique and overall health. When exercising, stay hydrated. Take huge gulps of water rather than small sips. Exercise is great for your lifestyle. When talking about digestion, in particular, it can strengthen the digestive tract.
So, these are some ways you can wave a goodbye to digestion-related troubles. By following these simple habits and steps, you wouldn’t only be doing a favor to your stomach and intestines but also to your overall health. In case a health concern such as diarrhea or bloating persists despite you taking proper care, be sure to check with your doctor.