Your digestive system is greatly affected by your lifestyle, and certain foods and activities can either positively or negatively impact your body’s ability to break down the food you eat and absorb the nutrients your system needs to function optimally. When your gut health suffers, digestive issues can be fairly disruptive and unpleasant.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to support your digestion. Read on for helpful tips to change your lifestyle and improve the way your digestive system functions.
- Learn the Basics
Before you take steps to alter your daily choices, it helps to know just how important it is to focus on your gut health. Your digestive system performs a variety of functions for your body. It’s where your body can take in essential nutrients to provide you with energy and give your body what it needs to grow and repair your cells. The vast majority of your immune system also rests in your digestive system, so it is important to maintain your already healthy digestive system.
There is a fairly delicate balance of gut bacteria that must be maintained in your digestive system that helps to digest food properly, which is why many medical professionals recommend a probiotic supplement or specialized diet to achieve the right balance.
- Eat Whole Foods
The food you eat has a larger impact on your body than just the taste or caloric content. Foods range from being beneficial to downright harmful to your digestive system depending on their ingredients. Refined carbohydrates, added sugars, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, saturated fats, high sodium, glucose and other food additives have been linked to digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome.
Diets that focus on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and natural sources of fats, sugars and other ingredients can protect your gut from developing certain illnesses and diseases and improve your body’s ability to digest the food you consume on a daily basis.
- Focus on Fiber
The two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble, each play different roles in your digestion, and both are incredibly beneficial for your system. A high-fiber diet that consists of vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and grains helps food to move easily through your body. These diets can help to prevent constipation and digestive discomfort, and can even reduce the risk of a variety of digestive conditions. Look for ways to add both types of fiber to your diet, as insoluble fiber bulks up your stool while soluble fiber absorbs water and can prevent diarrhea.
- Be Mindful of Fats
If you’re constipated frequently, it could be that your diet includes a high level of fats. Fatty foods typically slow down your digestive system, but foods that contain healthy fats may have the opposite effect. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to increase the absorption of certain fat-soluble nutrients and reduce inflammation in your gut, which can prevent or reduce the symptoms of some digestive diseases.
Besides, leafy green vegetables contain almost zero fat, while being rich in dietary fiber, which makes them a great remedy for constipation. Some of the best leafy green vegetables to eat include kale, spinach, and Swiss chard, those suggestions are credited to Healthcanal.com/nutrition/
- Drink Water
If your body doesn’t have enough water to help stool move through your digestive tract, you’re far more likely to develop constipation, bloating and inflammation in your system. The fiber you consume draws water into your stool so it can pass through a lot more easily. Increase your fluid intake, especially drinks that are non-caffeinated, in order to prevent constipation and help your system to digest foods with ease. It also helps to consume foods that are high in water content such as tomatoes, melons, cucumber, squash, berries and celery.
Regular physical activity can not only help you to maintain a stable weight, but it also helps to keep your digestive system regular, too. Those who exercise regularly have fewer digestive issues such as constipation, inflammation, bloating or several bowel diseases. Exercise minimizes the number of inflammatory compounds found in your system, so the more frequently you can get moving, the better your digestive system will feel.