- Marilyn Buckley, CHHC
10 Tips for Better Digestive Health
Your lifestyle and your choice of foods can affect the way your body digests what you eat. Drinking water, adding fiber, and exercising all contribute to better digestive health.
In addition to making good dietary choices, eating on a regular schedule, staying hydrated, and getting enough exercise are all factors in maintaining healthy digestion.
Your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat in to the nutrients your body needs. If you neglect your digestive health, your body could run into problems absorbing those nutrients.
Your digestive health is directly impacted by the foods you eat and the lifestyle you live. By taking steps to improve your digestive health, you will help your digestive system to function more efficiently, improving your overall health and sense of well-being.
10 TIPS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE OPTIMUM DIGESTIVE HEALTH:
Consume a diet that is high in fiber and rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits. A high-fiber diet can help keep things moving through your digestive tract, which will help keep you “regular” and less likely to experience constipation.
Insoluble/Soluble Fiber is necessary for a normal functioning digestive system. Insoluble fiber, or “roughage” is not digested by the body and helps add bulk to your stool. Soluble fiber absorbs water and will help prevent stools that are too watery. Sources of insoluble fiber is wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. Soluble fiber can come from oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Limit foods that are high in fat because fatty foods tend to slow down the digestive process and that can lead to issues with constipation. With that being said it is important to consume the right kinds of healthy fats. Our body requires healthy fats for normal function.
If you are going to consume animal protein make sure it is from organic grass-fed animals. This should be across the board for meat, poultry or pork. Try to incorporate more sustainable and wild-caught fish.
Incorporate probiotics daily. Probiotics are the “good-guys”, the healthy bacteria. They help keep the body healthy by combating the effects of a poor diet, antibiotics, stress and unhealthy lifestyle habits. Probiotics can also enhance nutrient absorption, support and boost a healthy immune system and break down lactose and possibly help treat IBS.
Eating on a regular schedule can help keep your digestive system in top shape. Try to practice mindful eating rather than eating on the run and rushing through your meals.
Drinking plenty of water is so beneficial to overall health and your digestive system as well. Fiber will pull water into the colon to create softer, bulkier stools which will allow them to pass through more easily causing less discomfort.
Eliminate unhealthy habits such as smoking, too much caffeine, sugar, processed and refined foods and alcohol. Many of these things can lead to possible stomach ulcers and heartburn (acid reflux) and can interfere with the normal function of your digestive system.
Regular exercise helps keep “things” moving through your digestive system normally which will lead to less chance of developing constipation. Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight.
Too much stress or anxiety can actually cause your digestive system to do into overdrive. Find some stress/anxiety reducing activities that you enjoy doing that will help reduce your stress and do these on a regular basis.