7 Ways to Improve Your Digestive System | 1MD

7 Ways to Improve Your Digestive System


A healthy digestive system is crucial for your overall wellness. As a result, neglecting your digestive health can cause significant issues, such as an inability to properly digest foods and absorb their much needed nutrients. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to ensure that these internal processes are working the way that they should be.

Drink plenty of water

Water is absolutely necessary for your digestive system to be able to properly dissolve soluble fats and fiber and make it easier for them to pass through. If you don't drink enough water, your digestive system will significantly slow down because a harder stool has a much more difficult time passing.

Exercise regularly

Following a consistent exercise regimen is necessary to keep food moving through your digestive system at an appropriate speed. It also stimulates muscles in your GI tract and tones your colon's walls.

Eat plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber daily

Fiber is a crucial aspect of good digestive health. It facilitates everything moving smoothly through your intestines and helps time absorption and digestion just right so that the glucose in food enters your bloodstream more slowly, allowing your blood sugar to stay more constant. It also adds bulk to your stools, while also softening them. This allows your stool to pass quickly through and prevents constipation.

Getting enough fiber in your diet has also been shown to prevent and treat a variety of digestive conditions, such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticulosis. Examples of foods that are a good source of fiber include whole grains, bran, nuts, legumes, and vegetables.

Eat slowly and on a routine schedule

Try to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks at around the same time every day. Also, never rush while eating. Chew each bite 20 times to give your stomach the time it needs to prepare to properly digest any nutrients you are giving it. This also gives your body enough time to tell your brain that you are full, which prevents overeating.

Include probiotics in your diet

Probiotics are "good" bacteria that naturally reside in your digestive system. They provide a variety of functions, including strengthening your immune system, facilitating the breakdown of lactose, enhancing the absorption of nutrients, and fighting the negative effects of antibiotics, a poor diet, and stress. They also regulate the amount of healthy bacteria in your system and your bowel movements. Foods that are a good source of probiotics include plain, low-fat yogurt and kefir. You may also choose to take a daily supplement.

Limit the amount of fat you consume in your diet

Fried and other fatty foods are much more difficult for your digestive system to digest and tend to slow down the entire digestion process. This makes you more likely to become constipated and feel bloated. To cut back on the fat in your diet, opt for lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of pork and beef. You can also swap margarine and butter for olive oil and replace whole or reduced fat dairy products with low fat or nonfat versions.

Maintain a healthy weight

Research has shown that weight gain is linked to conditions such as GERD, a condition that prevents the valve between the esophagus and stomach from completely closing and allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Being overweight also puts added pressure on your abdominal area and increases your risk of suffering from heartburn.

References

  1. http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/healthy-eating/tips-for-better-digestive-health.aspx
  2. http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/8-tips-improve-your-digestive-health

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