Healthy digestion comes from healthy eating
Your digestive system digests your food and fuels your body. It provides nutrients and energy for activity, growth, and repair. A healthy diet and food habits are essential for getting enough nutrition and improving your digestive system.
The digestive system has to deal with everything you eat, including hard-to-digest food, too much food, and food eaten in an unhealthy manner. Your digestion is also affected by your lifestyle. If you want to improve your digestive system fast, pay attention to your choices.
Your digestive system works hard to digest your food, and digestive health depends on intestinal bacteria, stomach acid, and gut immunity. A well-balanced diet is essential to keep these factors balanced. Most modern diets are imbalanced — they have only half the fiber required and too much saturated fat, sugar, and salt.
Eating the right foods in correct portions helps your digestive system work smoothly. How you eat is also important. Eating on the move seems normal now, but it isn't. Always try to sit down for a meal, chew well, and eat slowly. Keep your portions small, and spread out your daily food intake over three or four meals. Skipping meals isn't good for digestive health.
Whole grains are vital for your intestines to work well. Compared to pasta and white bread, whole-grain foods are rich in fiber. Your large intestine (the colon) needs at least 25 grams of fiber daily. Whole grains also contain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Your gut harbors billions of friendly bacteria (your microbiome) that need the nutrients in whole grains to thrive.
Refined carbohydrates and "low-carb" diets may help weight loss but aren't good for your intestines. Switching to whole grains will aid your digestive system, but not everyone does well with grains. If you find grains and cereals give you bloating and irritable bowels, you can get your fiber from fruits and vegetables instead.
Green, leafy vegetables
You know kale and spinach are excellent sources of fiber. But they also supply vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Include plenty of green leafy vegetables in your diet to keep your digestive system and microbiome healthy.
Protein is essential for the body, but you must choose carefully. Fat is high in calories and cholesterol, which are bad for heart health. Avoid protein sources that include unhealthy amounts of fats. High-fat foods are harder to digest and can cause cramping.
Reducing fats eases your digestive system's workload. Include more lean meat and fish, and opt for skim or low-fat milk. Grilling is better than frying. Don't go fat-free, of course. Some fats in your diet are vital to good nutrition.
Sidestep high-fructose fruits
If you often suffer from bloating and discomfort after eating fruit, fructose might be the culprit. Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, causes gas when not digested. Fruits like apples, mangoes, and pears have large amounts of fructose.
If you feel uncomfortable after eating these fruits, switch to berries and citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit. These fruits are delicious and have little fructose. You'll notice a rapid improvement in your digestion as soon as you sidestep these fruits.
Spices and curries
Most people enjoy spices, but you might find your tummy is upset after such meals. Chilies, garlic, and onions can also provoke heartburn. Rather than suffer at each meal and take pills for relief, reduce the spices in your food.
Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria and help maintain your microbiome. They're available as supplements, but you can also have yogurt with live bacteria. Probiotics have to be taken regularly every day for significant benefit.
Drinking water with your meals and throughout the day is essential. Water helps food to pass through the intestines, and it also softens your stools.
Apart from water, fruit juices and milk are a good choice. Milk is a good source of calcium, too. Milk contains lactose, though, which many people cannot digest. Cut it out of your diet if you find yourself gassy or having diarrhea after milk. Avoid smoothies more than once a day, as they're sugary and can damage teeth.
Avoid caffeine-containing drinks if you are prone to heartburn. Fizzy drinks bloat the stomach and can cause heartburn. Coffee, green tea, cola drinks, and energy drinks are all rich in caffeine.
Mindful eating is described as "the act of eating while being in a state of non-judgmental awareness, shifting one's attention to the food and mind-body connection." This method helps many digestive problems such as heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome. You can use it to identify stressors and triggers of your digestive symptoms. Mindful eating reduces your stress response and promotes optimal digestive function.
Sleep rests your body, including your stomach and intestines. Besides, not sleeping enough can lead to obesity, which increases your chances of digestive system problems.
Stress and anxiety are significant factors in heartburn and ulcers, and anxiety and depression also increase your chances of irritable bowel syndrome. Try relaxation and distraction techniques to reduce your stress, and your digestive system will reward you.
Stress hits your digestive system in different ways. Your digestion might slow, causing constipation, bloating, and pain. Or it might work too fast, causing diarrhea. You could lose your appetite, and stomach ulcers are also likely. Avoid eating when you're stressed and arguing at the dining table.
Give up smoking
Smoking reduces the strength of the muscular ring at the lower end of the esophagus (food pipe). This allows food and stomach acid to travel back into the food pipe (reflux) and can cause chest pain and ulcers.
Rest your digestive system
Every time you eat, your stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver, and other organs have to work. Giving them some rest helps keep them in good working order. Balanced breaks between meals will give your digestive system time for rest and recovery.
Try to keep the last meal of the day light, and eat it early. There should be a 2 to 3 hour period between your last meal and bedtime.
Diet is the key to improved digestion
If you frequently have gas, cramps, heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea, your gut needs help. Simple dietary and lifestyle changes can provide relief to your digestive system. By choosing a healthy diet and making better food habits and lifestyle choices, you can improve your digestion fast.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Integrative medicine: "Mindful Eating: A Review Of How The Stress-Digestion-Mindfulness Triad May Modulate And Improve Gastrointestinal And Digestive Function."
John Hopkins Medicine: "5 Foods to Improve Your Digestion," "Your Digestive System: 5 Ways to Support Gut Health."
National Health Service: "5 lifestyle tips for a healthy tummy," "Eat well," "Good foods to help your digestion."
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