Having an upset stomach is an unpleasant experience for everyone. Adding to this is the loss of energy that follows the other symptoms. In this modern-day, studies show that digestive problems have become more common. In fact, it has become so common that most people do next to nothing to improve digestion. Maybe it’s time to change that as gas, bloating, heartburn, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea can lead to other health issues too, besides being very embarrassing.
As poor dietary habits and lifestyle changes are to be blamed for many digestive problems, we at TABIIB have created a list of tips and tricks that can aid your digestion.
1. Eat A High Fiber Diet
According to nutritionists, consuming a high fiber diet improves digestive health by maintaining regular bowel movements. A study showed that individuals who regularly consume a high-fiber diet have much lower rates of constipation. It is also believed that adding a high fiber diet can help avoid health complications such as irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis. For instance, hemorrhoids are often caused due to excessive strain on the lower rectum during bowel movements. So, the best way to prevent hemorrhoids is by eating fiber that softens the stool and reduces the strain on the anus or lower rectum. However, it’s important to note that too much fiber can also cause bloating, diarrhea, or loose stools.
3. Stay Hydrated To Improve Digestion
Water is the solution to most things. We just can’t stress enough about the importance of drinking water for a healthy lifestyle. For digestion, water is important as it plays a major role in absorbing nutrients properly. Additionally, water also ensures the free movement of food in the intestines. So overall less water intake can also cause constipation and other digestive problems.
It’s common knowledge that human beings need to drink a good amount of water every day. However, it is also important to consume water at the right time, especially for people with underlying digestive problems. For instance, studies show that drinking water right before meals can cause digestive issues for people who suffer from GERD. Consuming water right before meals adds volume to the stomach and increases pressure on your stomach, which may often lead to acid reflux. So, It is recommended that you drink water at least 30 minutes before meals to avoid issues with digestion.
3. Limit Trans Fats
If you are like most people, you probably have midnight cravings too. Eating junk once in a while is okay for the most part, but once this becomes a habit it might cause concern to your body. For good digestive health, it’s important to watch the kind of fat you eat as studies show that fatty foods can slow down digestion.
Fats are an essential part of a balanced diet. As we can’t avoid fat altogether, it’s best to focus on eating good fats and limiting saturated fats or trans fats. Good fats come in the form of nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils such as olive, soy, and sunflower. Trans fat is mainly seen in processed food made with hydrogenated oils. So if you want to observe some good digestive health it’s best to stay away from junk or processed food with high trans fats.
4. Eat Probiotics To Improve Digestion
Even though most bacteria are known to cause diseases, probiotics are good bacteria that can prevent various illnesses. These microorganisms usually live in our intestines where they produce fatty acids to help feed and nurture other nonpathogenic bacteria. This, in turn, encourages healthy gut flora that aids digestion prevents infection, and reduces chronic inflammation.
You could try yogurt or raw fermented food such as kefir, kimchi, or kombucha to let the good bacteria aid your digestion.
5. Chew Your Food To Improve Digestion
As obvious as this might sound, many of us forget to chew our food properly. We often get distracted by the TV in the background or the thoughts in our head and forget to chew the food that’s right in front of us.
Chewing plays an important role in the entire digestive process. Firstly, the breaking down of the food into finer particles reduces the stress on the esophagus and makes the digestion process smoother. Secondly, chewing reduces the risk of bacterial overgrowth in the colon caused due to large lumps of food. Most importantly, chewing triggers hydrochloric acid production and helps food move smoothly through the digestive tract.
6. Manage Stress
Stress is the mother of all evils. It significantly affects our mental and physical health. Stress particularly affects the digestive system as it can affect the brain-gut communication. This, in turn, impacts every part of the digestive system by causing problems such as bloating, inflammation, and loss of appetite. Stress also affects digestion by not letting the intestines absorb nutrients properly. The number of problems that stress can cause digestive health is almost never-ending. You could try to meditate or indulge in an activity to mitigate your stress levels.
Overall just remember that you are not the only one facing digestive issues. Problems with digestion have become more common than ever. If dietary changes or lifestyle changes don’t help with your digestion, it is always recommended to consult a doctor. Some digestive problems may not be fixed naturally so don’t shy away from visiting a doctor when digestive problems persist for a long period of time.