Everyone practices infrequent digestive symptoms like stomach upset, gas, nausea, constipation, heartburn, or diarrhea.
However, when these signs occur regularly, they can cause major disturbances to your life. Luckily, lifestyle and diet changes can have an encouraging impact on your gut health. Adding fiber, drinking water, and exercising all contribute to improved digestive health. Here are some evidence-based habits to improve your digestion naturally.
1.Get plenty of fiber
It is a common awareness that fiber is useful for good digestion. Soluble fiber not only absorbs water but also helps add bulk to stool. Insoluble fiber acts like a huge toothbrush, aiding your digestive tract to keep things moving along.
Prebiotics also feed your strong gut bacteria. Diets rich in this fiber can reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel problems. Prebiotics are present in many vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Soluble fiber is present in legumes, nuts, oat bran, and seeds. While vegetables, wheat bran, and whole grains are sources of insoluble fiber. A high-fiber intake has been related to a reduced danger of digestive disorders like hemorrhoids, ulcers, reflux, and IBS.
2.Eat real food
Diets rich in processed foods have been related to a greater risk of digestive ailments. Consuming a diet low in food additives, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats may improve your digestion. They also protect against digestive illnesses.
Food additives, including salt, glucose and other chemicals, can cause increased gut inflammation, thus leading to leaky gut. Trans fats are present in many processed foods. They’re renowned for their negative effects on heart health. They are also responsible for developing ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Moreover, processed foods like ice creams and low-calorie drinks contain artificial sweeteners that may cause digestive problems.
Researches have also revealed that sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners decrease healthy gut bacteria and increase damaging gut bacteria. Imbalances in Gut bacteria can cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It may also cause irritable bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Luckily, scientific evidence proposes that foods rich in nutrients protect against digestive disorders. Consequently, eating whole foods and controlling the ingestion of processed foods may be best for optimum digestion.
3.Add healthy fats to your diet
Good digestion may also need eating sufficient fat. Fat aids you feel fulfilled after a meal and is required for proper absorption of the nutrient. It also makes food moving easily through the digestive tract. Amusingly, increasing fat consumption has been shown to release constipation.
Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of evolving inflammatory bowel ailments like ulcerative colitis. Foods rich in helpful omega-3 fatty acids comprise chia seeds, flaxseeds, nuts. It also includes fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and sardines.
A common cause of constipation is low fluid intake. Experts commend drinking 1.5–2 liters of non-caffeinated fluids per day to avoid constipation. Though, you may require more if you exercise vigorously or live in a warm climate.
Also, you can meet fluid intake with herbal teas and other non-caffeinated drinks like seltzer water. Conversely, don’t drink too much with meals, as it can dilute the stomach’s natural acids. Having small sips during a meal is fine. But avoid downing a great amount of water before a meal.
Another way to meet your fluid intake needs is to include fruits and vegetables which are high in water content. For example zucchini, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries, grapefruit, and peaches.
If you eat too much too hurriedly without paying attention, it can lead to gas, bloating, and indigestion. Mindful and slow eating is the practice of giving attention to all facets of food and the eating process.
Researches indicate that mindfulness may decrease digestive symptoms in persons with IBS and ulcerative colitis. To eat mindfully;
- Eat slowly.
- Focus on your food by putting away your phone and turning off the TV.
- Notice how your food smells and how it looks on your plate.
- Select every food bite intentionally.
- Pay attention to the temperature, quality, and taste of your food.
6.Chew your food
Digestion normally starts in the mouth. Your teeth break down the food into smaller parts to increase the enzymatic action in the digestive tract. Poor chewing has been linked to reduced absorption of nutrients.
When you chew food thoroughly, your stomach has to do less effort to turn the solid food into the liquid mix which enters your small intestine. The act of chewing produces saliva, and the lengthier you chew, the more saliva is made. Saliva helps to start the digestive course in your mouth by breaking down some of the carbohydrates and fats present in your meal.
Saliva acts as a fluid in the stomach, which is mixed with the solid food so that it easily passes into your intestines. Chewing food properly confirms that you have sufficient saliva for digestion. This may help avoid symptoms like heartburn and indigestion.
7.Manage your stress
Stress can cause disorder on your digestive system. It has been related to diarrhea, constipation, stomach ulcers, and IBS.
Stress hormones affect your digestion directly. When your body is in the mode of the fight, it ponders you don’t have time to rest and digest. During stress, energy and blood are diverted away from your digestive system. Furthermore, your brain and gut are complexly connected. This means what affects your brain may also affect your digestion.
Some studies have shown that intellectual behavioral therapy, yoga, and acupuncture have improved digestive symptoms. Therefore, incorporating stress management techniques may improve not only your digestion but also your mindset.
Regular exercise is one of the finest means to make your digestion better. “It helps keep foods passing through your digestive system, reducing constipation,” says Adams. Hence, a walk after a meal may support your body in moving things along.
Exercise can also help you sustain a healthy weight, which is good for digestive health. One study in healthy persons showed that adequate exercise, like jogging and cycling, increased gut passage time by almost 30%.
In another research in individuals with long-lasting constipation, a daily exercise routine including 30 minutes of walking expressively improved symptoms.
Moreover, studies propose that exercise may decrease signs of inflammatory bowel diseases because of anti-inflammatory effects, like decreasing inflammatory compounds in your body.
9.Boost your stomach acid
That’s factual. Lift it. The fact is that high levels of hydrochloric acid, or ‘stomach acid’, are frequently not the cause of heartburn as we’ve been lead to believe. Stomach acid is essential for accurate digestion. Without adequate acid, you may experience symptoms of acid reflux, nausea, heartburn or indigestion.
Low stomach acid levels may be due to the misuse of over-the-counter or prescription acid-reducing medicines. Other causes can be age, stress, eating too quickly and a diet high in processed foods. Here are three easy ways to boost stomach acid certainly:
- Drink water containing freshly squeezed lemon juice between meals.
- Drink 1-2 teaspoons of fresh, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in some water before every meal.
- Thoroughly chew your food. Chew each mouthful till it is impossible to separate what was in your bite. It may mean upwards of 15-20 chews per bite.
The bottom line
Lifestyle changes and simple diet may help improve your digestion if you practice recurrent, occasional or lasting digestive symptoms.
Eating a whole-foods diet rich in fiber, healthy fat and nutrients is the first footstep toward proper digestion. Practices like stress reduction, mindful eating, and exercise can also be useful.