About 60 million of Americans are affected by digestive diseases, brought not only by bad food choices but also by busy lifestyle. Digestive tract is about 30 feet long with division in 8 different parts. The digestive system breaks down the food into useful nutrients and extract the energy which our body need to perform the daily activities. For physical and mental health, the maintenance of digestive health is as essential as rest of body is highly dependent on it. Gas, bloating, constipation and heartburn are the indications of poor digestive system. Getting better digestive health is not a big target to achieve, some simple lifestyle changes in diet and physical activities can make the digestive system better and efficient.
- Stomach pain
- Stomach bloating
- Acidic taste
- Growling in stomach
- Burning sensation in stomach
- Feeling nauseous
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To get rid of these uncomfortable situations, you should improve your diet and remain active and positive not only physically but also mentally. Along with it, there are few other ways which may be helpful for better digestive system.
Eat plenty of fiber:
It is well known that fiber is useful for good digestion. Soluble fiber dissolves in water help to lower the cholesterol level and regulate glucose level.
Soluble fibers are found in;
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits and vegetables
- Oat bran
Insoluble fiber facilitate the movement of food items from stomach through digestive tract and make sure the bowel regularity. The good sources of insoluble fiber are;
- Wheat flour
- Wheat bran
- Some vegetables
- Whole grains
- Citrus food
Limit fatty foods:
I general, food that contains fat contribute to slow down the digestive process and leads to constipation. However our body also needs fat. The key point is to limit the fat intake. More ever omega 3 fatty acids prevent inflammatory bowel diseases.
Probiotics( for life) are beneficial bacteria that live in digestive tract. These bacteria not only help in digestion but also lower the chronic inflammation and prevent infection. You can get more probiotics by eating yogurt.
Water is most essential for digestion. For a healthy digestion adequate fluid intake is required. Without water the whole body’s performance decreases which decrease blood pressure and leads to constipation. Get enough fluid in the form of simple water or from water rich foods. The experts recommend that consume 8 glasses of water a day.
Protein is a part of healthy and balanced diet. Try to consume especially plant proteins. Although animals sources of proteins are useful but they also contain cholesterol and fats. Plant proteins are more beneficial because they contain unsaturated fats and no cholesterol.
Stress can negatively affect the digestion. During stress the energy and blood are turned away from the digestive system. The effect on brain may affect the digestion because our brain and gut are connected. Therefore stress management techniques not only reduce stress but also improve digestion.
How you eat is as important as what you eat. Mindful eating is paying attention to food and the eating way. Mindful eating reduces the digestive symptoms ulcers, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. In order to eat mindfully;
- Eat slowly
- Select each bite consciously
- Turn off TV and put away phone
- Pay attention to taste, smell and texture of food
- Chew food
One of the best ways to improve digestion is regular physical exercise. Exercise and walk help food travel through digestive system. Additionally exercise reduces constipation and prevents inflammatory bowel diseases. Activities like taking stairs instead of elevator, walk during coffee and lunch break and walk to work is helpful.
Get rid of bad habits:
Some bad habits may also be responsible for digestive issues;
Increase the risk of acidic regression and also associated with stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal cancer.
Alcohol can lead to heartburn and stomach ulcers. It also increases acid production in stomach. Reducing alcohol may help your digestion.
Body needs time to digest the food. Late night eating and lying down after eating lead to indigestion and heartburn.