Your diet and lifestyle choices can affect the health of your digestive system. If you’re feeling symptoms of a digestive disorder, such as bloating, cramps, constipation, or diarrhea, it may be time to improve your digestive health, starting by doing research.
Here are some top tips to help you maintain a healthy digestive system and improve your quality of life.
1. Chew Your Food
Healthy digestion starts in your mouth, and poor chewing habits have been known to lead to nutrient malabsorption. Taking the time to chew the foods you eat into smaller pieces can help your digestive tract enzymes better break it down. Your stomach will have less work to do. Thorough chewing will also increase saliva production, which that break down fats and carbs, as well as help pass food smoothly into your intestines.
2. Avoid Large Meals before Bed
Eating before bed increases your risk of suffering from heartburn or acid reflux. You need to give your body time to digest before going to sleep.
3. Eat Mindfully
Many of us have bad habits of eating in front of the TV, which can make us ignore signs from our bodies that we are full. We often eat on the run or too quickly due to busy schedules, but our digestive systems don’t like to be rushed. Eating too much or too quickly can lead to poor digestive health. So, be mindful when you eat. Sit down, eat more slowly, and listen to your body.
4. Take Ginger or Peppermint
Both ginger and peppermint can help soothe the gastrointestinal tract and help eliminate gas buildup.
5. Avoid Big Meals
It’s better to eat many small meals throughout the day than to eat two or three large meals. Eating smaller meals can prevent you from becoming too hungry, and in turn, eating too fast and too much. It’s also better for your metabolism and can help combat bloating, cramping, pain, and gas.
6. Eat More Fibre
Adding more fiber to your diet is a sure-fire way to improve your digestive health. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. It will help keep food moving through the digestive tract and prevent a variety of digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
7. Take Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria, which you can take to balance out your human microbiome—your gut bacteria. Taking probiotic supplements regularly can do wonders for your digestive tract.
8. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners were once believed to be a great alternative to sugar. However, we now know sweeteners can negatively impact your gut bacteria and lead to digestive upset.
9. Be Mindful of Medications
Antibiotics are prescribed for a number of health conditions, including fungal infections and bacterial infections. Unfortunately, as they kill the bad bacteria in your body, they also destroy the good bacteria, which can cause many problems such as diarrhea. Regular use of other medications, such as laxatives and NSAIDs, can also wreak havoc on your digestive system, leading to ulcers, constipation, and other digestive issues. Use medications wisely.
10. Limit Fatty Foods
Fatty foods slow down the digestive process, which can make you more prone to constipation. Of course, we all need fats in our diets, but make sure to pair them with high-fibre foods to aid in digestion.
11. Eat Lean Meats
Protein is an essential nutrient, but getting it from fatty cuts of meat can upset your digestive system. Instead, try to eat more lean meats, such as chicken and pork loin, as well as plant-based foods, such as soy and beans, to get your daily intake of protein.
12. Drink Water
Staying adequately hydrated has many health benefits, one of which is a healthy digestive system. Water can help food pass through your system more easily, leading to greater digestive health.
13. Reduce Your Intake of Cigarettes, Caffeine, and Alcohol
Smoking, excessive caffeine, and alcohol can all interfere with the proper functioning of your digestive system and may lead to digestive problems such as heartburn and ulcers.