Our digestive system is responsible for preparing the food for absorption, which is vital for the cells in our body. Basically, the body requires this process to get the nutrients it needs and repair any damaged structures. These won’t be possible if you have an unhealthy digestive system.
People often think that our bodies are made up of fragmented and disconnected pieces. The truth is that it is a synergistic structure of connected systems that depend on each other to function well. This is why having a healthy digestive system is vital. Does this mean you need to give up your favorite comfort food? No. You need to start a healthier balance on your diet and take care of your body. To help you, here are some tips to improve your digestive health.
1. Increase intake of high-fiber food
Increasing your fiber intake is advisable for better digestion. This is also beneficial for people who are already suffering from digestive issues and want to improve their condition. Start a high-fiber diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
Doing so will help you have normal and smooth digestion, which is also beneficial in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing constipation. Other great benefits of this diet are prevention and treatment of problems such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diverticulosis.
2. Stay hydrated
Another important thing to do to have a healthy digestive system is to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is beneficial to moving waste smoothly and keeping intestinal surfaces moist. It also helps in breaking up food, preventing discomfort, bloating, or constipation.
A person is most dehydrated in the morning, so it’s recommended to drink at least two glasses of water the moment you wake up. At the same time, experts also suggest drinking up to two liters of non-caffeinated fluids every day.
Aside from water, other fluids you can take include herbal teas or vegetables and fruits with high water content, such as tomatoes, peaches, cucumber, and melons. These other options can help you meet your daily fluid intake and prevent constipation.
3. Stop bad habits
Habits like drinking too much alcohol, smoking, or eating late at night are never good for our overall health. As a matter of fact, they can cause various digestive issues. For instance, drinking too much alcohol can boost acid production in the stomach, which might result in acid reflux, heartburn, and stomach ulcers. Other issues it might cause include gastrointestinal tract bleeding, leaky gut, or inflammatory bowel diseases.
On the other hand, smoking can potentially double the risk of acid reflux and is often associated with other problems such as gastrointestinal cancers and stomach ulcers. As for late-night eating then going straight to sleep, you can get indigestion and heartburn. It is also associated with an increase in reflux symptoms.
4. Manage stress
You might not know this yet, but stress can have a bad impact on your digestive health. In fact, it has been associated with several health issues such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers.
Basically, what happens is that our bodies assume that we have no time for digestion and rest when it is in fight-or-flight mode. So when you’re stress, your body somehow draws away energy and blood from your digestive system.
Experts recommend starting stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, relaxation training, and deep belly breathing. These don’t just help with your overall digestive health but also improve your mindset. Furthermore, such techniques are also said to improve symptoms in individuals suffering from IBS.
5. Listen to your body
The worst thing you can do is not pay attention to your body and ignore those fullness or hunger signs. When you do that, expect to experience various concerns such as indigestion or bloating. While there no hard science to prove how long the brain can realise the stomach is full, it is advisable to eat slowly and be aware of how full you are.
Doing so helps prevent various digestive issues such as stomach pain, chronic constipation, gastritis, and tons more. Take note that these problems might require professional medical help, such as endoscopy procedure or surgical treatments.
Keeping our gut healthy and optimising overall health can help us maintain a happy digestive system and allow us to live a healthier, happy life. Apart from starting the habits mentioned above, don’t forget to see your trusted doctor regularly for prevention. Start focusing on your health and wellness today and avoid any serious health concerns!