How to Improve Digestion
You have probably heard the phrase "a sound body makes a sound mind," but what makes the body sound or healthy? A sound body is achieved by eating healthy and being physically active to keep the body going. Your body functions in various ways to maintain an optimal system, and one of them is the process of digestion. The digestive tract (or gastrointestinal tract) starts with the food from your mouth and moves it through the esophagus, into the stomach, then the small and large intestines. But what happens if your digestive system is not working to its full potential? How can you improve your digestion? First, let's take a look into why a healthy digestive system is important and how to improve digestion.
Why is a Healthy Digestive System Important?
Maintaining a healthy digestive system helps you to avoid heartburn, embarrassing gas, or other stomach disorders. The digestive system effectively provides nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to your body. These nutrients are then broken down into tiny particles, later absorbed and disseminated into the bloodstream.
A weakened digestive system does not absorb the nutrients from your food, causing decreased energy levels over time. It can also cause discomfort and sometimes lead to a severe health crisis. A healthy digestive system improves immunity and energy levels and helps fight infections.
What Causes Digestion Issues?
Certain foods may cause stomach pain or discomfort or other stomach-related disorders. For example, eating sweetened foods, foods high in saturated fats and refined foods may result in stomach issues because they cannot be digested properly.
Different foods affect people differently. For instance, if you have any food allergy, such as gluten, eating that particular food may result in stomach pain, inflammation or discomfort, vomiting, headache, gas and diarrhea. Therefore, patients with gluten intolerance are advised to eat only gluten-free products.
If digestive issues are not treated on time, they could potentially lead to a severe infection. So, it is essential to look out for any symptoms.
Unfortunately, everyone has some digestive problems from time to time. Fortunately, there are several simple remedies to help you deal with these issues. If you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms — don’t worry! Get your hands on the perfect solution here.
Ways to Improve Your Body’s Digestion
Eating healthy and adjusting your lifestyle will significantly improve your gut health. Try these steps:
- Avoid eating processed and refined foods; they deteriorate your overall health and can result in various life-threatening diseases.
- Stress management is crucial if you are looking for a way to improve your digestion. Prolonged stress is associated with ulcers and diarrhea.
- Another important thing is to eat mindfully. Focusing on what you are eating can help you figure out which foods are associated with a risk of digestion issues.
- Eating a high-fiber diet lowers the risk of digestive diseases and decreases your chance of constipation.
- Chewing your food more carefully, instead of scarfing it down quickly, will break down your food into smaller pieces and you help digest it more efficiently.
- Pay attention to what your body is saying to you. If you notice any symptoms, try to figure out what could be causing them.
- Avoid using drugs, alcohol and nicotine. They cause damaging effects on your gut and other parts of the body.
- Don't lie down immediately after eating food, as it may result in heartburn. Instead, wait at least two to three hours before lying down to decrease acid reflux symptoms.
Foods You Should Eat
As we have mentioned above, certain foods will harm your digestive system and overall health. However, certain foods also play a significant role in improving digestion and overall health! Some of the best foods that promote a healthy digestive system are:
- Whole wheat products or grains. Oats and quinoa can improve digestion by making your stool bulky and feeding healthy gut microbes.
- Probiotics. These are present naturally in your gut. One great source of probiotics is yogurt. Yogurt can help improve digestion and treat digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.
- Fennel. This is a plant that improves digestion and prevents constipation. It’s vital in reducing bloating and cramps.
- Chia seeds. These are a great source of fiber that acts like a prebiotic and helps promote bowel movements and stools.
- Papaya. Consisting of the digestive enzyme “papain," it helps digest protein.
- Beetroot. This is an excellent source of fiber and thus helps improve digestion.
- Ginger. This is an important root that pregnant women use to treat morning sickness. It helps in improving gastric emptying and motility.
- Green leafy vegetables. They are not only considered essential for maintaining health; green vegetables are also a good source of insoluble fiber.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods are good to avoid as they can cause gas, heartburn, bloating, or discomfort. These foods are:
- Caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee
- Artificial sweeteners.
- Refined foods.
- Alcohol and nicotine.
- Foods high in saturated fats.
- Oily foods.
- Spicy foods.
Supplements and Medications
Supplements that aid in improving the digestive system are beneficial for people with digestive issues. Some of the most commonly used supplements are:
- Fiber supplements.
When to Visit the Doctor
It is important to take note of any symptoms you are dealing with. Any frequent but minor symptom, if neglected, can potentially result in a serious infection and illness. Be sure to look out for any of these signs:
- Frequent vomiting.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Abdominal pain.
- Blood in stools.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor to help you figure out what is causing them and how to treat them.
In the end, remember that it is imperative to keep an eye on what you eat. Find out what works for you the best and helps you maintain your digestive system and overall health.