From a headache to muscle ache, your health may suffer in all sorts of ways, when your digestive system is not working properly. If you neglect your digestive health, you can experience heartburn, high acidity, excessive gas, diarrhea, bloating, or bowel irregularities. And in extreme cases, poor gut health may contribute to chronic health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to name just a few.
Your lifestyle and your choice of foods can affect your digestive health. The good news is you can improve your digestive health and its functioning by taking simple steps, such as drinking water, adding fiber and probiotics, and exercising.
Here are 5 natural ways to restore your digestive system.
Probiotics will save your life:
With the right amount of good bacteria, it will support your bowel functions. Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that reside in the gut. These bacteria aid in digestion (breaking down the foods you eat), support our immune system (help fight infections and reduce chronic inflammation, and helps with nutrient absorption into our bloodstream. They are also involved in the synthesis of nutrients such as vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids. You can get probiotics in fermented foods such as tempeh, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and yogurt, as well as in supplement form from health food stores.
Make dietary fiber your friend:
Consuming a diet that includes fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, beans, nuts, oatmeal, fruit and plenty of vegetables. A high-fiber diet helps ensure that your gastrointestinal tract works smoothly. Dietary fiber can also help you prevent or treat various digestive issues, such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Change your eating habits:
Your digestive health is directly impacted by your choice of food and your lifestyle. You can restore your digestive health and proper function by changing a few of your eating habits. Here are some simple non-food digestion hacks:
- Sit in a relaxed environment and eat. Gather your attention to all the aspects of eating.
- Eliminate all the distractions so you can fully focus on the food you are eating and the act of eating. Turn off your tv, phone or any other distraction you might encounter during eating. Focus on how your food appears, tastes and feels in your mouth. This is called mindful eating.
- Aim to sit down for breakfast, lunch, and snacks at the same time each day. Eat on a schedule.
- Too much stress or anxiety can mess with your digestion. It can affect digestive tract permeability causing an imbalance in the gut bacteria and increases the risk of inflammation. So try not to eat when you are upset or stressed.
- Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing to ease the work required from your digestive system, so your body can focus on other tasks instead.
Of course, Water is important. Drink plenty of water for proper digestion. We need water to digest solid food and create softer, allowing them to pass through more easily. Drink at least 80 ounces of water each day.
Eliminate bad food choices and add good ones:
Your food choices can have a huge impact on your digestion. Avoid foods that cause inflammation in your body and add nourishing and nutrient-rich foods.
- Eat fewer processed food. These foods contain little or no nutrition and are often filled with refined sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavor that can cause damage to your organs.
- Remove gluten from your diet, which is a common allergen and colon irritant.
- Limit foods that are high in fat. Fatty food tends to slow down the digestion process and can lead to constipation.
- Enrich your diet with fermented foods because they are high in good bacteria and it will restore your gut flora naturally. Eat fermented vegetables, kimchi, or pickle every day.
- Don’t eat soy processed food because it interferes with the absorption of nutrients. When consumed in large quantities, it can cause hormone imbalance in the body.