How to Improve Digestion Naturally
Indigestion is a common experience for everyone. Some of these indigestion symptoms include stomach upset, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, among others. Although they are not normal, they are quite frequent and, in some cases, can be severe and cause certain disruptions in your life.
However, dietary changes, as well as lifestyle changes, play important roles in ensuring and improving your gut health. Eating healthy foods and adjusting to healthy lifestyles can help reduces cases of indigestion. In addition, identifying food triggers of indigestion and every other form of stomach upset and avoiding them completely could also help beat down the rate at which you experience these gut symptoms.
The following are healthy and natural ways (both dietary and lifestyle) of improving digestion naturally;
Eat Organic and Real Food
The first step to guaranteeing a healthy life is good food, a balanced diet, and a good feeding habit. A proper and rich diet contains natural and organic foods that are free from chemical processing. Processed unnatural foods contain unhealthy fats, excess carbs, and other additives that are not healthy for consumption and could increase the risk of developing fatal illnesses and some digestive issues.
Additives like salt, glucose, and other chemicals have been found to be associated with gut illnesses like leaky gut and gut inflammation.
Trans fat is also an unhealthy additive that can tamper with your heart health and cause bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis.
Sugary processed foods like ice creams and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners affect the digestive process, thus causing stomach upset.
Studies found that eating artificial sweeteners like xylitol can lead to diarrhea and bloating in about 70% of those who consume it and cause the same effect in 60% of those who consume artificial sweeteners like erythritol.
More studies found that eating sweeteners can increase the number of harmful bacteria in your gut. Some illnesses like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are caused by bowel imbalances.
All of these are the adverse effects of consuming processed foods with unhealthy additives. Fortunately, according to research, eating nutritious and healthy diets can help improve gut health and prevent gut illnesses and digestive issues.
Therefore, consuming a healthy diet based on 100% organic wholeness while limiting the consumption of processed foods plays an important role in preserving your gut health.
Get Enough Fiber
Fiber is one of those food elements that is majorly designed for good digestion and a healthy bowel movement.
There are two kinds of fiber, namely, insoluble and soluble fiber (indigestible). Soluble fiber, on the one hand, absorbs water and ensures that bulk is added to your excreta, while insoluble gives the “sponge effect,” and scrubs everything that needs to be digested without leaving anyone stuck in the process of digestion.
Soluble fiber can be found in foods like oats, legumes, seeds, and nuts, while insoluble fiber is contained in wheat, vegetables, and whole grains.
Studies have associated high fiber diets with lower risks of gut illnesses and digestive issues such as ulcers, acid reflux, hemorrhoids, and IBS.
Another healthy fiber that can support the healthy bacteria in your gut is probiotics. Foods that are rich in probiotics have, over the years, helped improve digestive issues and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Quite a number of grains, fruits, and vegetables are packed with probiotics.
Eat Healthy Fats
Eating healthy fats can help impact positively on your food digestion process. As much as healthy fats make you feel full after your meal, they are also required to help in the absorption of essential and vital nutrients in the body.
Healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids have been associated with the reduced risks of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.
Flaxseeds, fatty fishes, nuts and seeds, omega 3 fatty acids, and chia seeds are rich sources of healthy fats.
Drink Enough Water
One of the most acknowledged causes of constipation and other digestive issues is low fluid. This is why experts have recommended at least 8 glasses of water per day to help, not only with gut health but also with general health.
It is advisable to drink more water regardless of the “8 glasses” rule if you stay in a hotter region.
Asides from water, other healthy fluids can be used to complement water. These healthy fluids include; non-caffeinated drinks and herbal teas. Other ways of supplying your body with enough water are by consuming fruits that have a high water or fluid contents. Such fruits include; watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, grapes, strawberry, and so on.
Reduce Your Stress
Asides from the other grievous side effects of stress on general health, stress has also been found to affect digestion and wreck your digestive system. Symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, and ulcers begin to surface when you undergo excess stress and pressure.
This is possible because stress hormones directly affect the digestive tract. How? Because during stressful periods, energy and blood get diverted away from the digestive tract, causing it to malfunction.
In addition, with stress affecting mental health adversely, research says that the brain and gut are somewhat connected. Thus, whatever affects your brain also affects your digestion.
In other words, incorporating reduced stress or stress management therapies can positively impact your gut health. Some stress management techniques include; breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation. They may not only improve your digestive health but also your mindset.
Pay attention to what and how you eat in order to prevent overeating. Overeating or eating wrongly is another effect of certain digestive issues like constipation, gas, and bloating.
Mindful and cautious eating is a process of paying attention to what and how you eat. Cautious eating has helped improve the condition of people with IBS and ulcerative colitis.
In order to eat cautiously, do the following;
- Pay rapt attention to the texture of your food
- Do not combine foods anyhow
- Eat slowly
- Focus on your food and avoid distractions
- Eat in small bits; do not rush
- Chew slowly and well
- Notice the look of your food and how it smells, and consider if it is healthy to be eaten
- Pay riveted attention to the temperature of your food
- Pay attention to the taste of your food
Chew Your Food
The digestion process starts in the mouth. When foods get into the mouth, they get crushed into tiny bits, such that they are easy to be digested and broken down in the digestion process.
If you do not chew foods properly, constipation and poor absorption of nutrients may occur. Chewing foods properly helps reduce the pressure or work your stomach has to do on foods, automatically leading to good digestion. It also ensures sufficient saliva is required for good digestion.
Quit Bad Habits
Bad habits are generally known to impact your general health. Such bad feeding habits include; eating too much, eating late at night, and skipping meals. Also, bad lifestyle habits like smoking and excess alcohol consumption affect the proper digestion of food. These unhealthy lifestyles are responsible for digestive illnesses.
Smoking skyrockets your chances of having recurring acid reflux and quitting this act could improve this symptom by 70%. Smoking has been associated with stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal cancers.
Chemicals in alcohol can increase the amount of acid in your stomach, thereby leading to frequent episodes of acid reflux and heartburns. It is also linked to the bleeding of the gastrointestinal tracts. Excessive alcohol consumption is a major factor that causes inflammatory bowel disease, increment of gut bacteria, and leaky gut.
Reducing alcohol conception can help reduce digestive issues.
Eating late at night and sleeping immediately can lead to heartburn and acid reflux from the stomach to the esophagus. The body needs time to digest food. Thus, eating late at night and sleeping immediately after eating can disrupt the digestive process.
Include Gut-Healthy Nutrients in Your Meals
Some nutrients have been identified to support gut health. Eating food that is rich in these nutrients can help prevent digestive issues and improve digestive conditions. Some of these nutrients include;
In conclusion, healthy diets and healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way in ensuring a healthy digestive system. These factors do not only prevent digestion illnesses, but they also prevent them.