In terms of overall wellness, building and maintaining a digestive health is just as crucial as maintaining good bone health, heart health, and the health of your entire body. And doing so only takes a few simple preventative steps.
Your overall health, happiness, and well-being can be improved by taking control of your digestive health. So you must not wait until you experience any digestive problems. You have to start making proactive changes to your lifestyle and diet today.
Learn what you can do to ensure a healthy digestive system with these helpful tips.
1. Eat Fruits and Veggies
You need to include several colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet, including dried fruit. These are packed with essential minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that offer a number of health benefits such as enhanced digestive health.
Apart from digestive health, fruits and veggies also help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancers, and other chronic diseases.
2. Include Fiber in your Diet
Fiber is known to help the GI tract stay regular, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve cardiovascular health. Also, fiber will reduce blood cholesterol levels, prevent diverticulosis and constipation, promote proper bowel function, and provide a feeling of fullness without the added calories. Fiber is found in many plant sources, including whole grains and legumes.
It is recommended that you eat food containing soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both forms are important for a healthful diet.
Soluble fiber will mix with water to yield a gel-like consistency. This will help slow down digestion so your body can absorb more nutrients as well as eliminate substances like cholesterol. Moreover, this plays a protective role in diabetes and heart disease. Some studies have shown that food with soluble fiber help control the levels of glucose and cholesterol in the blood (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15163472).
On the other hand, insoluble fiber doesn’t mix with water. It adds bulk to the stool as well as helps move food through your digestive system. Moreover, it prevents constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and other GI tract conditions. Dried plums, whole grains, skins of fruits, potatoes, and cauliflower provide insoluble fiber.
3. Stay Hydrated
Getting enough fluids from the food and beverages you consume is vital for healthy digestion. The standard recommendation is to consume an equivalent of at least eight glasses of water daily. You can either drink simple water or consume water-rich food sources like soup or watermelon.
For a refreshing twist, you can add cucumber slices or lemon to your water. Another great way to hydrate is to drink decaffeinated herbal teas.
4. Incorporate Probiotics in Your Diet
Probiotics are similar to the healthy bacteria present in your digestive to the tract. They help combat the effects of antibiotics, stress, and a poor diet. Moreover, probiotics will boost nutrient absorption, strengthen your immune system, and help break down lactose.
So start consuming good sources of probiotics daily, which include:
You should exercise at least 30 minutes each day. You can do activities you like such as aerobics, strength-building activities or walking. If 30 minutes is too much for you, do whatever you can and when you can. For instance, take a walk during your break, walk to your office, and take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
Weight training and cardio exercises are also important. But apart from these, try adding fitness into your daily life. Taking the long way home on foot and power walking can make a huge difference.
6. Limit Concentrated Sweets and Fats
Studies have shown that a low-fiber, high-fat diet will increase your risk for certain cancers (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437178/), adult onset diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Choosing a diet that will provide no more than 30% of calories from fat is recommended. The consumption of complex carbohydrates like whole grains is also emphasized since these are higher in fiber, and they also provide other important nutrients necessary for optimal digestive health.
7. Manage Your Stress
Stress will have a direct effect on your digestive health so you must allocate time for relaxation.
Depending on how your body reacts, stress may slow down or speed up digestion, causing diarrhea or constipation and abdominal pain. If you are under stress, your digestive muscles exert less effort so digestive enzymes are secreted in fewer amounts. Also, stress can worsen symptoms of certain conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and peptic ulcer.
Your mind and body will need time to relax and rejuvenate. Fish oil (https://vitaminshop.ae/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=511) can help you cope with psychological stress. Other ways to revitalize is to walk during your breaks and have a good night’s sleep.
8. Eat Mindfully
Avoid eating before bedtime, eat slowly, and stop eating when you are already full. How you eat is as crucial as what you eat. Make time for a proper meal.
Make a habit of eating until you are satisfied. If you are not hungry anymore, you don’t have to finish your plate. Digestive symptoms like stomach upset and heartburn can happen if you eat too much. You can save the rest of your meal so you can eat it later or prepare smaller portions.
If you are eating, you must focus on your meal. You must avoid walking around, working, watching the TV and other distractions. Also, always keep healthy snacks on hand. For instance, keep dried or fresh fruit in your desk at work or in your car.
Apart from making healthy dietary choices, staying hydrated, eating on a regular schedule, and getting active are all crucial factors to build and maintain a healthy digestive system. By taking steps to enhance your digestive health, your sense of well-being, happiness, and overall health will certainly improve.