Things you need to know
- Your digestive health is an essential determinant of your overall health.
- Digestive health issues such as acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, constipation and bloating can affect anyone at any time.
- You can improve your gut health with certain lifestyle and dietary changes.
How to improve digestive health
Digestive health is important as it breaks down and delivers important nutrients to your body parts. Your body utilises these nutrients to make energy and support your growth. It is, thus, significant to have a healthy digestive system.
You can improve your digestive health by eating right and living an active life. Here are some measures you can take:
Eat a high-fibre diet
Fibre-rich content helps to keep the movement of food ongoing in your body. It also prevents the production of secondary bile fluids and accumulation of high cholesterol levels. Thus, foods that are rich in fibre help in the prevention of constipation, hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome. There are two types of fibre – insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fibre is the one that cannot be digested by your body while soluble fibre absorbs water. Both these fibres add bulk to your stool. Good sources of fibre are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, wheat bran, nuts and seeds.
Add healthy fats to your diet
Fat is an essential component for nutrient absorption. It also helps you feel full after a meal. You should avoid saturated fats and choose healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help prevent various gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases.
Choose probiotic supplements
Probiotics are certain live bacteria and yeast that live in your body and boost your digestion as well as immunity. Whenever you fall ill, these good bacteria fight with the bad bacteria and help restore your body’s balance. Probiotic supplements help in adding such healthy bacteria to your body. Furthermore, probiotics support your digestive health by breaking down indigestible fibre and alleviate symptoms such as bloating and gas.
You should be careful about what you eat and how you eat. For maximum benefits, you should eat your meals at your particular schedule each day. Eating on a regular schedule keeps your digestive clock in sync. Besides eating on a proper schedule, you should not eat too much too quickly. You should eat small portions of food frequently and chew your food thoroughly and slowly.
Dehydration can be a leading factor of various gastrointestinal diseases such as constipation. It is important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water to help maintain your digestive health. Besides water, you can consume fresh juices and herbal teas.
Avoid smoking and drinking
Smoking, drinking and eating late can interfere with your digestive system. They increase your risk of developing acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal cancers. You should restrict or completely avoid these habits to improve your digestive health.
There are manifold benefits of regular exercises. Routine physical activity enhances an easy movement of food in your gut and helps you maintain an ideal body weight. Exercising everyday for 30-40 minutes can help prevent chronic constipation and inflammatory diseases.
Reduce your stress levels
Your mental health is directly associated with your gut health. Increased stress levels can cause stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. You should reduce and manage your stress levels by performing meditation and relaxation exercises.
Common signs and symptoms of a bad digestive system include upset stomach, unintentional weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, sleep disturbances and cramping and pain in the abdomen.
You can enhance your digestion by eating high-fibre foods, working out everyday, low-fat dairy products, eating less meat and drinking more water.
Some foods that are good for your gut health include yoghurt, miso, kimchi, almonds and olive oil.