Tips For Healthy Digestion
All of us have, at some time or another, experienced episodes of stomach pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn; all common digestive problems which can range in severity from being mildly irritating to severely debilitating.
Not only are these digestive problems uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they can also have additional effects, such as causing low energy levels, headaches and poor skin complexion.
The food we eat, how we eat it, and other lifestyle factors play a large part in helping to get rid of these problems and hold the key to a healthy digestive system.
Here are 6 tips to follow for healthy digestion:
Eat more fiber.
Fiber plays a vital role in digestion by helping digested food through the small and large intestines. Fiber aids in the absorption of important vitamins and minerals and can also help in the removal harmful toxins.
Start your day with whole grain bread or cereals, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least five servings a day), as well as beans and pulses.
Slow down your eating.
In our busy lives many of us simply do not take enough time when eating, barely chewing our food as we rush through our meals; this places a tremendous strain on the digestive system. Take your time during meals and, in particular, thoroughly chew your food before you swallow; the chewing action is the first step of healthy digestion. As well as aiding the digestion of your meal, slowing down your eating also reduces the amount of air you swallow in the process, particularly important if you suffer from bloating.
Drink more water.
Not drinking enough water is a primary cause of constipation, which can in turn cause an imbalance in bacteria and lead to inflammation of the intestinal lining. Drinking plenty of water is also important when eating a high fiber diet, to prevent stomach pain and bloating. Have a glass of water with every meal and get into the habit of having a bottle of water at your side throughout the day so you can sip regularly and stay well hydrated.
Regular physical activity daily helps to keep the food we have eaten moving through the digestive system. Particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting down, try and take short walks during the day. Experts recommend that adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes each week. The benefits of course extend beyond improved digestion, helping to keep your heart healthy, strengthen muscles and bones and reducing the risk of serious illnesses.
Sit up straight.
Good posture can help alleviate all kinds of problems, including poor digestion. If you tend to slouch after eating then this can lead to food moving back out of the stomach and into the esophagus. By sitting upright after eating larger meals you will lessen the risk of experiencing heartburn. Yoga and Pilates are great ways to help improve your posture for the long-term.
Know your enemy!
The fact of the matter is that we are all different and we have certain foods that simply do not “agree” with us. Foods that can commonly cause digestive pain include fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeine, gas inducing foods (such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and onions), and dairy or wheat products. Keep a healthy food diary to monitor whether these foods are consistently causing you a problem, and then eat less of those.