Everyone experiences occasional digestive problems once in a while. It is a common complaint. There are several possible causes of digestive problems, from stress to the food you put in your body.
However, if you neglect your digestive health, your body could suffer. As you may already know, your digestive system is responsible for breaking down the foods you eat into the essential nutrients required by the body.
Therefore, the foods that you eat are an indispensable part of your digestive health. Even your lifestyle can have a direct impact on your digestive health. That’s why, everyone should take steps to improve digestion, in order to help your digestive system do its task efficiently.
If you are not sure where to start from, let us help you! Even though most digestive problem symptoms go away on their own, there are several things you can do to improve digestion and ease discomfort.
Read on to know more about digestive problems and how to improve digestion.
Common digestive problems
Before we go into ways to improve digestion naturally, let us look at some of the most common digestive problems:
- Stomach discomfort and bloating
These are the most common digestive system problems. And, an unhealthy diet can aggravate the symptoms. While home remedies may improve digestion in the short term, for long-term results you will need to make significant lifestyle changes.
How to improve digestion?
Wondering how to improve digestion? Here are 10 ways to improve digestion naturally.
A healthy high-fiber diet
A healthy and balanced diet is crucial for maintaining good gut health and thus, improving digestion. If you want to improve your digestion, you must eat real food. That is, your diet should be based on whole foods.
Consuming a diet rich in high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes can improve digestion. Try to avoid foods that are processed and fried, acidic foods like vinegar and citrus fruits, spices, alcohol, caffeine, and fructose.
You need to make sure that your diet is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Eating lean meats like salmon is also a good way to improve gut health.
Limit foods that are high in fat
Fatty foods tend to slow down your digestive process, making you more prone to constipation and other digestive system problems. Therefore, you should avoid fatty foods. Instead, try incorporating healthy fats into your diet.
Food sources that are rich in healthy fats are flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Consume foods that are rich in omega-3fatty acids.
Combining healthy fats with high-fiber has been proven to be beneficial in maintaining gut health.
Keep your body hydrated
Low levels of water intake have been linked to constipation. Drinking plenty of water, around 2-3 litres a day is recommended if you want to improve digestive health. However, water consumption also depends on your needs. You may need to consume more than 3 litres if you exercise strenuously or live in a tropical climate. Fiber helps in pulling water into the colon, allowing your stool to pass more easily. Thus, water intake is a must when you want to improve digestion.
Another way to increase your fluid intake is to include fruits and vegetables that are high in water in your diet. Such foods are zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, melon, strawberries, grapefruit, and peaches.
Too much stress and anxiety can affect your body negatively, even causing problems in the digestive system. The link between physical health and mental health is real.
The American Psychological Association recommends three key ways to reduce stress levels:
- Getting enough sleep: Make sure that you get at least 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day.
- Exercising regularly: Regular exercise is essential for managing stress as it releases endorphins.
- Having a good support network: Everyone needs a solid support system consisting of friends and family. Focusing on building lasting relationships that will support you in time of your need.
If you have uncontrollable stress or anxiety and find it difficult to maintain stress levels on your own, you can try talking to a professional therapist. There is no shame in seeking help when you need it.
Drink herbal tea
A fun and delicious way to increase your fluid intake is to drink herbal or mint tea. Mint tea is a great home remedy for treating indigestion and constipation. It’s a traditional remedy that has been around for ages. Make yourself a cup of simple mint tea and add some honey to it. You will be good to go.
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you can try peppermint tea.
At the core of improving digestion is maintaining a healthy weight. Doing gentle exercises can improve digestion and gut health. Being active and moving allows the food to move through the digestive tract with ease.
A study suggests that for those who suffer from chronic constipation, a regular 30 minutes daily exercise routine can be beneficial.
Exercise can also reduce symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases as it decreases inflammatory compounds in your body.
Quit smoking and consuming excessive alcohol
Intoxicants like liquor, cigarettes, and caffeinated beverages can interfere with digestive and gut health. It can hamper the natural functioning of your digestive system and also cause problems like stomach ulcers and heartburn.
Eat fermented foods
Fermented foods are great for maintaining gut health. Fermented foods are broken down by microorganisms like bacteria. These microorganisms work to preserve food and may restore gut health, eventually improving digestion.
Popular fermented foods include sauerkraut, probiotic yoghurt, kefir, miso, sourdough food, etc.
These are all the ways in which you can improve digestion and maintain good gut health. All the tips mentioned here are simple and with persistence, you can make these lifestyle changes.
Dedicating at least 30 minutes a day to your digestive health and overall well-being can do wonders for your body! So, this 2021, make it a point to prioritize your gut health!
However, if your digestive problems persist, it will be wise to see a doctor.