Tips for a Healthy Digestive System
Digestive problems are incredibly common, and there are many culprits. However, you do not need to lean on pharmaceuticals in order to regulate your digestive system. Here are some natural solutions for making sure your system is functioning properly.
Consume Plenty of Fiber
Most people do not consume nearly enough of the recommended amount of fiber on a daily basis. Fiber plays many important roles in your digestive process. It helps to keep you full in between meals, which can prevent unnecessary snacking or overindulgence. Past the stomach, dietary fiber is incredibly helpful for bowel movements if you suffer from constipation. A diet high in fiber has also been shown to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer as well. You can take supplements or powders if you find yourself low in fiber in your regular diet, or you can incorporate foods that are high in fiber. Chia seeds are a great ingredient for smoothies and contain a good amount of fiber.
Get Your Probiotics
Sometimes the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut can get out of order. For instance, if you are on a course of antibiotics because of an infection or surgery, then you may want to consider getting supplements to replace the probiotic bacteria. This way, you are able to maintain a balance despite the medicine. You can also incorporate probiotics into your diet through consuming foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, or rice pudding. Probiotics also speed up your metabolism and help you to curb cravings, which can be extremely beneficial if you are trying to lose weight. They have also been shown to help lower cholesterol.
Drink Plenty of Water
It is always important to make sure you are hydrated to keep your body operating at its best, but there are many aspects of drinking water that specifically benefit your digestive system. Water is important for helping your body to digest fiber more easily. Water also is vital in the digestion process, so getting enough is vital for regular bowel movements and your body breaking down the nutrients and minerals that are supplied by the food you eat. A good rule of thumb for how much water you need is to divide your weight in half, and drink that amount in ounces. Be sure to consume more if you are active throughout the day, to replace water lost from sweat and exercise.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Aside from the stomach churning effects of the hangover, alcohol can also have detrimental effects on your digestive system. By limiting alcohol, you are lessening your chances of dehydration, which leads to nausea. It can also cause damage to your large intestines, sometimes which can be irreparable if you drink too much and too often. Alcohol can also reduce levels of stomach acid that are vital for breaking down food. Drinking less has a myriad of benefits, and contributing to the health of your digestive system is just one that your body will thank you for in the long run.
Substitute Beneficial Foods
Sometimes it may be necessary to make dietary changes in order to encourage your digestive system to function most effectively. You should be better off switching out processed foods for more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but there are a handful of specific ingredients which are invaluable for digestive health. For example, apples are delicious and high in fiber. Paired with a healthy nut butter, they can be a great snack. Fennel, yogurt, beets, ginger, miso, and whole grains are also easy to incorporate into your regular eating habits, and the benefit you get from eating these foods is invaluable to your digestive health.
You do not have to have complicated medical intervention for most common digestive problems. With these solutions, you are sure to have a digestive system that is functioning at its best, and improve many of your diet and lifestyle habits in the process.