Have you noticed how we take a lot of things for granted – well, till they stop working properly? One of them is digestion as it’s not a big deal till our stomach feels like a roller coaster in an overcrowded amusement park. As many as 70 million people experience digestive disease and disorder, making it a top health issue.
While prescriptions can help to deal with symptoms, there are also some basic, natural ways to address digestive health.
1. Eat Mindfully
A lot of people today eat in a state of chaos, rushing, or stress and this is one reason why digestion has become such a widespread problem. Research shows that eating in a calmer environment can help reduce ulcers, constipation, diarrhoea, and IBS symptoms.
While it can feel difficult to transform the way that you eat, making small changes can help. Make your meal times a relaxing affair that lasts at least 15 minutes so you can enjoy it. The world can wait.
2. Chew more
Sometimes we take a bite, chew a few times, and swallow. It might seem normal but it doesn’t aid optimal digestive function.
When improperly chewed food enters the stomach, large particles can pass on to the intestine and stay there longer than intended. It can even start to ferment, leading to bloating, gas, bacterial imbalances and can also contribute to poor levels of nutrient absorption.
3. Consume Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that aid digestion in the large intestine. Probiotics are present in foods like yoghurt and can help to improve digestive discomforts like bloating, gas, and intestinal pain.
4. Stay Hydrated
Not having enough water in your body can make digestion harder, so hydration is vital for a healthy digestive system. However, it’s not particularly helpful to drink all of your fluids with meals, since large amounts of water can dilute stomach acid and lead to problems breaking down food. While it’s okay to still drink water with meals, try to consume the bulk of your daily water when you’re not eating.
5. Eat Fibre-Rich Foods
Fibre-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds boost digestive function and support healthy elimination. Without them, the digestive system can struggle to move digested food through the intestines. Lack of movement can result in bloating, gas, and bacterial imbalances when food gets trapped or slowed in its transit time.
Eating plenty of fibre also helps to reduce development of digestive diseases like diverticulitis and other irritable bowel disorders.