Digestive health can be improved by eating a healthy diet, exercising and making necessary lifestyle changes
In order to know how to improve your digestion, you must first understand the digestive process. Many people are surprised to learn that digestion begins as soon as you place a bite of food in your mouth. As you chew your food, your teeth crush the food. Your saliva contains digestive enzymes that help break down the food, which is why it is essential that you properly chew your food before swallowing.
Once you swallow, the food travels down your esophagus and enters the stomach. There, the food is mixed with stomach acid that helps to further break down the food. Next, the food travels to the small intestine where the food is broken down. As the food travels through the small intestine, it absorbs the nutrients your body needs for optimal health. Then, the food travels to the large intestine where water and salts are absorbed. Finally, the leftover waste exits the body through defecation.
When your gastrointestinal system does not function properly, your body cannot properly digest the foods you eat. These undigested food particles can cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, further exacerbating problems in the gastrointestinal tract. When your digestive system is not operating efficiently, your body will not receive the nutrients it needs.
If you want to improve your digestion, there are several things that you can do. These lifestyle changes improve digestion, promote intestinal health, and reduce inflammation. Today is a great day to begin your journey toward improved gastrointestinal health.
A High Fiber Diet
Everyone has heard it is important to eat a high fiber diet, but do you know why? Dietary fiber is found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should eat twenty five grams of fiber daily, while men should consume thirty eight grams of fiber each day.
There are two types of fiber – soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both work together to improve digestive health. Soluble fiber is found in oats, barley, legumes, and fruits. Insoluble fiber is found in plant cell walls and is found in wheat, seeds, and vegetables. Soluble and insoluble fiber bulk up stool and retain water to relieve constipation.
Eating a high fiber diet can help relieve and prevent a variety of stomach woes. It can help relieve diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and IBS. In addition to this fiber acts as a prebiotic, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gastric tract. These beneficial bacteria aid in digestion, improve immunity, and relieve tummy discomforts.
The importance of proper hydration
If you are not drinking enough fluid, your digestion can slow and cause a multitude of unpleasant abdominal symptoms. If your gastrointestinal tract is not properly hydrated, you can experience constipation, bloating, and gas.
Fluids combine with the food you eat so your body can properly break down food, absorb nutrients, and help the food pass through the gastrointestinal tract. If you are not drinking an ample amount of fluids, digestion can slow down.
Experts recommend drinking one ounce of fluid for every two pounds you weigh. For best results, most of your fluid consumption should be water. However, other fluids, including those found in your foods count toward your overall fluid consumption.
If you feel that you cannot drink the amount of water recommended, begin slowly and try drinking a glass of water before each meal. In addition to this, fix a large cup of water and sip on it throughout the day. As your body becomes accustomed to being hydrated, you will begin craving water, making it easier to get the recommended amount of fluid each day.
Physical activity is not only good for the body; it is also good for the GI tract. As you exercise, the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract are stimulated and blood flow increases. In addition to these immediate results, physical activity can help tone the walls of the intestinal tract, especially the colon.
For optimal results, get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. This number can seem staggering at first; however, getting 30 minutes of exercise each day will provide you with the exercise your digestive tract needs.
Maintain a healthy weight
Good health begins with a healthy lifestyle and weight. When you are overweight, you can experience a variety of gastrointestinal disturbances. Any excess weight you carry around your abdominal area presses on the GI organs, slowing down the digestive functions.
Maintain a healthy body weight by exercising regularly, eating slowly, and following a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, choosing lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains.
One of the most common reasons for heartburn and other gastrointestinal disturbances is eating too quickly. There are several reasons that you experience digestive disturbances from eating too quickly.
When you eat too quickly, you do not properly chew your food. Chewing your food is the first step in digestion. If this critical step is not fully carried out, it can cause GI woes.
In addition to this, as you eat, your body sends signals to your brain that you are full. When you eat too quickly, your stomach can become overfull and cause a number of tummy troubles, such as heartburn, bloating, and gas.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that grow in the gastrointestinal tract. These microorganisms are beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, normalize bowel movements, and enhance the immune system.
Eating fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and miso increases the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These fermented foods contain large amounts of probiotics and are beneficial to the GI system.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Tobacco Products
Everyone knows that using tobacco and drinking too much alcohol can lead to a variety of diseases. Did you know these, along with caffeine, could also disrupt digestion, which can lead to heartburn and stomach ulcers? These substances irritate the GI tract, causing inflammation and tummy troubles.
If you are experiencing problems with your digestion, limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine you consume and see if your stomach problems ease off. If you smoke, stop smoking. There are many programs available to help you kick the habit and improve your GI health.
Improving your digestive health begins by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and staying hydrated. Making these changes can help alleviate many of the tummy troubles associated with slow or sluggish digestion.
If you want to improve your digestion, maintain a healthy weight, eat slowly, and use digestive supplements and probiotics. Finally, make the necessary lifestyle changes to improve your overall health by quitting tobacco products and limiting the amount of alcohol and caffeine you ingest.
These lifestyle changes may take time to complete. Write down a list of changes that you need to make. Then, begin incorporating them one by one into your life. Soon, you will have made the necessary changes. Once these changes are made, your digestion should improve, and the symptoms of GI distress will be significantly diminished or eliminated.
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