Caring for your digestive tract helps to ensure the body receives the nutrients it needs to function properly. Digestion begins as soon as you place a bite of food in your mouth. As you chew your food, digestive enzymes, found in your saliva, mix with your food to help it start breaking down. The food then travels down the esophagus into the stomach. There, the food is mixed with stomach acid to further break down the food. Then, the food travels to the intestines where the food is broken down into nutrients your body needs to fuel itself. When the digestive system does not function properly, the body cannot receive the nutrients it needs to survive; therefore, it is essential that you keep your digestive tract operating efficiently.
A High Fiber Diet
A high fiber diet is essential to your digestive health. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can help prevent a variety of digestive woes, including diverticulosis, IBS and hemorrhoids. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should eat 25 grams of fiber daily, while men should consume 38 grams of fiber each day.
Not drinking enough fluids can slow down digestion and cause constipation, gas and bloating. Water combines with the food you eat to help the food pass through each area of the digestive tract. This is especially important in the intestines. The intestines contract and expand to break down the food. When there are not enough fluids in the digestive tract, digestion can slow down, causing a number of digestive woes.
Physical activity is not only good for the body; it is also good for the digestive 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.
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 digestive organs, slowing down the digestive functions.
One of the most common reasons for heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues is eating too quickly. 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 digestive woes, such as heartburn, bloating and gas.
Probiotics are living microorganisms found in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics occur in a variety of fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt and miso and can help improve the digestive tract by normalizing bowel movements and regulating the bacteria found in the intestinal tract.
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? To help prevent digestive distress, limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine you ingest and stop smoking.
Supplements to Improve Digestive Health
Apex Energetics offers RepairVite formulas to help improve digestive functions in both men and women. This potent enzyme based dietary supplement contains herbs and amino acids to help promote healing of the digestive tract. The proprietary blend of herbs and dietary enzymes improve digestion naturally.
Improving your digestive health begins by eating a healthy diet, exercising and staying hydrated. 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.