Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally

Everyone experiences occasional digestive symptoms such as upset stomach, gas, heartburn, nausea, constipation or diarrhea. However, when these symptoms occur frequently, they can cause major disruptions to your life. Fortunately, diet and lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on your gut health.
Here are 12 evidence-based ways to improve your digestion naturally.
1. Eat Real Food
Diets high in processed foods have been linked to a higher risk of digestive disorders. Eating a diet low in food additives, trans fats and artificial sweeteners may improve your digestion and protect against digestive diseases.
A high-fiber diet promotes regular bowel movements and may protect against many digestive disorders. Three common types of fiber are soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as prebiotics.
Fat keeps food moving smoothly through your digestive system. What’s more, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which may prevent inflammatory bowel diseases.
Insufficient fluid intake is a common cause of constipation. Increase your water intake by drinking non-caffeinated beverages and eating fruits and vegetables that have a high water content.
Stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
It has been associated with stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation and IBS.
Stress hormones directly affect your digestion. When your body is in fight-or-flight mode, it thinks you don’t have time to rest and digest. During periods of stress, blood and energy are diverted away from your digestive system.
Incorporating stress management techniques, such as deep belly breathing, meditation or yoga, may improve not only your mindset but also your digestion.
Eating slowly and mindfully and paying attention to every aspect of your food, such as texture, temperature and taste, may help prevent common digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating and gas.
Chewing food thoroughly breaks it down so that it can be digested more easily. The act also produces saliva, which is needed for proper mixing of food in your stomach.
8. Get Moving
Exercise may improve your digestion and reduce symptoms of constipation. It can also help reduce inflammation, which may be beneficial in preventing inflammatory bowel conditions.
9. Rebalance Your Stomach Acid
Low stomach acid may cause digestive symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. Drinking 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) of raw apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water before meals may help increase your stomach acid.
Not paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues and eating when you’re emotional or anxious can negatively impact digestion. Taking time to relax and pay attention to your body’s cues may help reduce digestive symptoms after a meal.
Bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating late at night can cause digestive issues. To improve digestion, try to avoid these damaging habits.

 

Article adapted from Healthline.com.

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