How to Improve Your Digestion Using These 7 Easy Methods
Nutrition plays the main role in determining the rate and ease of digestion, next to physical activity and lifestyle. Better digestive health relies on eating the right foods and modifying your habits in such a way that the body takes up a better digestion pattern. If you want your body to make the most out of the food you eat, here are seven ways to improve digestion that will surely change how, when, and what you eat.
1. Eat foods that are rich in fiber
Dietary fiber is the non-digestible component in carbohydrate-rich foods that are responsible for improving gut health. There are two types of fiber, which are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is the fiber that promotes good blood sugar and a healthy cholesterol rate. From the name itself, soluble fiber is soluble in water and forms a gel-like substance when combined with it. Sources of soluble fiber include oat bran, nuts, seeds, fruit, beans, starchy tubers and barley.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water. This type of dietary fiber helps bulk up the stool, reduce the risk of hemorrhoids, and prevent constipation. Sources of insoluble fiber include whole wheat, whole grain, vegetables, greens, bell peppers, eggplant, and wheat bran. A diet that is rich in soluble and insoluble fibers can help you improve your overall gut health but the source must be chosen carefully if you are gluten intolerant.
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2. Have an eating schedule
An erratic eating pattern throughout the day certainly won't give you good digestion. In order to allow your body to digest and absorb food fully, eat on a regular schedule. Have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on a set time with ample space in between.
3. Stay hydrated
Water also plays an important factor in digestion. Drink water between and during meals helps the body break down food in the digestive tract. Moreover, water helps keeps things lubricated and running smoothly so that you won't get a case of constipation. Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water each day, which would not only benefit your digestive tract but your overall health as well.
4. Modify lifestyle habits
Bad lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, and too much caffeine can lead to poor digestion and absorption of food. The toxic substances in cigarettes make it hard for your body to absorb nutrients while drinking excessively displaces proper nutrition fully. Too much caffeine, on the other hand, can damage the lining of the digestive tract due to its acidic nature. Push yourself to stop smoking, drink moderately, and cut back on the caffeine, as these bad habits hinder you from optimum digestive health.
5. Cut down on fatty foods
Whenever you binge on fatty food, have you ever noticed that your bowel movements are not as smooth? This is because fat travels slower in the digestive tract due to delayed gastric emptying. You need enough fat because it makes food go down smoothly in the gastrointestinal system. However, too much of the wrong type can lead to poor digestion, among other numerous health problems. Thus, try to cut down on fatty foods that contain inflammatory Omega 6 oils and select healthier fat sources, such as avocado, oily fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, coconut oil etc.
6. Add probiotics to your diet
You may hear the term probiotics being thrown around here and there, but what does it actually mean? Well, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live inside your digestive system. The role of probiotics is producing important nutrients for other good bacteria and generally improving the gut flora. The good bacteria in your gut actually help you prevent infection and chronic inflammation, all the while aiding in the breakdown of food as well.
7. Change your eating habits
Your eating habits also play a major role in digestion. When we say eating habits, we're talking about how you eat your food. Here are some important eating habit tips to help you improve your digestive health:
A. Chew slowly and thoroughly. Chewing your food is the first phase of digestion. While the food is in your mouth, make sure to chew it well so that your stomach doesn't have a hard time churning the pieces of food.
B. Don't eat before bedtime. Having a snack right before bedtime can lead you to have improper digestion, as food cannot be effectively digested while asleep.
C. Don't eat while upset. If you eat when you're upset, the food may not go down as easily. If you are experiencing a stressful or upsetting moment, try to put off your meal until your mood has gone back to normal. Remember that the brain affects the digestive system, and eating while upset can lead to indigestion.