Heartburn, nausea, constipation, upset stomach, and gas are occasional digestive symptoms everyone experiences once in a while. However, when the symptoms occur frequently, that’s when you know there’s something wrong with your digestive health.
Many of us are a victim of digestive issues. An inactive lifestyle along with other factors is to blame. When you have amazing Internet speed and plans, you wouldn’t mind sticking to the couch to watch web shows and play online games. I used to do this throughout my free time. Soon, I realized, when physical activity from your life is reduced, many health problems emerge, let alone digestive problems.
Fortunately, with diet and lifestyle changes, I was able to improve my digestive health significantly without visiting the doctor. Here are the tips that helped me out:
1: Increase the Fiber in-Take
Health nutritionists say that consuming diets rich in fiber (such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes) improves digestive health. Such a diet keeps the food moving through the digestive tract and keeps you less constipated.
A fiber-rich diet also prevents digestive conditions such as hemorrhoids, IBS, diverticulosis, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
2: Stay Hydrated
Low fluid consumption is one of the most common causes of constipation. Experts say you must drink 50 to 66 ounces of fluids per day to prevent constipation. If you live in a warmer climate and exercise a lot, you may need more water.
Some of us are unable to drink water along for hydration. You can always meet your fluid intake with non-caffeinated beverages and herbal teas. Another way of meeting the fluid intake is to eat fruits and veggies rich in water like melons, peaches, cucumber, celery, and more.
3: Chew Your Food As Much as You Can
Digestion starts when the food is in the mouth. The teeth break the food down into small chunks, making it easier for the enzymes in the digestive tract to break them down further. Poor chewing is also linked to reduced nutrient absorption.
Always chew your food thoroughly so that your stomach has to do less work in turning the solids into liquid. Chewing also produces salvia which helps in starting the digestive process. When the food reaches the stomach, the saliva acts as a fluid and makes it easier for the food to smoothly pass into the intestine.
Apart from these benefits, chewing also ensures there is enough saliva for digestion. This prevents indigestion as well as heartburn.
4: Get up and Get Moving
Stop being a couch potato and get moving. Regular exercise improves digestion greatly. It makes food travel through the digestive system. After having a meal, take a small walk to get the food moving.
Moderate exercises like jogging and cycling improve the gut transit time. People with chronic constipation are recommended to exercise daily for 30 minutes. Even walking improves the symptoms. Exercise also reduces symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases.
5: Avoid Certain Foods
Every individual reacts differently to different types of food. But there is a list of drinks and food that are known for causing digestion problems. These include spices, fried food, processed foods, sweeteners, alcohol, acidic food, and caffeine.
Fast foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats should also be avoided. They are harder for the body to digest and they cause gas and constipation.
6: Try Mint Tea
Mint tea is a great remedy for indigestion and nausea. Mint reduces heartburn and acid reflux. Making mint tea at home is simple. Follow these steps:
- Separate 5 to 10 leaves of peppermint or spearmint
- Boil one cup of water and let it cool
- Pour this water over the leaves
- Steep for 3 to 5 minutes
- To improve the taste, add a slice of lemon and/or honey
You may also take peppermint oil for relieving the symptoms of IBS. However, this is just short-term relief, not a treatment.
7: Keep the Gut Bacteria in Balance
Maintain the balance of your gut bacteria. Stress, improper sleep, illness, antibiotics, and poor diet choices together create an imbalance of digestive tract bacteria.
With certain probiotics present in fortified cereals and dairy products, you can maintain the balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract.
8: Eat on a Schedule
Irregular meals can ruin your digestive health. Establish a meal schedule by picking times in a day that works well with your routine. Of course, there will be days when your schedule has to adjust. Try your best to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time. With this pattern, your body will get into a routine automatically.
These tips work for most people but sometimes, an underlying medical condition could be causing indigestion. In that case, call a doctor. It’s just like reaching out to the best customer support when you have tried and tested all remedies you know to fix the network problem but it still persists.