Tips to Improve Your Digestion & Maintain a Healthy Digestive System
Your digestive system is responsible for converting the food you eat into essential nutrients and expelling waste. If your digestive system is unhealthy, it can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugar, leading to several health-related complications.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain a healthy digestive system by consuming the right food and adhering to sensible eating habits.
The following are a few essential items that you can add to your meals to ensure a healthy digestive system:
- A High-Fiber Diet
A high-fiber diet consists of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits that can improve your digestive health by easing the digestion process and preventing constipation. It will also help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent digestive conditions, such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diverticulosis.
- Lean Meats
Lean meats rich in protein, such as skinless poultry and pork loin, are good for your heart and digestion.
- Healthy Fat
Generally, fatty foods slow down digestion, making you more susceptible to constipation. However, including some healthy fat in your diet will ease the digestion process.
- Insoluble and Soluble Fiber
While soluble fiber improves digestion and lowers blood sugar, insoluble fiber can ease bowel movement. Whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran are rich in insoluble fiber.
- Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria and yeasts (similar to those present in your digestive tract) that help combat the consequences of antibiotics, stress, and poor diet, keeping your body healthy. They also enhance nutrient absorption, break down lactose, strengthen your immune system, and prevent irritable bowel syndrome. Kefir and low-fat yogurt are rich in probiotics.
Prebiotics act as food for probiotics and help them support healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, thus easing the digestion process. A few good sources of prebiotics are bananas, legumes, oats, and onions.
Some Additional Tips for Better Digestion
- Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP (Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) foods are rich in carbohydrates that can be hard to digest for people with digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome or symptoms such as gassiness, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and bloating. Therefore, they need to follow a low FODMAP diet to find relief.
- Stay Hydrated
Drinking more water is good for your digestive health as fiber-rich food draws water into the colon to ease bowel movement.
- Exercise Regularly
Regular exercises help you maintain a healthy weight and increase digestion while preventing constipation. Therefore, exercise for at least 20 minutes daily.
- Quit Poor Habits
Smoking, consuming alcohol, too much coffee, or other caffeinated beverages can adversely affect your digestive system, causing problems like heartburn and stomach ulcers.
- Eat at the Same Time Every Day
Taking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks at the same time every day helps keep your digestive system healthy.
- Manage Stress
Stress and anxiety can impact your digestive system, so practice stress-reducing activities like meditation and yoga every day.
These are a few ways in which you can improve your digestion and maintain a healthy digestive system. At Far North Surgery, we treat conditions within the umbrella of general surgery, focusing on surgical oncology and endocrine surgery. Call us at 907-276-3676 if you need immediate medical attention.