The 7 Best Ways to Naturally Improve Your Digestion
What are the best ways to naturally improve my digestion?
- Cut back on processed foods
- Add more fiber to your diet
- Add healthy fats to your diet
- Eat mindfully
- Manage your stress levels
- Quit late-night eating
- Pay attention to your body cues
Everyone experiences occasional digestive issues such as tummy aches, excessive gas, and constipation. But when you start experiencing these problems frequently, it can be a burden. No one wants to deal with an upset stomach every day!
The good news is, the condition of your digestive system is heavily influenced by your diet and lifestyle. So, a few adjustments here and there can have a big impact on your digestion. Here are seven ways to naturally improve digestion and get your gut health back in order:
Cut Back On Processed Foods
An average person’s diet is typically high in refined carbs, saturated fat, and food additives. This is thanks to all the processed foods we get at the supermarket. Unfortunately, these foods have also been linked to an increased risk of digestive problems. These may even increase gut inflammation and lead to a leaky gut.
Studies found that trans fats can cause an increased risk of ulcerative colitis, which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Some studies reported artificial sweeteners can cause bloating and diarrhea in a majority of people as well as increase the levels of harmful gut bacteria.
Luckily, taking out processed foods from your diet can provide immediate relief. And, switching them out for whole foods that are high in nutrients can protect your digestive system from further problems.
Add More Fiber To Your Diet
A carbohydrate that you should go for when switching to a whole food diet is fiber. It’s common knowledge that fiber is good for digestion.
Fiber helps food move through your digestive tract without a problem. This will help you less likely to develop digestive problems. There are two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber draws water and turns to gel during digesting, while insoluble fiber adds some bulk to your stool to help your digestive tract keep everything moving along.
Fiber also keeps your healthy gut bacteria fed. In turn, this decreases the risk of imbalances in your gut microbiome.
Not sure where to get a good source of fiber? Nuts, seeds, and grains are generally rich in fiber. But, another option is an organic food supplement like Bona Vita’s 8-in-1 Coffee. It is rich in Guyabano and Acai Berry, which are both prime sources of healthy fiber. Plus, these two ingredients actively support your digestive health by fighting against inflammation!
Add Healthy Fats To Your Diet
Another thing to add to your diet is healthy fats. Healthy fats help you feel more full and satisfied after a meal. These are used by your body to facilitate nutrient absorption in the digestive tract.
Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are very beneficial to your digestive health. These fatty acids fight against inflammation in your gut, which can prevent conditions like hemorrhoids or constipation. Omega-3s can also decrease the risk of many inflammatory diseases, such as ulcerative colitis.
Great sources of these beneficial omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. But, you can also get plenty of them from other sources, like chia seeds and walnuts!
Improving your digestive health goes beyond just watching what you eat. You also have to be mindful of how you eat.
It’s easy for many of us to eat too quickly, especially if we rarely pay attention to our eating habits. Unfortunately, scarfing down your meal in less than 10 minutes can lead to problems like bloating, gas and indigestion.
Mindful eating means eating slowly. This might mean putting away your phone or turning off the TV to focus on the meal in front of you.
You should also try being conscious about how much you’re chewing. Chew thoroughly so that your digestive tract doesn’t struggle to break down your food. If you’re having trouble eating slowly, try focusing on the taste, smell, and texture of the food. This should help you slow down a bit more.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Did you know that stress can negatively affect your digestive system? Many people typically have an upset stomach before a big event. However, long-term stress can do much worse than that. It can alter the connection between your brain and your gut, which can cause problems with your digestion.
The good news is, there are a few ways to keep your stress in check and keep your digestive system running as it should. Getting enough sleep, staying physically active, setting aside time for hobbies and relaxation, and having a social life are all ways to manage stress. It is also recommended that you treat mealtimes as a time to wind down for a bit.
Reducing your stress by making these simple lifestyle changes may result in improved digestive health.
Quit Late-Night Eating
Eating a hearty midnight snack and then heading to bed can lead to problems like indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux. This is because your body needs time to process the food you just ate. Lying down prevents it from doing so.
Your digestive tract needs to move food in the right direction. Lying down may cause your partially digested food to rise, which is why heartburn is a common problem associated with late-night eating.
To prevent this, try waiting three to four hours after eating your last meal or snack to go to sleep. This gives your body enough time to process most of the food you just ate, and move it towards your small intestine. When it reaches this point, it’s safe to lie down. You can avoid experiencing symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux.
Pay Attention To Your Body Cues
You should eat just enough to maintain a healthy digestive system. So, pay close attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to give out a “full” cue because it takes some time for your stomach hormones to communicate with your brain. So, give yourself some time after a meal to see if you feel full before reaching for another snack!
Want to have a healthier digestive system? Start with these seven ways to naturally improve digestion. Practicing or applying these simple lifestyle changes in your day-to-day life can help many digestive problems go away, and ease your discomfort.