Your digestive system needs to be top-notch to keep the rest of your body in good health too. It clears toxins from the body and absorbs nutrients from the food. There are a number of ways you can help keep your digestion fit and working even though your body is equipped to take care of itself. But a little help is always welcome and here’s what you can do to make your digestive system even more functional.
- Get a fiber-rich diet
Fiber helps bowel movement and facilitates the absorption of nutrients. A high fiber diet keeps you clear of diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It also keeps away constipation because it keeps the food moving along in the intestines. The content of fiber is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Since the digestive tract absorbs nutrients effectively, a fiber-rich diet also helps you to keep your metabolism and weight in check. If you’ve been experiencing frequent weight fluctuations then increasing fiber in your diet might help.
- Soluble and insoluble fiber are both important
As the name suggests, soluble fiber is the fiber that is digested by the water and insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool. Your body needs both these fibers to function normally. Soluble fiber absorbs water from the food and helps cure diarrhea and watery stools. Get your soluble fiber from oat bran, legumes, and seeds. Insoluble fiber makes up the roughage and keeps the bowels clear by adding bulk to the stools. Wheat bran, whole grains, and vegetables are the best sources of insoluble fiber.
- Limit fatty foods
Fatty foods slow down the body’s metabolism. It’s as simple as that. Slow metabolism makes you susceptible to constipation. But fats are necessary for energy. It is easier on the digestive system to have equal amounts of fat and fiber in the day. Digesting fats is easier on the body when paired with fiber. Fat is also the hardest to digest and the bad kind of fat from junk food can last in the body for up to a week.
- Eat lean meat
Lean meat is full of protein and everyone knows that a balanced diet should consist more of proteins and fiber and less of fats and carbohydrates. Meat has both protein and fat. Some cuts of meat have a lot of trans fat which is very bad for people with cholesterol. Choose cuts with a low content of fat. Meats with low fat have a higher content of protein. You can indulge in pork loin and skinless poultry to fulfill your needs for lean meat.
- Include probiotics
Probiotics are foods containing healthy bacteria which help digest the food better. Their role is to keep the body healthy by enhancing nutrient absorption in the body and helps break down lactose more effectively. Probiotics are rich in foods like low-fat yogurt and kefir. Doctors recommend that you increase your intake of probiotics to 1 cup a day. In addition to keeping the digestive system healthy, it also combats the effects of poor diet, stress and even antibiotics.
- Set a routine
Since your body is a machine it is advisable to set a routine for it so that it can complete all its functions on time. All the body functions are in a relay and the malfunction of even one can result in other malfunctioning too. For example, eating food irregularly can cause trouble with digestion and nutrient absorption. Sit down at the same time for your meals and incorporate digestive catalysts like ginger and garlic in your diet. The article “5 Plants That Support Digestive Health + 1 Fruit Cocktail” from Microbe Formulas explains that the antioxidants found in ginger can help prevent stomach ulcers. Not only ulcers but other inflammations in the body can be avoided too, especially worms. Good immunity combats all these problems and the body runs its processes smoothly.
- Be hydrated
We are sure you must have already heard this from a lot of people. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day. Water makes the stools softer and bulkier which eases the movement and keeps away constipation.
- Get rid of bad habits
Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine affects even digestion adversely. The toxins from these can cause stomach ulcers and acidity. Caffeine is acidic which is really bad for the acidic balance of the body which causes stomach inflammation.
The digestive system is a very vital part of your body and one of the longest processes. Space out your meals at regular intervals and eat a balanced diet. You’re good to go.