A healthy body is one that has a healthy digestive system to break down and absorb all the nutrients it receives. To keep things operating smoothly, here are some simple tips to help improve your digestion naturally.
Eat whole foods
Simply put, the number one tip is to eat foods that your body will immediately recognize – we are talking about whole foods! Studies have shown that the standard American diet, which is typically high in saturated fat and food additives has been linked to a greater risk of developing a digestive disorder. Eating foods in their whole form, known as whole foods, is the best choice for your digestion. Whole foods are packed with fiber too, which is a key player in proper digestion. Fiber helps bulk up your stools and keep things operating smoothly – pun intended. Think of it this way: the simpler the ingredients in food products, the simpler it is for the body to digest.
Drink lots of water throughout the day
It’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, but also to help your body clear out toxins and waste. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation. A great way to increase your water intake is to include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables that have a high water content such as celery, watermelon, iceberg lettuce, etc.
Focus all your attention on the meal that you’re about to eat. Try to eat slowly, and take time to smell your food, observe the taste and texture, and avoid any distractions such as the TV or computer. The best way is to sit down at the table, and only focus on the meal you’re about to eat. Eating slowly can help people avoid any stomach upset and help you avoid overeating.
Chew your food
Seems pretty straightforward right? But I mean REALLY chew because this is where the digestion begins, in the mouth. Chewing is so important because it produces saliva which starts off the whole digestive process. The more you chew, the more saliva you get. Saliva is what helps break down the food. Think of it this way, the better you chew the more nutrients your body will absorb. Digestion takes energy, so if you simplify the process by taking a few extra moments, your body will thank you with more energy.
Move your body
Exercise is a classic call to action in the health world, but moving your body daily is so important for your digestive health overall. When the body is active it increases blood flow which improves circulation everywhere especially in the gut. It helps food make its passage through the body, aka healthy movement.
Stress can really affect your whole body, but mainly your digestive system. It can mess with how quickly food passes through the body, and cause a lot of discomfort. Ever felt so stressed that you felt it in your gut? Well, that’s why. Studies have linked high stress levels with IBS, a digestive disorder that is becoming more and more common. Reducing stress can be one of the best tricks to a healthy, functioning digestive system. Try incorporating breathing exercises, meditation and add in more activities that are soothing to your mind and body.
You can take a load off of your digestive system by incorporating these simple diet and lifestyle changes. Choosing the right foods, mindful eating, exercise, and stress management all are pieces to the digestion puzzle.