Tips For Digestive Health
Tips For Digestive Health
Do you suffer from digestive issues or irregularity? If so, I have gathered some tips for digestive health to help you deal with these types of issues. Digestive health is important to maintain your body’s functions. These tips for digestive health may help you identify areas where you can improve your diet to assist with digestion and overall health.
Statistics from the US National Institutes for Health indicate that in 2010 ( the latest data published) up to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of digestive health problem. A 2000 study says that 63 million suffer from chronic constipation alone. That means that 1 in every 5 in the US suffers from some form of digestive issue.
In light of these statistics, what can you do if you suffer from constant digestive problems? Using some of these tips for digestive health may help you solve your problem on your own. If you continue to have digestive problems, it is important to talk to your doctor. Digestive health is extremely important to your overall health and wellness. They can also be a sign of hidden problems that your doctor can help diagnose and treat.
Basic Tips For Digestive Health
Some basic tips to improve your overall digestive health include:
- Drink plenty of water- One recommendation is to drink 1/2 to 1oz of water per day for each pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 160lbs you would need to drink 80-160oz of water per day. Water helps digestion by helping to break down the food you eat and also helps to carry the nutrients from your food into the bloodstream. Water also softens the stool so it can aid with constipation.
- Get plenty of exercise- exercise can help with digestion in many ways. It can help strengthen the muscles in and around the gut. It increases blood flow, which can aid in digestion. It can also help with the balance of good bacteria in the gut which help us with digestion. Regular exercise can also relieve stress. Stress has been shown to cause digestive issues.
- Get plenty of sleep- good sleep habits can also affect digestive health. Not getting enough sleep causes additional stress on the body. This stress has an effect on digestion as well.
- Eat a well-balanced diet high in fiber- A diet high in fiber helps food move through the digestive system and help to bulk up the stool. This may help those with chronic constipation. Foods high in fiber are also high in dietary vitamins and minerals.
- Get your probiotics- Probiotics are helpful bacteria and yeasts that are naturally found in certain foods such as yogurt. They are called “good” bacteria because they aid in digestion. You can also find probiotics in some supplements.
Gastroesophageal reflux, commonly called acid reflux, is many times caused by the stomach not emptying in a timely manner. Many factors such as stress can actually cause the normal functioning of the stomach to slow down. This causes the normal acid breakdown of food to take longer and delays the natural emptying of the stomach. This delay can cause acid reflux by keeping the acid level and food in the stomach for longer than normal. Reducing stress, chewing your food well, and eating a well-balanced diet high in fiber can help alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux. In some cases, this can help you reduce or eliminate the need for acid-reducing drugs or antacids, simply by improving your eating habits.
The causes of chronic constipation can usually be traced to poor diet and lack of exercise. Other common causes include:
- Not drinking enough water- as mentioned above, water helps soften stool making it easier to pass. Water also helps lubricate the mucus that lines the colon, which helps with passing stool.
- Diet- a diet heavy in processed foods, high in fats, and low in fiber all can contribute to constipation symptoms.
- Alcohol and Caffeine- Too much of either or both of these substances can create problems with digestion. Moderation is the key if you use either of these substances.
- Holding your urge to go to the bathroom- We all may have to hold the urge to go to the bathroom for a short period of time. But if you have the urge to go, and you wait all day until you get home, the waste sits in your colon. The colon continues to try and absorb the water from the waste, leading to hard dry stools.
Now that you know some tips for digestive health it is time to start looking at your habits. If you are lacking in some of these, like exercise, try to go out and take a walk. If you eat only processed food high in starch and sugar, start working to eat more foods high in fiber and lower your sugar intake. With these tips for digestive health, you can start now to improve your habits and hopefully decrease some of the problems you are having.
If you have any more tips please share them in the comments below.