“Your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat into the nutrients your body needs. If you neglect your digestive health, your body could run into problems digesting foods and absorbing those nutrients,” according to everyday HEALTH. The most common problems related to the digestive tract are bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn. These problems can be cause from many different things, such as poor nutrition, an unhealthy lifestyle, food intolerance or an infection. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help your digestive system run smoothly, says Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Jessica Beacom. With small changes, you can improve your digestive system and improve your overall health and sense of well being, by making changes in your lifestyle and food choices.
1. High Fiber Diet
Maria Adams a registered dietitian in Marblehead, Massachusetts, spoke with everyday Health, where she suggests eating a diet that is high in fiber and rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables “A high-fiber diet helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract, making you less likely to get constipated,” says, Adams. She also adds that it can help prevent or treat many digestive conditions, like diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Incorporate Probiotics to Your Life
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your overall health and specifically your digestive system. “These microscopic ‘bugs’ live in your intestines where they produce vitamins and short-chain fatty acids that feed and nurture other beneficial bacteria, and directly contribute to a healthy gut flora (the community of bacteria in your gut). These bacteria aid in digestion, help prevent infection and reduce chronic inflammation,” says Beacom.
3. Exercise Regularly
According to Dr. Oz, 30 minutes of exercise everyday will speed up digestion, increase the blood flow to all your organs, and stimulates muscles in the GI tract, which will help your organs run more smoothly.
4. Limit Foods High in Fat
Fried and fatty foods are not only very hard to digest but slows the digestive process down overall making you more prone to constipation, says Adams. In order to cut back, Dr. Oz suggests choosing meats that have low fat content like chicken or turkey and lean cuts of pork, and to go for non-fat dairy instead of whole or reduced-fat dairy.
Water is a vital source for a healthy digestion. We need it to absorb nutrients correctly and digest solid food. According to Beacom, without water, the entire body’s function decreases which can lead to low blood pressure, dehydration and constipation.
Some digestive problems are harder to fix than others, but many can be fixed by just incorporating these simple habits to your daily life. Focus on what you eat, exercise regularly, and stay hydrated in order to keep your digestive system healthy.