Your digestive health is directly impacted by the foods you eat and the lifestyle you live. By taking steps to improve your digestive health, you’ll help your digestive system to function more efficiently, improving your overall health and sense of well-being.
“Let your body be your guide and you will start creating health naturally.”
1. Eat a high-fibre diet. According to Maria Adams, RD, MPH, a nutrition consultant in Marblehead, Massachusetts, consuming a diet that’s high in fibre and rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits can improve your digestive health. ‘A high-fibre diet helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract, making you less likely to get constipated,’ Adams says, adding that a high-fibre diet can also help you prevent or treat various digestive conditions, such as diverticulosis, haemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In addition, it can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
2. Get both insoluble and soluble fibre. It’s important to consume both types of fibre, since they help your digestive system in different ways. ‘Insoluble fibre, also known as roughage, can’t be digested by the body and therefore helps add bulk to the stools,’ says Adams. ‘Soluble fibre draws in water and can help prevent stools that are too watery.’ Good sources of insoluble fibre include wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains; get soluble fibre from oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
3. Limit foods that are high in fat. ‘In general, fatty foods tend to slow down the digestive process, making you more prone to constipation,’ says Adams. But since it’s important to get some fat in your diet, Adams says that pairing fatty foods with high-fibre foods can make them easier on your digestive system.
4. Choose lean meats. Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, but fatty cuts of meat can lead to uncomfortable digestion. When you eat meat, select lean cuts, such as pork loin and skinless poultry. For all those vegetarian’s out there (like myself) then Quorn, Tofu or something similar.
5. Incorporate probiotics into your diet. Probiotics are the same kind of healthy bacteria naturally present in your digestive tract. ‘They help keep the body healthy by combating the effects of a poor diet, antibiotics, and stress,’ says Adams. In addition, probiotics can enhance nutrient absorption, may help break down lactose, strengthen your immune system, and possibly even help treat IBS. Adams recommends that people eat good sources of probiotics, such as low-fat yogurt or kefir, daily.
6. Eat on schedule. Adams says that consuming your meals and snacks on a regular schedule can help keep your digestive system in top shape. Aim to sit down for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks around the same time each day.
7. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is good for your digestive health – (Check out my other blog on Hydration here).
You can heal yourself from within
If you are experiencing digestive problems or a chronic health condition, it is your body speaking to you. Listen to your body and use these 7 ideas to bring balance back to your digestive system.
Remember when your gut is healthy, you will look and feel healthy from the inside out.