HEALTH SPOTLIGHT: Improving and Maintaining Your Digestive Health
By Space Coast Daily // June 5, 2018
In our modern world of readily available processed foods, sugary drinks, high-stress jobs and low quality of sleep, poor digestive health is more common than you think.
More than 100 million Americans are reported to be suffering from digestion problems including indigestion, stomach aches, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation, gas, and bloating. These issues have become so common that many don’t even realize they are a sign of a bigger problem.
Eat a Diet High In Fiber
Increasing your fiber intake has benefits beyond improving digestive health. Studies show that high fiber diets offer weight loss benefits and help to lower cholesterol which can reduce your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Limit Your Fatty Food Intake
Fatty foods are common triggers for digestive problems and they show up in western diets a lot. While it is important to have some healthy fats in your diet, foods that are high in fat take a longer time to digest and can cause constipation. Foods that are greasy, as well as high fat, can also cause diarrhea and stomach cramps. Some easy ways to cut back on fats include swapping red meats for leaner choices like chicken breasts or fish filets, avoiding fried foods, and cut back on dairy.
Drink More Water
Water is one of the building blocks of life, so it should come as no surprise that drinking more water is one of the easiest ways you can improve your overall health: it gives you more energy, promotes healthy weight loss, and helps you flush out toxins. When it comes to digestive health, drinking more water can help you process foods more easily and prevents hard stools which can be painful to pass and can cause rectal bleeding.
Eat Smaller Meals Regularly
Eating smaller portions on a consistent schedule comes with a number of benefits, it keeps your digestive system active and keeps you feeling full for longer which can help with weight loss. Smaller portions are also easier for you to digest and can help to keep you regular.
Avoid Smoking, Alcohol, and Excessive Caffeine
Alcohol, excessive Caffeine, and Cigarettes are all known to have a negative impact on your health, and those effects extend to your digestive system. Caffeine, Cigarettes, and some types of alcohol such as beer and white wine, are all well-known appetite suppressants. Unsurprisingly they can also leave you with irregular bowel movements and affect the way you absorb nutrients.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is great for both body and mind, so it’s no surprise that it offers benefits for your digestion too. While exercise diverts your bodies energy away from the digestion process, regular exercise encourages healthier digestion while you are at rest, and alleviates stress and can prevent constipation.
Manage Your Stress
Stress and anxiety can have serious consequences for your digestive health, causing upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea and even vomiting in severe cases. Managing your stress through regular exercise and self-care activities can be crucial in managing your symptoms and improving your digestive health.
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