Simple Ways to Improve Your Digestive Health
For our bodies to thrive and perform optimally, not only do we need to be eating the right foods but our digestive system needs to be working correctly to be able to break them down. Your lifestyle, state of mind and the foods you ingest will all impact your digestion and so there’s plenty that’s within your control if you want to improve things. Whether you’re looking to prevent digestive issues or put right problems that you’re already noticing, here are some tips for a healthy digestive system.
Get Enough Fibre
To maintain a healthy weight and avoid issues such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers we have to ensure we’re eating enough fibre. Fibre can only be found in plant based foods- things like meat, fish and dairy don’t contain any. There are two types of fibre which help your body in different ways- these are soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre dissolves in the water in your digestive system, and reduces the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Insoluble fibre passes through your gut without being broken down and helps other foods move through your digestive system more easily. Whole grains such as those in bread, pasta and cereal, beans, nuts and fruits and vegetables are all sources of fibre which you should be including in your diet.
Fats are one of the hardest types of foods for the body to process, and slow down digestion. While it’s important to get some fats, particularly the right balance of good fats, too much overall can slow down your digestive system and lead to constipation. Eating the right balance of fat will also help you to maintain your weight which will reduce your risk of all kinds of preventable illnesses.
See a Doctor About Digestive Issues
Sometimes things can go wrong in our bodies, even despite our best efforts to look after ourselves. Food intolerances, allergies and conditions like IBS can all affect our digestion- you should speak to your GP or specialist gi doctors to see what can be done. Over time, poor digestion can lead to weight loss, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and dehydration were food and liquid isn’t being properly absorbed. Whether it’s stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, blood or any other issues, speak to a professional. More often than not, a simple lifestyle change could fix things but you have to be wary of issues like bowel cancer.
The link between body and mind has been clearly established, and the way you feel mentally can hugely impact your body. The digestive system is really quite sensitive, and issues like anxiety can create a fight or flight response in the body which can affect digestion. Find coping mechanisms for stress that work for you. It could be having a hot bath and curling up with a good book, it could be exercise, it could be meditation. We all go through periods of stress, none of us are lucky enough to ever avoid it completely. Knowing what works for you personally and having healthy coping mechanisms are good for your mental health and health in general, as well as digestion.