When people discuss healthy lifestyles, they usually eat clean, nutritious foods and get frequent exercise. However, exercise and nutrition alone aren’t enough to get optimal results. You might feel less than accomplished after all your efforts to get fit if you’re dealing with a digestive system that’s out of whack from years of accidental damage. There is still hope. There are 10 secrets for better digestion.
How would you even know that your digestion isn’t working as it should? Your body’s a pretty good indicator of its inner workings. Do you ever feel your food just sitting around in your stomach after many hours of eating a well-prepped, healthy meal? Or do you ever run to the bathroom right after you’re done with your meal? There are many telltale signs about your tummy health; you just have to pay attention.
Listed Below are 10 Secrets for Better Digestion
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
A high-fiber diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can significantly improve your digestive health. Hight-fiber diets keep the food moving throughout your digestive system, lowering your chances of getting constipated. Such diets are also great for preventing or treating various digestive conditions such as hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and IBS, as well as maintaining or achieving a healthy weight.
Get Both Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
There are two different kinds of fiber—soluble and insoluble. Both of them are helpful for your digestive track in their own ways. Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps prevent your stool from becoming too watery, while insoluble fibers—also known as roughage—add bulk to stools since they can’t be digested by the body. Some good sources of soluble fibers include oat bran, seeds, nuts, and legumes; insoluble fiber can be found in vegetables, whole grains, and wheat bran.
Limit Your Intake of High-Fat Foods
Fatty foods have a tendency to slow down the digestive process, making people who have a lot of fat in their dietary intake more prone to constipation. However, it’s important to include healthy fat in your diet—pair some high-fiber foods with fatty foods to keep your gut running smoothly.
Eat Lean Meats
Protein is essential for a healthy diet, but you can get digestive discomfort from certain fatty cuts of meat. Go for lean cuts such as skinless poultry or pork loin and keep your portion sizes small. Try to fill more than half of your plate with vegetables, fruits, and fiber-rich whole grains.
Incorporate Probiotics into Your Daily Meals
Probiotics are a kind of healthy bacteria that are naturally present in your gut. They combat the effects of antibiotics, stress, and a generally poor diet and maintain your body’s overall health. Probiotics can also enhance the absorption of nutrients, break down lactose, help treat IBS, and even strengthen the immune system. Some good sources of probiotics include kefir or low-fat yogurt—try making them a part of your everyday diet.
Prebiotics are also great for helping your digestion run smoothly. They act as food for probiotics, helping these healthy bacteria survive and thrive. You can find prebiotics in many whole grains, fruits, and raw vegetables, such as legumes, oats, bananas, and onions.
Schedule Your Mealtimes
Consuming your healthy meals and snacks while following a regular schedule helps your digestive system stay in tiptop shape. Aim to sit down for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day.
Water is the source of all life and a good digestive system. Drink plenty of water! It gets pulled in by the fiber as it passes through your intestines to create softer stools that pass through much more easily. Be strategic when you drink your water as well. Drinking a glass of water around 15 minutes before you begin eating your meal can help your food settle better as your digestive juices get flowing.
Say No To Drinking and Smoking
Liquor, cigarettes, and excessive amounts of caffeine interfere with your digestive system’s function, leading to problems like heartburn and stomach ulcers.
Try following the 80/20 rule. Eat until you’re no longer hungry and you feel like you can still keep going. Leave around 20 percent of your stomach free for optimal digestion. Imagine a paper shredder—stuffing a shredder with too many pages can jam it up, and it can be difficult to get it shredding again. But if you feed in a few pages at a time without overloading the system, it works efficiently and quickly. Your digestive tract follows the same logic!
You don’t have to starve yourself for an entire day, but short fasting periods can be incredibly beneficial for your tummy. Take some time between your meals and give the food three to four hours to assimilate. If you keep bombarding your stomach with food throughout the day, it’ll get confused and stop working as it should. Give it some time to finish working on your last meal before getting a snack.
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About The Author
Khloe M. is a dietician who loves writing blogs in her free time to help spread awareness about health issues and ways to overcome them. She understands that not everyone has access to proper healthcare, and taking care of themselves starts at home. With over a decade of experience in her field, Khloe is well-versed in the subjects of food, health, and the human body.