7 Tips for Healthy Digestion And Healthy Gut

If you’re one of the 70 million people affected by..

7 Tips for Healthy Digestion And Healthy Gut

If you’re one of the 70 million people affected by digestive problems you probably know that diet plays a role in how you feel.

While optimizing your digestive health typically takes trial and error—and the guidance of a health-care provider—there are some helpful changes you can make to your diet that often improve your digestive health.

Here are seven expert tips.

Diet

Diet plays a big role in creating a healthy digestive system. Your digestive system will love you if add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.

These foods help keep things running smoothly by providing essential vitamins and minerals along with fibre to push things along.

Choose organic foods when possible. Avoid foods that are processed, contain wheat gluten or are genetically modified.

Also cut back on white sugar, white flour, and fried foods.

If you find that certain foods create more discomfort than others consider asking a naturopath about food allergies.

Support your body with Glutamine

Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients that you can give your body as it supports the repair and regeneration of the intestinal lining in your body and also soothes inflammation.

You can find glutamine in supplement form and it’s also found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beets, beans, spinach, parsley and fresh vegetable juices.

Check with a health care professional before taking any supplements.

Add probiotics to your diet

Examples of probiotic sources are yogurt, soy milk and dark chocolate. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that have a beneficial effect on our digestive system.

They keep the body healthy by combating the effects of poor diet, antibiotics and stress. 

Probiotics also help enhance nutrient absorption, strengthen the immune system and possibly even help treat irritable bowel syndrome.

While they are naturally present in our body, it helps to consume foods that are probiotic in nature.

Avoid foods that irritate your digestive tract 

Some people can tolerate a large amount of spices and others cannot.

Understand what works for you and eat accordingly.

Substances that often do not suit everyone are: red chillies, hot spices, caffeine, alcohol, desserts rich in sugar and fat.

Other substances that irritate the digestive tract are nicotine and certain types of medication. While spicy food can irritate the stomach lining in some people, it does not lead to ulcers.

It can however exacerbate existing ulceration in the intestines or stomach.

The secret to a healthy digestive system is to either avoid or balance your intake of substances that cause irritation to your system.

Lower Your Stress Levels

Much like the spinal cord, neurons cover your intestinal wall where they send information throughout your body.

The existence of the brain/gut connection makes it clear that stress can be linked to gut health.When stressed, your brain sends messages to your gut in the form of chemicals.

These chemicals affect how well your gut works.

5 Tactics to Reduce Stress and Support Gut Health

1. Meditation

It’s amazing how much better you can feel about things if you just take some time to stop, breathe, and concentrate. If you need to use a mantra, go for it!

2. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy harnesses the power of plant-sourced essential oils. Many people attest that this ancient, traditional practice helps them manage stress.

3. Exercise

Physical activity affects stress and mood. If you’re feeling stressed, being active can help you overcome it!

4. Diet

What you eat can have a significant impact on your gut health. Stress-relieving foods can help.

5. Laughter

Laughter can relieve stress by producing endorphins and lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Find a funny friend or turn on a comedy to produce a relieving chuckle.

Incorporate Fermented Foods Into Your Diet

Fermented foods can introduce good bacteria to your gut but know that it’s better to make your own.

Store-bought options are usually pasteurized, which kills good bacteria. Some of the best fermented foods for promoting gut health include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tempeh
  • Fermented Tofu
  • Kombucha

 

Drink plenty of water

Dehydration is known to wreak havoc on our digestive system.

We need to drink at least 3 litres of water a day to keep our system well hydrated.

Our intestines use water to push the digested waste through the system and convert it into a form that can be easily eliminated.

Continuous low water intake leads to constipation and the build-up of toxins in the body, and this in turn increases your risk of developing more complicated digestive issues.

So make sure you consciously take the time to drink the amount of water you need every day, at regular intervals.

Don’t wait to be thirsty.

Yogurt

Best

You have trillions of bacteria in your gut that help you digest food, and yogurt contains some types of these healthy bacteria. (Although not all yogurts have them—check for “live and active cultures” on the label.)

Yogurt has bacteria, which replenishes the normal flora within the gastrointestinal tract so it’s healthy.

Kimchi

Best

Kimchi is a Korean favorite usually made with cabbage, radish, or onion, along with lots of spices. The main ingredient is usually cabbage, which promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.

And cabbage is a type of fiber that’s not digested, so it helps eliminate waste, keeping bowel movements regular, Anderson says. Sauerkraut is good for the same reasons.

This dish can be spicy, however, so it might not be a good option if you’ve found that spicy foods trigger digestive problems for you.

Lean meat and fish

Best

If you’re going to eat meat, go for chicken, fish, and other lean meats—they’ll go down a lot easier than a juicy steak.

“Red meats tend to be fattier,” Anderson says. “Your body can handle lean meats and fish and chicken a whole lot better than prime rib.”

And lean meats and fish have not been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer like high-fat red meats have.

Whole grains

Best

Whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oats, and brown rice, are a good source of fiber, which helps digestion.

If there’s one thing America lacks, it’s fiber. We need 20 to 30 grams a day and we maybe get 12.

Fiber also can help you feel full and lower cholesterol, but it can cause bloating, gas, and other problems in people who quickly ramp up their intake—it’s better to take it slow when consuming more.

And wheat grains are a no-no for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Bananas

Best

Bananas help restore normal bowel function, especially if you have diarrhea (say, from too much alcohol).

And they restore electrolytes and potassium that may be lost due to runny stool. This fruit also has lots of fiber to aid digestion. A banana a day is what I always say.

Ginger

Best

This spice has been used for thousands of years as a safe way to relieve nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, loss of appetite, and colic.

But it’s best to consume it in moderation. High doses of ginger can backfire; more than 2 to 4 grams per day can cause heartburn.


Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

We eat clean, are always motivated and helpout beginners in need. We sell guides on Cutting, Bulking and Muscle Building. Checkout our website!

Related articles