Eating is enjoyable. It is also essential to good health and well-being. If your body does not digest food well, you may find yourself tossing and turning at night and not being able to sleep because of stomach pain, indigestion, and the constant need to run to the bathroom. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to support a healthy digestive system.
Eat a High-Fiber Diet
If you want to improve your digestive system, maintain a diet that is high in fiber and rich in vegetables and fruits. Fiber keeps the normal digestive process running smoothly. It helps to prevent constipation and keeps you at a healthy weight. Fiber can prevent the onset of conditions like diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Your diet should include soluble and insoluble fiber. They help your digestive system in different ways.
Insoluble fiber, like what you would find in vegetables, is not digested by your body. However, it bulks up your stool, making it easier for food and other waste products to travel through your gut. Soluble fiber draws in water. It keeps your stool solid and can be found in vegetables, wheat bran, seeds, and nuts.
Eat Lean Meat
Lean meats are packed with protein and various vitamins that are essential for good digestive health. As your body digests food, it burns calories. Since the protein found in lean meat produces a thermal effect, your body burns more calories while it is digesting lean meat as opposed to fat or carbohydrates. If you increase the level of protein you consume throughout the day, you force your digestive system to work in a more efficient manner. Your digestive system will turn more of the calories it burns into fuel that you can use for exercise and other activities.
Water’s Role in Digestion
Water is essential for healthy digestion. It helps break down food so your body can absorb nutrients. Water will soften your stool, preventing constipation.
The amount of water you should drink varies by your size, genetics, and lifestyle. A common rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water each day. However, if you exercise or if you are active, you should probably increase your water intake. Even mild dehydration can negatively affect your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and digest food.
It is also recommended to opt for mineral water as tap water can have contaminants which may be harmful for the body. The improvement of gallbladder function is also one of the benefits of drinking mineral water, not to mention that it tastes better than tap water.
Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Conventional wisdom says to avoid bacteria. However, probiotics are bacteria that can improve your digestive health. Many have included raw probiotics. in their diet to encourage improved digestion.
Probiotics are naturally present in your digestive tract. They reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. Probiotics can be taken as supplements. There are several foods that are rich in probiotics. For example, most fermented products contain probiotics. Examples of other foods that contain probiotics include traditional buttermilk, yogurt, aged cheese, kimchee, and sauerkraut.
Your digestive health is important to your overall well-being. By taking a few simple steps, including increasing fiber intake, drinking more water, eating lean meats, and using probiotics in your diet, you are taking steps to make your digestive system work better.