At some point or another, we all experience some type of digestion issues. The long list of digestive ailments can range from constipation, diarrhea, nausea, gas, and upset stomach, which can certainly put a damper on your day-to-day activities. Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable in the gut, so we’ve provided a few tips for ensuring you keep things moving in the right direction.
Add more fiber to your diet. We’ve all heard our doctors tell us to add more fiber to our diet when we’ve complained of constipation, and there is a good reason for it. Soluble fiber adds bulk to your stool because it absorbs water, whereas insoluble fiber works in a different way and acts like a giant toothbrush, assisting your digestive track in moving things along. In addition to healthy bowels, a diet rich in fiber has also been linked to a reduced risk of ulcers, reflux, and hemorrhoids. You can find soluble fiber in nuts and seeds, and insoluble fiber in vegetables.
Up your healthy fats. Not only do healthy fats keep you feeling full after a meal, but they also work to absorb nutrients properly. Omega-3-fatty acids, found in fish, flaxseed, and fish oil, help reduce the risk of ulcerative colitis.
Avoid processed food. High in refined carbs, additives, and saturated fat, processed food are linked to digestive issues. The salt, chemicals, and glucose that is found in these foods, causes increased gut inflammation, which is also called “leaky gut.” Be aware of low-fat options, as they are loaded with artificial sweeteners that are linked to digestive problems. The xylitol in these sweeteners is known to cause diarrhea and bloating in 70% of people.
Keep tabs on your hydration. Making sure that you consume enough water should be on your daily to-do list. Proper hydration is responsible for helping the body work the way it’s supposed to and without enough water, you may be at risk for constipation. According to experts, we should be drinking 50-66 ounces of fluids every day. Keep in mind that this list of liquids includes non-caffeinated drinks such as seltzer water and herbal teas.
Control your stress. Experts are finding more and more evidence that stress contributes to many physical conditions, and your digestion is one of them. When we are stressed out, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode, releasing stress hormones that pull the blood and energy away from our digestive system, preventing us from the proper rest we need to digest.
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