Four Simple Ways to Improve Digestive Health
Your body is a very delicate ecosystem, and making sure everything functions properly can sometimes be difficult. Digestive health issues are quite common among Americans, and even seemingly minor issues can lead to bigger concerns in the long run. An occasionally upset stomach may not seem like a very pressing issue, but repeated symptoms could be cause for concern. The following ways to improve digestive health will help keep your digestive system functioning properly so that you can continue enjoying all your favorite foods for many years to come.
Increase fiber intake
It may seem simple, but increasing your daily fiber intake can go a long way in improving your digestive health. Fiber helps absorb water in your digestive system, leading to smoother, more complete bowel movements. Maintaining a high-fiber diet can also reduce the risk of more serious digestive health issues such as ulcers, reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Many vegetables—particularly cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts—grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes are high in fiber, so they can help you maintain a healthy digestive system.
One of the easiest ways to improve digestive health is to stay hydrated. Low fluid intake is one of the most common causes for constipation, so staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining a healthy digestive system. Drinking warm lemon water is a great way to meet your daily fluid intake level and improve digestive health while supporting your immune system. The vitamin C and citric acid in warm lemon water help flush toxins from your digestive system and aid in more regular bowel movements. You can also achieve your daily fluid intake by eating foods with high water content, such as cucumber, zucchini, and watermelon. Certain factors, such as daily exercise level or weight, may impact recommended fluid intake levels, so be sure to consult your physician.
Stress can affect your body in many ways and lead to serious health concerns if you don’t manage it properly. Stress can cause your digestive system to work overtime, and it has been associated with multiple digestive issues, including stomach ulcers, constipation, and IBS. Stress can also affect your appetite, which can in turn affect your digestive health. Finding healthy ways to manage stress will help keep your digestive system on track and reduce the risk of developing more serious health problems. Meditation and yoga are simple and relaxing ways to manage stress without further irritating your digestive system.
Regular physical activity will not only help your cardiovascular system stay in shape, but also help your digestive system function properly. Maintaining an active lifestyle will enable your body to digest food and absorb nutrients more quickly and allow food to travel through your digestive system more smoothly. Even engaging in mild exercise for as little as 30 minutes can help ease constipation and improve digestive health.