It is a common misunderstanding for people to read “digestive health” and to only think of the health of their digestive track. However, it should be noted that keeping your digestive system healthy will affect many other parts of your body and has countless benefits. The more obvious of the benefits is the health of your digestive system in general, treating things like constipation issues, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, heartburn and even skin issues such as acne. On the flip side, an unhealthy digestive environment can affect your body negatively. If your food is not being digested properly your body is not getting what it needs in terms of nutrition. This is of upmost importance for the daily functioning of your body’s organs, and for things like immunity to sickness and warding off disease.
All of that said, it seems there is always a countless list of things we have to do to take care of each organ and body part. This can make maintenance seem like such a hassle. To help remedy this we have compiled a list of 12 quick and easy ways to promote a healthy digestive track.
- Drink plenty of water: According to this source the number one cause of constipation due to poor digestive health is not enough water. Although the standard was always discussed as 6 8oz glasses of water a day more recently it has been acknowledged that every body is different, and what is plenty of water for one person might be very short of enough for someone else.
- Drink and cook with filtered water: Turns out just drinking the water isn’t enough, you need to drink the water that is good for you. Tap water contains pollutants (chlorine) that kill the good bacteria in your stomach.
- Limit Dietary Fiber: Many people will tell you to take fiber to stay regular. However, fiber can destroy the walls of your digestive track and should be avoided in mass quantities. Sources of fiber are, but aren’t limited to, dried fruit, beans, figs, prunes, legumes, and ground flaxseed.
- Chew your food: Be sure to slow your eating enough to chew your food really well.
- Be mindful of food allergies and sensitivities to certain foods: If you have allergies or sensitivities it’s important to respect the boundaries that your body is setting. Steer clear of those foods.
- Healthy bacteria: There are good bacteria that your digestive tract uses. The two you will want to focus on are Lactobacillus acidophillus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. You can buy supplements containing these bacteria or buy foods that have them in it. Yogurt is well known for having healthy bacteria. However, buying quality yogurt is important as many of them don’t actually give you the benefits that they “promote”. Be sure your yogurt is organic and has active cultures added after pasteurization.
- Be sure your acid levels are normal: If you don’t have enough acid in your stomach your food doesn’t get digested as it should and leads to poor digestive health. Heartburn, gas and bloating are actually caused from a shortage of acid. Try a supplement with has HCI and pepsin.
- Consider taking digestive enzymes with your meals: Check with a local physician to find out what enzymes will be right for you.
- Colon cleanse: Consider starting a routine maintenance with colon cleanse and enemas.
- Diet: It is recommended that you eat mostly whole foods, organic, with lots of vegetable and whole grains.
- Vitamin D: Be sure to get at least 1k-2k IU a day of vitamin D. This will help to promote strong digestive health and reduce your risk of colon cancer.
- Regular exercise: Muscles contracting while exercising help to assist in moving your food through your digestive tract and keep you more regular.