Go with Your Gut
If you have problems with your digestion, you’re in good company. More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems. Whether it’s irritable bowel syndrome,
bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, reflux, or gas, getting your digestion in order will bring you much needed relief and save you from potential embarrassment. Don’t let digestive discomfort become a fact of life. By making five simple changes, you can help your digestive system find its groove again so it can absorb nutrients and keep things running smoothly.
1. Stay hydrated
The best way to stay regular is to keep hydrated and encourage the flow of food through your intestines. If there’s any remedy for overall digestive health, it’s water. Dehydration is one of the most common culprits of constipation. Not drinking enough water slows your digestive system down, forcing it to get water from your food waste. The result is hard, difficult-to-pass stools. You know you are getting enough water if your urine is clear (as opposed to yellow) all day long.
2. Keep on moving
Exercise may be the next best thing for your digestion, as it stimulates all the muscles in your GI tract. Brisk movement speeds up digestion, makes your organs work more efficiently, and signals your intestinal muscles to contract. A toned colon pushes out stools better and
3. Choose healthy fats
Fried and rich foods throw a wrench into your digestive tract, making it sluggish. Instead, opt for healthy fats to help support the GI tract. One great source of healthy fat is coconut oil, which can help increase metabolism, aid in digestion and help to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
4. Choose bulk
Fiber is constipation’s sworn enemy. The typical American’s low-fiber diet causes all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in the gut, damaging its delicate ecosystem. Fiber quickly plows its way through a plugged-up gut by softening stools and adding bulk. Seek out fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as beans and lentils. The fiber found in plant foods stimulates the growth of healthy intestinal flora.
Gut-dwelling, “friendly” bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid nutrient absorption, reduce bloating, and boost immune function. Especially relevant is their ability to normalize bowel movements. Some experts recommend eating probiotic- rich foods (such as yogurt or other cultured foods) or taking a probiotic supplement for a minimum of two weeks in order to notice a difference in your digestion.