Healthy Digestive System

by Andrew Mills


Digestion is a fascinating and a methodological process that the body performs. Every organ involved in digestion has its functions and works towards the end goal, which is getting the cells of the body the minerals, vitamins and energy reserves that they needs to stay healthy. But what happens when your diet lacks the essential nourishment? It will start showing signs of wear and tear. This can happen either immediately, or over a period of time. The food that you eat, along with your eating habits and lifestyle, can sometimes lead to digestive disorders.

There are certain things that you can do to have a healthy digestive system, which can prevent and treat digestive disorders:

  • Eat High Fiber Foods: Adds bulk to your diet, making you feel full faster. Soluble fiber aids digestion by absorbing and attracting water and turning it into gel during digestion. Soluble fibers are found in beans, lentils, peas, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, bran and barley. Insoluble fiber speeds up the traveling of food through the intestines and stomach, adding bulk to your stools. It is found in vegetables, whole grains and wheat bran. The daily required amount of high-fiber foods for an adult is 20 to 35 grams per day however the average American consumes only 10 to 15 grams of it per day. High-fibers foods are also rich in minerals and vitamins. Introduce this form of food gradually into your diet as sudden large amounts of high-fiber can cause bloating, abdominal cramps and gas. High fiber foods helps digestion, prevents constipation and aids in treating diverticulitis.
  • Avoid Fatty and Greasy Foods: The digestive tract breaks down your food into various food groups. Fats take the longest time, are the hardest to digest, and are most cumbersome to transport through the digestive tract. Fats are important for the body to function but there are healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Choose foods with less saturated fat. Avoid frying your foods, instead bake and cook.
  • Eat Small and Regular Meals: Eat small and regular meals throughout the day to have your food move smoothly through your digestive tract. Take your time while eating and avoid hurrying through meals. Chew your food well- the smaller you break your food, the better and faster you make it for your digestive system to break it down into their molecular forms. You should chew one mouthful at least 30 times before swallowing. Avoid drinking through straws or drinking from bottles and cans; instead make it a habit to drink from a glass to prevent belching.
  • Have an Excretion Schedule: Maintain a regular schedule for excretion. Do not hold in stools. The longer the waste sits in your large intestines, the more water it will remove from it. This results in harder stools, which can become painful and challenging to pass.
  • Drink Adequate Water: Water plays a very important role in the process of digestion. It is needed to create hydrochloric acid in the stomach and lining the stomach with mucous. The acid is vital for digesting proteins, which activates digestive enzymes. The mucous lining protects the stomach tissues from the hydrochloric acid. Water also softens the stools and lubricates the digestive system. Hence drinking adequate water is extremely important.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can keep your food moving through the digestive system. If the gym is not for you, even a brisk walk of 30 minutes or using the stairs can help towards a healthy digestive system.
  • Avoid: caffeinated and carbonated drinks, greasy foods, too much spice, dairy products (if lactose intolerant), alcohol and smoking.

If you are unable to get your vitamins, minerals and nutrients from your diet due to digestive disorders, consult your doctor about supplements. There are supplements with vitamins and enzymes which help treat inflammation in the digestive tract and gets rid of toxins created during the digestion process.

Reference

  1. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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