5 Powerful Ways to Improve Digestive Health
The prevalence of digestive health issues in the United States is a cause for concern. Up to 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. Every year a significant number of adults visit physicians and emergency departments as a result of digestive concerns. Your digestive system helps break down the foods you eat into the nutrients your body needs. From acid reflux to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), many digestive conditions can be helped by making healthy choices.
Your diet and lifestyle directly impact your digestive health. Treating your gut right can have a significant impact on your overall health and wellness. This guide will cover the signs of an unhealthy gut, tips to improve your digestive health, and highlight why supplements such as prebiotics and probiotics are key in keeping your system running smoothly.
The Importance of Your Digestive System
Your digestive system controls digestion and nutrient absorption, two of the most important processes in your body. The system itself consists of several organs, including the large and small intestines, stomach, liver, pancreas, esophagus and gallbladder. It also has hundreds of different species of bacteria living in the digestive tract, which are collectively known as the gut microbiome. These bacteria are essential to sound digestive function.
Your gut is incredibly important to your overall health. It directly connects with your brain. Numerous studies have shown the links between digestive health and the immune system, mood and mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, cancer, and skin conditions like eczema.
The digestive process may be complicated, but there are ways to improve gut health that don’t require a deep scientific understanding. Below are a few key signs to look out for that may signal your digestive health needs some attention.
Signs of Poor Digestive Health
Making any health improvement starts with awareness. You may need to make proactive changes to your routine if any of the following apply:
- Your diet is high in sugar and processed foods.
- You regularly experience acid reflux, constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea or nausea.
- You’re frequently tired, and your sleep pattern is irregular.
- You cannot tolerate several types of food.
- Your weight fluctuates frequently.
Any of these signs can be your gut telling you that something needs to change. Digestive health hinges on sound dietary decisions, healthy lifestyle habits, and supplementation, as needed.
5 Key Tips for Better Digestive Health
Changing your habits can be hard at first. If you’re unsure where to start, here are five core steps that will support a cleaner, happier, and more efficient digestive process. These recommendations are helpful for many people but if you do have a digestive concern that is ongoing, please consult with your doctor before taking any supplements or making changes to your diet.
1. Factor in Fiber
Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that acts like a cleaning brush for your digestive system, moving food through the body and helping to prevent blockages. This cleansing prevents constipation and promotes positive health effects, such as reducing gut inflammation. Lowering inflammation is key to managing many digestive conditions.
Fiber also makes us feel fuller, which leads to consuming fewer calories, thus contributing positively to weight management.
It is important to eat both soluble and insoluble forms of fiber. Whole grains and fresh vegetables like carrots, beets and broccoli are good sources of insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is found in seeds, nuts and legumes such as lentils, split peas and beans.
2. Stay Active and Hydrated
A sedentary lifestyle makes achieving good digestive health harder and can lead to constipation, bloating and weight gain. Exercise promotes healthy digestion as food passes more easily through the GI tract when we regularly exercise.
Staying hydrated is helpful for digestion, absorption and elimination. Adequate hydration helps move things along, especially when adding more fiber to your diet.
The amount of water each person requires varies on things like exertion level, environment and overall health. Not everyone has the same water intake goal – but note that it is thought that if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so make it a habit to drink fluids frequently.
3. Practice Self Care
Stress wreaks havoc on every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Our digestive systems suffer some of the worst effects. Making time for self-care and relaxation is crucial in easing the tensions of life and leads to a much healthier digestive system. Try these techniques to lower stress and detox your lifestyle.
Timing when we eat can also help digestive health because the body tends to benefit from a regular eating schedule. Personal and professional lives can mess up our eating schedules, but try to establish a routine of eating meals and snacks at roughly the same times every day.
4. Treat Your Gut with Respect
Our bodies are machines like any other. The quality of the fuel we put in dictates performance. Healthy digestive systems come from respecting our bodies and being mindful that destructive physical habits like smoking, excessive drinking and junk food can be harmful.
Unhealthy fats, such as fatty cuts of meat and fried foods, should be avoided. Portion control of high-fat foods is a solid step toward promoting digestive health, especially when the deficit is made up of lots of fresh vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
5. Consume Prebiotics and Probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics are essential components in our gut microbiota. These microorganisms reside in the large intestine and assist with digestive health and overall well-being.
Prebiotics and probiotics are available in many foods. Snack on fresh fruits like bananas, grapefruits and watermelon, or try some fresh savoy cabbage, garlic, onions or leeks. Flaxseeds, almonds and pistachios are also supportive of healthy bacteria.
Many aspects of modern daily life, such as high stress, eating processed and high-sugar foods, and too little sleep contribute to poor digestive health. In addition to nutrition and lifestyle, supplements can be a helpful addition to digestive health.
Supplements for Digestive Health
There are many nutritional supplements can help improve digestion naturally. These include:
- Clearfiber – This supplement contains clinically tested, partially hydrolyzed guar gum, which has numerous health benefits. It supports healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as digestive system functioning.
- 100 Billion Probiotic – This ultra-high potency formula is designed to provide maximum digestive and immune support. Its 12 scientifically studied probiotic strains are each designed to survive stomach acid.
- Boswellia Extract – Boswellia is an Ayurvedic herb with potent anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for GI health and musculoskeletal pain.
Digestive function is at the core of good health. These supplements, and others, along with a healthy lifestyle, can go a long way in improving your digestive health.
Get Advice on Great Digestive Health Habits
Understanding the vast network of how the digestive system works in the body can be complicated. One thing is for sure, optimal digestive health is key to overall wellness. Eating a healthy diet with adequate amounts of fiber, prebiotics and probiotics, lowering stress levels, and staying active and hydrated are some of the ways to ensure good digestive health.
Contact Village Green Apothecary to speak with an expert if you’re looking for high-quality supplements to aid your digestive health or want to learn more about personalized health plans. We’ll answer your questions and offer advice about supplements and their impact on all aspects of your well-being.
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