The 11 Best Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally

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The 11 Best Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally: Your digestive system is working nonstop to fuel every cell in your body and efficiently remove the waste. Neglecting your digestive system can have adverse effects that influence every part of your life. Your diet and other lifestyle choices greatly impact your digestive health and are often areas where small changes can have a big impact.

Here are some ways that lifestyle choices can improve your digestive health.

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The 11 Best Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally

1. Consume whole foods

  • Whole foods aren’t changed much, are high in nutrients, and are linked to many health benefits.
  • The highly prepared foods that people in the West eat, on the other hand, tend to be high in refined carbs, saturated fat, and food additives. People who eat a lot of processed foods are more likely to get stomach problems.
  • It has been suggested that glucose, salt, and other chemicals added to food can make gut inflammation worse.
  • When your intestines are inflamed, the barrier function may be harmed, which makes your gut more permeable. As a result, gut leakage may make a number of health problems worse (1, 2).
  • Some prepared foods might have trans fats, which are bad for you. In the past, partly hydrogenated oils were the main source of trans fats in processed foods.
  • Even though the U.S. Even though the FDA banned partly hydrogenated oils in 2018, you can still find small amounts of trans fats in processed foods.
  • Read the labels on prepared foods to make sure they don’t have any trans fats. It is well known that these fats are bad for your heart, but they have also been linked to a higher chance of getting inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Also, prepared foods like low-calorie drinks and ice creams often have sugar substitutes that are low in calories or don’t have any calories at all. Some of these sweeteners might make your stomach hurt.
  • To help you feel better, sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol can make you bloat and have diarrhea. More than 70% of people who ate 50 grams of xylitol got gas and diarrhea. The same thing happened to 60% of people who ate 75 grams of erythritol.
  • Also, research shows that artificial sweeteners might make your gut have more bad germs (5, 6, 7).
  • IBS and other irritable bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have been linked to an imbalance of germs in the gut.
  • Luckily, research shows that eating a lot of nutrients can help keep you from getting stomach diseases.
  • To get the best nutrition, it might be best to eat a lot of whole foods and not too many processed foods.

A SUMMARY

People who eat a lot of processed foods are more likely to have stomach problems. If you eat less food additives, trans fats, and artificial sweeteners, it may help your stomach and keep you from getting digestive illnesses.

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2. Eat a lot of fiber.

  • Fiber helps digestion, which is something everyone knows.
  • This kind of fiber soaks up water and helps make your stool bulkier. This kind of fiber helps your digestive track keep things moving along like a big toothbrush.
  • As for insoluble fiber, you can find it in whole grains, nuts, and seeds, as well as oats, barley, and beans. You can get a lot of both soluble and insoluble fiber from fruits and veggies, so make sure you eat a wide range of these foods.
  • Women between the ages of 19 and 50 should eat 25 grams of fiber every day. The DRI for fiber for men ages 19 to 50 is 38 grams. But in the US, most people only eat half of the daily suggested amount.
  • A diet high in fiber has been linked to a lower chance of digestive problems like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer (12).
  • It’s another kind of fiber that feeds the good bugs in your gut. It has been shown that foods high in this fiber improve the function of the gut barrier and lower inflammation (13).
  • There are prebiotics in a lot of fruits, veggies, and grains.

A SUMMARY

Eating a lot of fiber can help you have normal bowel movements and may even protect you from many digestive problems. Insoluble and soluble fiber, as well as prebiotics, are the three main types of fiber.

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3. You should eat more good fats.

  • For good digesting, you might need to eat a lot of fat. Some nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E, and K, can’t be absorbed properly without fat. Fat also makes you feel full after a meal.
  • Some studies show that omega-3 fatty acids may lower your chance of getting inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis, but more studies are needed to be sure (14, 15).
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you and can be found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts (especially walnuts), and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines.

A SUMMARY

Some fat-soluble nutrients are better absorbed when you eat enough fat. Omega-3 fatty acids also lower inflammation, which may help keep inflammatory gut diseases at bay.

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4. Drink water.

  • Most of the time, constipation is caused by not drinking enough water (17, 18).
  • The water, other drinks, and things you eat make up all of your fluid intake. Experts say that you should drink a lot of water every day to make sure you get all the water you need without adding extra sugar and calories.
  • In hot weather, when you’re working out hard, or when you’re sick, you may need more water than normal.
  • Besides water, you can also drink herbal teas and other drinks without caffeine, like fizzy water, to stay hydrated.
  • Some fruits and veggies that are high in water are cucumber, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, apples, and oranges. These can help you meet your fluid needs (20).

A SUMMARY

Constipation is often caused by not drinking enough water. You can drink more water and non-caffeinated drinks, and you can eat more fruits and veggies that are high in water.

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5. Deal with your stress

  • Your gut system may not work as well when you’re stressed.
  • It has been linked to IBS, gut ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation (21, 22, 23, 24).
  • Your digestion is directly affected by stress chemicals. It thinks you don’t have time to rest and digest when your body is in fight-or-flight mode. When you’re stressed, your body takes its energy and blood away from your gut system.
  • In addition, your gut and brain are closely linked; things that affect your brain may also have an effect on your digestion (22, 24).
  • Stress control, meditation, and learning how to relax have all been shown to help people with IBS feel better (25).
  • Studies from other sources (26, 27, and 28) have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, and yoga can help with stomach problems.
  • Because of this, using stress-reduction methods like yoga, meditation, or deep belly breathing may not only help your mind but also your digestion.

A SUMMARY

Stress makes digestion worse and has been linked to IBS, ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation. Less worry can help with digestive problems.

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6. Take time to eat.

  • If you aren’t paying attention, it’s easy to eat too much too quickly, which can cause pain, gas, and bloating.
  • The act of paying attention to every part of your food and the eating process is called mindful eating (29).
  • Mindfulness may help people with IBS and ulcerative colitis feel better, according to studies.

To eat with awareness:

  • Take your time with each bite.
  • Turn off the TV and put away your phone so you can concentrate on your food.
  • Take a moment to enjoy the look and smell of your food.
  • Choose each bite of food with care.
  • Pay attention to how your food feels, how hot or cold it is, and how it tastes.

A SUMMARY

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If you eat slowly and carefully, noticing every part of your food, like the texture, temperature, and taste, you might be able to avoid digestive problems like indigestion, gas, and bloating.

7. Take small bites of food.

  • It all starts in your mouth. The enzymes in your digestive track can break down food better when it’s broken up into smaller pieces by your teeth.
  • Nutrient intake is lower when you don’t chew well.
  • Your stomach doesn’t have to work as hard to break down solid food into a liquid that goes into your small intestine when you chew it well.
  • Saliva is made when you chew, and more saliva is made the longer you chew. It breaks down some of the carbs and fats in your food in your mouth, which helps the digestive process begin.
  • The saliva in your mouth works as a liquid in your stomach. It mixes with the solid food so that it moves easily through your digestive tract.
  • When you chew your food well, you make sure you have enough saliva to help your body break down the food. This could help stop problems like heartburn and bloating.
  • For even more good news, chewing has been shown to lower stress, which may also help digestion (32.

A SUMMARY

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This is because chewing breaks down food so that it is easier to digest. As you do it, saliva is made, which is needed for food to mix properly in your stomach.

8. Get going!

  • One of the best ways to improve your stomach is to work out regularly.
  • Working out and the force of gravity help food move through your digestive system. So, going for a walk after a meal might help your body move things along.
  • It has been found that short bursts of light to moderate exercise may help your stomach, while longer, more intense exercise may slow things down.
  • According to one study, gentle workouts like Qigong, walking, and other forms of physical activity made constipation symptoms a lot better.
  • Studies also show that exercise may ease the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases because it has anti-inflammatory benefits, such as lowering the amount of inflammatory compounds in your body.

A SUMMARY

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Working out might help your stomach and ease the pain of constipation. It can also help lower inflammation, which might help keep inflammatory bowel diseases from happening.

9. Take it easy and pay attention to your body.

  • If you don’t pay attention to your hunger and fullness signals, it’s easy to eat too much and get gas, bloating, and heartburn.
  • Many people think that it takes twenty minutes for your brain to figure out that your stomach is full.
  • There isn’t a lot of solid evidence to support this claim, but chemicals that your stomach releases when it eats take some time to reach your brain (37).
  • Because of this, one way to avoid common stomach problems is to eat slowly and pay attention to how full you are.
  • Going through your food at a moderate to fast speed is also linked to more indigestion, which can lead to pain, bloating, sickness, and gas (38).
  • If you are having trouble digesting food, taking your time while you eat might help.

A SUMMARY

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Not paying attention to the signs that tell you you’re hungry or full can make digestion worse. You might feel better after a meal if you take the time to slow down and pay attention to your body’s signals.

10. Changes to your lifestyle

  • Some habits, like smoking, drinking booze, and eating late at night, are linked to health problems in the long run.
  • In fact, they may also be the cause of some common stomach problems.
  • Using tobacco
  • GERD, or gastric reflux disease, is more likely to happen if you smoke (39).
  • Also, studies have shown that giving up smoking makes acid reflux problems better.
  • There is also evidence that smoking can lead to gut ulcers, more surgeries for people with ulcerative colitis, and gastrointestinal cancers (41, 42).
  • If you smoke cigarettes and have stomach problems, remember that giving up may help.

Drinking alcohol

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  • If you drink alcohol, your stomach may make more acid, which can cause heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach sores.
  • Abnormal bleeding in the digestive system has been linked to drinking too much alcohol (43).
  • Also, drinking alcohol has been linked to inflammatory bowel diseases, gut permeability, and changes in gut bacteria that are bad for you.
  • Lessening the amount of booze you drink might help your digestion.

Eating late at night

  • Heartburn and indigestion can happen if you eat late at night and then lie down to sleep.
  • Your body needs time to break down food, and gravity helps it move in the right way.
  • Heartburn can also happen when you lie down because the acid in your stomach may rise to the top. It is strongly linked to having more acid symptoms after lying down after eating.
  • If you have stomach problems before bed, wait three to four hours after eating to go to sleep. This will give the food time to move from your stomach to your small intestine.

A SUMMARY

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Having digestive problems can be caused by habits like smoking, drinking booze, and eating late at night. To improve digestion, you might want to change these things about your life.

11. Include foods that are good for your gut.

There are some foods that might be good for your digestive system.

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Good bacteria

  • Probiotics are good bacteria that may help your gut health if you take them as supplements.
  • These good bacteria help digestion by breaking down fibers that the body can’t process, which can cause gas and bloating.
  • Some research has shown that probiotics may help people with IBS who have pain, bloating, and gas.
  • Plus, they might help with the signs of diarrhea and constipation.
  • Fermented foods like cabbage, kimchi, and miso, as well as yogurts with live cultures, contain probiotics.
  • You can also get them in pill form. Some kinds of probiotic supplements may help with IBS symptoms, but more research needs to be done.
  • One study, for example, discovered that taking probiotics with three types of good bacteria—Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, and Lactobacillus acidophilus—was linked to less IBS pain.

No Glutamine

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  • Glutamine is an amino acid that helps keep your gut healthy. Some studies show that taking glutamine supplements may lower the permeability and inflammation of the intestines, but more research is needed (50).
  • Foods like beef, eggs, and tofu can help your body make more glutamine.
  • You can also take glutamine as a supplement, but you should talk to your doctor first to make sure that this is the right way to treat you.

Zinc

  • Zinc is an important mineral for a good gut, and not getting enough of it can cause a number of digestive problems.
  • Studies have shown that taking zinc supplements can help with stomach problems like diarrhea, colitis, leaky gut, and more.
  • For women, the RDI for zinc is 8 mg per day, and for men, it is 11 mg.
  • Some foods that are high in zinc are meat, fish, seafood, grains with added zinc, and pumpkin seeds (54).

A SUMMARY

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For a healthy digestive system, you need certain nutrients. Making sure your body gets enough zinc, probiotics, and glutamine may help your stomach.

Conclusion

  • If you have occasional, frequent, or long-term digestive symptoms, making simple changes to your food and way of life may help.
  • The first step to good digestion is to eat a lot of whole foods that are high in fiber, healthy fats, and nutrients.
  • Mindful food, lowering stress, and exercise are some other practices that can also help.
  • Lastly, giving up things that might be bad for your stomach, like smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating late at night, might also help ease your symptoms.

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Author

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  • JASMINE GOMEZ

    Jasmine Gomez is the Wishes Editor at Birthday Stock, where she cover the best wishes, quotes across family, friends and more. When she's not writing for a living, she enjoys karaoke and dining out more than she cares to admit. Who we are and how we work. We currently have seven trained editors working in our office to produce top-notch content that you can rely on. All articles are published according to the four-eyes principle: After completion of the raw version, the texts are checked by (at least) one other editor for orthographic and content accuracy.

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