5 Tips to Improve Your Digestive Health Naturally
We all experience digestive issues, but they can be uncomfortable to talk about. Most of us would rather just “figure it out” than to speak to a dietician about diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), heartburn and more. We get it.
Problems with diet and digestion are magnified when there are other underlying health conditions. For example, did you know that there are certain foods to eat and avoid if you suffer from arthritis? The good news is: there are plenty of all-natural things you can do to improve your digestion and reduce/eliminate these unwanted symptoms.
Our top tip should come as no surprise:
1. Be mindful of what you eat
We all know the saying “you are what you eat”, and while we don’t consider ourselves to actually be pizza and ice cream, there is truth to this phrase.
What (and how) you eat has a major impact on how your digestive system works. Although this seems obvious, you might be surprised at some of the helpful changes you can make that you havent thought of. Here are a few ways to adjust your eating habits:
- Try giving up dairy for a while. Not necessarily all dairy – start with just milk. Order your latte with soy or almond milk, and make the same swap at home for cereal and whatever else you use milk for. If you want to take this change a step further, try opting for frozen yogurt when you’re craving ice cream. We know many people who have given up some or all dairy and have not looked back because they just feel better.
- Try to eat when you feel relaxed, not stressed, rushed, or upset. More on this later.
- Eat regularly every 3-4 hours, or 4-6 meals per day. Eating just 1 or 2 large meals a day can put a strain on your digestive system.
- Chew your food more. Under-chewing your food can make digestion difficult. Try to be more deliberate in chewing your food fully before swallowing. One method is to count to 10 with eat bite.
2. Eat when you are calm and relaxed
This is easier said than done, but it can make a huge difference. We don’t need scientific proof to know that when we are anxious, stressed, upset, sad, or any other negative emotion, food cheers us up. The downside is that these moods leave us prone to overeating (binging) or eating the wrong foods – things high in salt and sugar.
So how do you fix it?
Well this is an example where adding CBD to your diet could be helpful. If you are less frequently anxious, stressed, and upset then you subsequently reduce this response of unhealthy eating. It’s a simple equation. Research shows CBD may lower anxiety and stress, and with less stress comes less stress-eating.
If you’re not ready to add CBD to your diet, then try your best to relax and de-stress before picking up your phone and ordering something you might regret later.
3. Add probiotics to your diet
Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive system. Yes, they “live” there because they are living microoraganisms. Don’t think about it too much – just know they are there helping aid digestion.
In tip #1 we suggested giving up dairy, but this is one exception to that rule. Adding probiotics to your diet can not only improve your digestive health, but your overall wellbeing. One of the best sources of probiotics is yogurt. BUT – if you do choose yogurt, opt for unsweetened flavors to avoid excess sugar and add your own fruits and nuts for flavor.
For twice the protein content, go for Greek yogurt which has all the same great probiotics. If yogurt isn’t your thing, then there is also kombucha, kimchi, and pickles – all natural probiotics.
4. Work out and stay fit!
This one may come as a surprise. Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but it’s also good for your digestion. Working out boosts your metabolism, which helps you burn calories faster. Burning calories means that meal you just ate is going to work like it’s supposed to: as fuel for energy. You can eat healthy all you want, but without exercise giving that food a purpose, your stomach will likely feel uneasy.
Working out also gets the blood flowing in your body, including to your stomach and digestive tract. Even a small amount of exercise can make a difference. Many studies show that just 10 minutes of intense cardiovascular activity a day can drastically increase your life expectancy.
5. Stay hydrated. Drink more water!
Water is crucial for life, and crucial for healthy digestion. It doesn’t get any more natural than water. We need water in our bodies in order to break down food solids and absorb nutrients.
This one is especially important the more you exercise! The average male and female should drink 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters of water respectively, every day. Thats 15 and 11 cups! If you are losing water from sweating (and you may not always realize it) or live in a hot climate, then you need even more. The takeaway is to drink as much water as possible throughout the day.
So there you have it – our top 5 tips to improve your digestive health. We encourage you to browse our blog for a variety of health-conscious smoothie recipes and other great information to help you live your best life!
Thank you for reading! Knowledge is power, and learning is key to living a better life.
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