Diarrhea and other digestive disorders are no fun. Moreover, for some of us, digestive discomfort has become a fact of life, like never getting enough sleep or having too much to do. We complain about everyday ailments such as bloating, irregularity and occasional gas, assuming they’re inevitable. But they don’t have to be.
Such problems are a result of bacteria in the food, certain medications, infection, stress and IBS. By paying attention and making a few simple changes, you can improve on your digestive system to absorb nutrients and keep things running smoothly. Try these 5 tips for better digestive health:
1. Eat a high-fiber diet
According to Maria Adams, a registered dietitian in Marblehead, consuming a diet high in fiber and rich in fruits, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains can improve your digestive health. A high-fiber diet helps to keep the food moving smoothly through your digestive track, making you less likely to get constipated. Moreover, a high-fiber diet can also help treat or prevent various digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis. Generally, it can help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
2. Master Your Digestion Treatment Plan
Your doctor determines the reasons for your digestive problems and then prescribes a treatment plan. This involves taking medication, adopting some new habits and avoiding certain foods. It may take a while to absorb all of this information. Organize you notes in a notebook along with any instruction and resource materials from the doctor. Review filed information regularly to obtain a better digestive health.
Your intestines are the home of the inner ecosystem, where friendly microflora live. The microflora help your digest and assimilate foods to keep your immunity strong. Most people have their inner ecosystems imbalanced which can lead to a leaky gut and overabundance of yeast and pathogenic bacteria. Probiotic-rich fermented food and drinks add healthy microflora to your intestines, bringing your ecosystem back into balance.
4. Stay Hydrated
Water is essential to good health and normal bowel function. Moreover, water also helps keep stools soft but solid and well formed. You should avoid drinking beverages such as soda or coffee if you think they trigger your digestive problems. When diarrhea strikes, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming hydrated.
Sports drinks and water are good choices since they replace lost minerals known as electrolytes. Alcohol and caffeine can worsen dehydration. Increase your fluid intake in hot weather and after exercising vigorously. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration which is a potentially dangerous imbalance where your body loses more water than it takes in. Moreover, avoid contaminated water to prevent ‘traveler’s diarrhea. Sip bottled drinks when you are on the road.
5. Get Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
It is vital to consume both types of fiber, which each helps in improving your digestive system in different ways. Insoluble fiber, commonly known as roughage, cannot be digested by the body and therefore helps in adding bulk to the stools. Soluble fiber draws in water and helps in preventing stools that are too watery. Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran while those of soluble fiber are legumes, seeds, nuts and oat bran.