Your digestive health is incredibly important. We need our digestive system to break down our food and provide our bodies with needed energy. It is important to listen to your gut. People usually use that phrase to describe spiritually listening to your intuition, which is great advice. However, the same phrase can be taken literally. Your gut tells you things about your overall health. Many consider the gut as a second brain. Studies have proven that an unhealthy gut can lead to a plethora of health issues including exacerbating existing mental disorders. Around 74% of Americans reported to their doctors that they suffer from stomach issues. Talk to your doctor about these issues so they do not turn into greater health issues down the line. For now, use this guide to help improve your digestion and find what works best for your body.
#1 Add More Whole Foods
Our first tip to help improve your digestion is to take a closer look at your meal habits. Improving your digestion easily starts with your diet. Many processed foods lead to prolonged inflammation in the gut. Trans fats, salt, glucose, and artificial sweeteners are all linked to causing various digestive conditions. To help reduce the risk of this occurring it is recommended you add more whole foods into your diet.
Eating non processed, high fiber foods can drastically improve your gut health for the better. Fiber can assist with constipation and regular consumption of fiber can help prevent the condition altogether. Start off small. If you make toast or enjoy cereal for breakfast, replace white bread with whole grain bread and cereal. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables are also a great source of fiber. Try adding a banana or apple a day into your diet.
#2 Drink Water
Most of us already know the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day, but somehow many of us ignore its importance. Dehydration can be another cause of constipation. It is recommended you drink at least eight glasses of water everyday. If you struggle with drinking water you can add more whole foods that contain water. For example, you can add watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, or celery into your diet.
#3 Try A Herbal Tonic
Our third tip for improving your digestion is adding a herbal tonic into your diet. Herbal tonics are a key aspect of the practice of herbalism or herbal medicine. It is practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurvedic Medicine. At its core it uses specific plants for specific medical needs. Tonics are commonly used to assist with digestion.
We suggest trying a lemon tonic designed for gut health. Digestion tonics can be crafted with dandelion, lemon balm, and chicory. Dandelion root is known for stimulating the body’s detoxification system. Dandelion is a nutrient dense herb. The leaf of dandelion contains nutrients while the roots contain probiotics. Lemon balm is known for soothing the digestive tract. Lemon is an extremely popular ingredient in holistic medicine. It contains high levels of Vitamin C as well as citric acid. Lastly, chicory is known to help support gut health and digestion as it contains probiotics. All three of these ingredients are proven to help soothe your stomach.
#4 Mint Tea
If you find yourself suffering from the effects of poor digestion you should try brewing a mint tea. Mint tea is an excellent holistic remedy for settling nausea and indigestion. You can add peppermint oil to your tea. New research shows the peppermint can help alleviate IBS symptoms. You can add a splash of honey to help sweeten the taste.
#5 Try Probiotics
Directly adding probiotics into your diet or through supplements can help improve your digestion fast. Probiotics are an over the counter solution to gut issues. They are made up of the same healthy bacteria that already lives in your gut. There are many benefits to adding probiotics into your diet. Give Kombucha a try! Kombucha is a fermented tea. You can find different flavors of kombucha in most grocery stores. It is important to keep the tea refrigerated and pay close attention to its printed expiration dates.
#6 Limit Alcohol
Our final tip is to limit your alcohol consumption. Excess drinking over time can lead to various health conditions. It should not be surprising that alcohol can have a negative effect on your stomach. You may notice an increase of acid production resulting in acid reflux, or in extreme cases stomach ulcers. Alcohol can also lead to negative changes in gut bacteria leading to other gut conditions such as leaky gut. Limiting or refining your alcohol consumption can help improve your digestion in the long run. If you are experiencing a flare up in your gut health avoid alcohol until you feel better.
Mindfulness is Key
Mindful eating and managing stress are the core ways to improve your digestion. Listen to your body and learn from it. Understand your food triggers and your stress triggers. Managing your overall mental health alongside your physical health will help your gut to function the way it needs to. If you are experiencing prolonged gut issues, make sure to inform your doctor. The best piece of advice anyone can give you is listen to your gut. If you are consuming food that routinely affects your gut, consider cutting it out of your diet and watch your body respond positively to these changes.