Good health starts with the digestive system. It’s where your body gets the needed fuel to function and help you achieve optimal wellness. With good digestion, you can have higher energy levels, healthier hair, clearer skin, and stronger immunity against infection or illnesses. However, if you have a deficiency of digestive enzymes or stomach acid, proper food digestion will be a challenge.
This is usually caused by high stress levels and poor eating habits. Among the most common symptoms of digestive problems include upset stomach, constipation, nausea, heartburn, and gas. To improve digestion in the long term, you can consider making lifestyle changes like the ones listed below.
1. Manage your stress
Your gastrointestinal tract and digestion can be immensely affected by stress. Your body goes into flight mode when you are chronically stressed. High levels of stress also come hand in hand with numerous digestive issues such as stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Alleviating your stress levels will then enable your digestive system to function better. Some popular techniques for stress management are mindfulness meditation, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, deep breathing exercises, mental imagery relaxation, and acupuncture. Most people can ease down their stress levels by simply engaging in activities they love and enjoy. It can be gardening, music, sports, drawing, writing, and even taking mini-vacations.
2. Get a massage
Massage is widely used for relieving different digestive or gut problems such as bloating, stomach tightness, and even cramping. There are also massage techniques that can boost the metabolism of antioxidants and nutrients by releasing enzymes. This way, your body can easily flush out toxins, promoting healthy digestion. You can do an abdominal or stomach massage for two minutes to help put your body into the digestive move. You can lie back on a mat, massage in a circular motion, and gently apply pressure. If your digestive problems are caused by stress, massage is still a great way to help you relax and rest. Depending on your need and preference, you can opt to use a portable massager or a full-body massage chair. Such equipment can make it easier for you to relax your muscles and decrease your stress levels.
3. Treat excessive intestinal gas
Our bodies naturally produce gas when digesting. Or it may enter our body when drinking or eating. Some activities may also increase the amount of gas your body takes. These include wearing improper dentures, eating too quickly, drinking carbonated beverages, and chewing gums. Having excessive gas in your gut can lead to stomach discomfort and bloating. You can better avoid that by avoiding food that creates more gas, such as yogurt, apples, onions, and broccoli. If you’re already experiencing abdominal bloating and an upset stomach, you can try rubbing your belly in a circular motion to help gas move throughout your body.
4. Prepare balanced meals properly
The way you prepare your food also has an impact on your digestive or gut health. Tummy aches or upset stomach, for example, can be caused by raw vegetables or raw nuts. While raw salads are fantastic options, your digestive system will have to work a bit harder to process them. Properly cooking your food can lead to easy digestion. These may include well-cooked vegetables, soaked and sprouted seeks, nourishing stews, and slow-cooked protein. As for planning your everyday meals, make sure they feature properly raised protein, healthy fats, and vegetable-based carbs. Always aim for balanced meals for healthy and easy digestion. Moreover, avoid snacking all day. Focusing on three balanced meals is better for your digestive system. Eating plenty of small meals may not give your body time to digest completely.
5. Cut back on alcohol
Do you love drinking alcoholic beverages? This is the time to limit that. Alcohol can cause unpleasant digestive problems like diarrhea and even cause severe changes in your system. For instance, it can cause inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract, making it harder for your intestines to absorb water properly. Furthermore, pairing alcoholic beverages with heavy foods like burgers and pasta can increase the risk of diarrhea. Other possible problems may include acid reflux, heartburn, and stomach ulcers. Excessive alcohol consumption can also result in leaky gut and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Having digestive issues can lead to significant disruptions in your everyday life. Improve your gut health by following these lifestyle and diet recommendations. Bear in mind, though, that digestive discomfort may also be due to a medication or underlying medical issue. If you suspect that this is the case, consult your physician right away.