How to aid digestion is as easy as eating the foods to be digested. But, first, before you know how to, you should understand why.
The digestive tract is charged with breaking down foods into smaller particles. As such, your body absorbs nutrients from meals only after they undergo digestion. Thus, if the digestive system does not function maximally, your body finds it difficult to derive any benefit from the foods you eat. If this continues for long, your body will suffer from malnourishment, thereby leaving you susceptible to several diseases.
The foods you eat and the lifestyle you adopt play pivotal roles in digestion. With some changes in, additions to and removals from your current style of living, your digestive system will be able to perform more efficiently and effectively. Also, you’ll be improving your sense of wellbeing and general health.
How To Aid Digestion: Strategies To Adopt
Unsure of what to do or start with? Relax. Including the strategies below to your day-to-day lifestyle will significantly improve your digestive system, here we go…
Increase The High-fiber Meals in Your Diet
Daily consumption of foods with high levels of fibers will enhance the functionality of your digestive tract. Your diet should be rich in legumes, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Maria Adams, an Endicott College part-time professor of Nutrition in Beverly, Massachusetts, advises you to eat a high-fiber meal at least once daily. Foods rich in fiber keep the digestive tract in peak performance and, as such, rid the body of constipation or abnormal bowel movements.
Furthermore, a surplus of high-fiber meals in the body is useful in preventing and treating several digestive conditions, for example, hemorrhoids, IBS—Irritable Bowel Syndrome—and diverticulosis. Additionally, it helps to keep and regulate a healthy weight.
Take More of Both Soluble And Insoluble Fiber
Both soluble and insoluble fibers perform varying functions in the body, and you should, therefore, get more of both. As an example, soluble fiber helps to avoid watery stools and also pulls in water while insoluble fiber causes soft, bulky stool as the body cannot digest it.
There are several other instances of the different benefits obtainable from both fibers. You can get soluble fiber from foods like oat bran, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is gotten from whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran.
And, by the way, it may interest you that both fibers contribute considerably to a flourishing immune system.
Reduce Foods That Are High In Fats
Certain fats are beneficial to the body, but that’s a meager percentage. Fats are harmful to the body as the digestive tract finds it difficult to digest them.
If they are taken too often, the digestive system may wear rapidly and start to perform inefficiently and at subpar conditions. This may explain why extreme fat intake is linked with inflammation. However, you cannot wholly neglect fats. An excellent recommendation is to limit intake as well as eat alongside foods that are rich in fibers, such as yogurt, nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetables.
Go For Lean Meats
Proteins are very beneficial to the body and are an essential part of every diet. However, the digestive system may find it difficult to digest fatty cuts of meat due to the size. When selecting meats, therefore, settle for lean cuts like skinless chicken (or turkey) and pork loin.
Importantly, reduce the portion of meats in your serving. Nutritionists advise that you instead fill your plate with more vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber whole grains—foods that help the digestive tract to function more efficiently instead of fatty meats that it finds difficult to process.
Include Probiotic and Prebiotics in Your Diet
Probiotics are considered healthy gut bacteria. They are the beneficial bacterial strains and yeast that exist in the digestive tract. Probiotics heal or prevent damage to the gut, thereby avoiding harmful conditions like a leaking gut. They contribute to the healthiness of the body by regulating the effects of stress, antibiotics, and poor diet.
What else, they improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, fortify your natural defenses, process lactose, and arguably cure IBS. Probiotic foods include kefir and low-fat yogurt.
Prebiotics may also aid digestion. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that they support helpful gut bacteria. You can get prebiotics from vegetables, raw fruits, and specific whole grains, for example, legumes, oats, bananas, and onions.
Try Out A Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols—five categories of carbohydrates that some individuals find it difficult to digest. A diet low in these foods is therefore advisable to these individuals.
These are typically persons having IBS or symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, gassiness, and abdominal cramps.
A diet low in FODMAP lasts for a short period as it is basically to identify foods that complicate digestion. To try out this strategy, follow the counsel of a professional dietician nutritionist.
Maintain An Eating Routine
With a routine, the digestive system adapts to the eating hours, remains in peak condition, and hence finds it easy to digest meals. You should, therefore, try to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks according to a fixed schedule.
Regular exercise aids in avoiding constipation by helping to move food through the digestive system. Also, exercising helps to keep a healthy weight, an influential factor in developing an efficient digestive system. It may be inconvenient, but ensure you include regular exercise in your daily routine.
Taking plenty of water is essential to a functional digestive system. This is because soluble fiber draws water into the colon for bulkier, softer stools—thus allowing easier passage. Hydration is an effective solution for constipation.
Knowing how to aid digestion is quite easy. What matters more is keeping to the recommendations. You may be reluctant to follow the strategies above, but you should remember how much at ease you’d be with a digestive system that breaks down foods in an efficient and quick process. I suppose all it’d take you is dedication and discipline.