If diarrhea, constipation, nausea, heartburn, bloating and gas are a part of your daily routine, you aren’t alone. Many people in today’s modern society have digestive issues that they have just accepted as “normal,” even though they are often embarrassing, painful or inconvenient.
Due to this acceptance of these issues as part of normal life, few people talk about their digestive disorders and they are even less likely to seek advice or medical treatment for these problems. However, many digestive issues are easy to treat and eliminate. Some are caused by poor nutrition or a food sensitivity, while others may result from an infection. While seeking medical advice is the best course of action, there are five natural ways to help digestive and GI health, as well.
Probiotics are strains of “good for you” bacteria that live in the digestive system. The bacteria is actually microorganisms called probiotics, which means “for life.” These microscopic “bugs” live in the intestines and produce vitamins and short-chain fatty acids that help to feed other good bacteria. As a result, they play a crucial role in maintaining healthy gut flora and can aid in digestion, while helping to prevent infection and reduce cases of chronic inflammation.
Upgrade Your Eating Habits
The way that you eat has a major impact on how your digestive system works. When you change a few of your eating habits, you can dramatically improve your digestion. Some tips to help you get started include:
- Eat in a relaxed environment and focus on what you put in your mouth
- Turn the TV and phone off
- Don’t eat when you are in a bad mood or upset
- Chew all food well before swallowing
Water is extremely important for digestion. It is necessary to digest solid food and to absorb nutrients properly. If you don’t drink enough water, your body’s performance may decrease, which can lead to dehydration and reduce blood pressure, resulting in constipation. Some tips to ensure your water intake is up to par include:
- Every person should consume about 80 ounces of water daily
- Drink the water between meals not during (water during meals can dilute stomach acid, which is essential for digestion)
Focus on Eating Real Food
Excessive toxins may be the cause of digestive issues for some people. This can result in constipation, diarrhea and in cases of IBS – both. Try to eliminate foods that cause inflammation in your body. Do this by:
- Eliminating artificial sweeteners
- Eat fewer processed foods
- Eliminate gluten
- Avoid all processed soy
Boost Your Stomach Acid
In many cases, high levels of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) are not what causes heartburn. In fact, too little stomach acid may be to blame. There are several ways you can boost your stomach acid:
- Add fresh lemon juice to the water you drink in between meals
- Drink one to two teaspoons of unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar in water before each meal
- Chew your food well
The Bottom Line
If you are having digestive issues, you are not alone. There are some digestive problems that are more difficult than others to fix; however, many can be rectified with a few adjustments to how and what you eat. If you need more information, reach out to Premier Health and Wellness to schedule an appointment.