Good digestion is the foundation to good health
When you understand the whole digestive process and learn about helpful tips to keep it healthy, you will be able to diagnose as well as treat your own digestive issues. Having a healthy digestive system is imperative to good health; in fact, it’s the foundation to good health.
- The digestive system consists of hormones, nerves, blood and bacteria. They all work together to do an intricate job of digesting all the liquids and foods that are consumed on a daily basis. The digestive system also interacts with all the other systems of the body.
- There are digestive juices with enzymes in them that speed up all the chemical reactions in your body, breaking down the food you eat into nutrients.
- Cells are to be found in the lining of your stomach and also the small intestine which release and produce hormones. These stimulate your digestive juices and regulate the appetite.
- Nerves are also to be found by which the digestive system is controlled. These nerves connect digestive organs to the spinal cord and the brain, releasing chemicals that contract or relax your muscles. There are also nerves in the GI (or gastrointestinal) tract that get triggered when food is present, enabling the digestive system to function properly.
Here are 10 Tips to Keep Your Digestive System Healthy:
- Chew your food well before swallowing.
Chewing is imperative for proper digestion because the more the food is broken down in your mouth, the less hard work the digestion system has to deal with. Your brain also needs time to get the message that your stomach is full – rather allow your stomach to prepare for the food that it is going to receive.
- Fiber, fiber, and more fiber
Keep the food moving easily through your intestines. Soluble fibers such as whole grains and veggies absorb water and prevent stools from being too watery. Insoluble fibers help by adding bulk to your stools. Fiber also helps to break down any fatty foods you have eaten.
- Drink plenty of water.
Water helps to dissolve the soluble fiber, allowing your food to pass through the intestines easily. When you have too little water, you have harder stools which make it more difficult to pass through your colon.
- Get moving.
Exercise also moves the food easily through the digestive system and increases the flow of blood to all your organs. Exercises tone the wall of the colon to reduce anxiety and stress because this can play havoc with your digestive system. How many people have IBS – irritable bowel syndrome? What about ulcers? – All stress related. Getting enough sleep is important too.
- Eating warm foods is being friendly to your spleen.
The spleen does not like the cold. The digestive enzymes also break down foods properly that are warm. It is the cold foods and drinks that can cause the spleen not to work properly. Soups and warm teas and cooked vegetables are great.
- Cut down on alcohol.
Sometimes when you drink a lot, your digestion gets out of sorts because acid secretion in your body is affected – also the absorption of nutrients. Heartburn, diarrhea, and liver problems are affected when your consumption of alcohol is unreasonable.
- Start to lose weight.
Even a few pounds over your ideal weight can affect your digestion. It can affect the valve that is situated between your stomach and the esophagus which won’t close properly. When you lose weight, you ease the pressure so that your digestive system can continue to work properly.
- Taking probiotics
Probiotics and fiber are a couple of things that the Western diet lacks. The body has good bacteria and bad bacteria and maintaining the right balance is essential to your health. Probiotics are good bacteria; easing IBS and preventing infections and allergies.
- Give up smoking.
Smoking can really not only impair your digestive system but your health altogether. Smoking weakens your lungs. Nicotine is believed to relax the muscles at the lower esophagus which keeps acid in the stomach. This is where it belongs and when the muscles are relaxed, you experience acid reflux, you have heartburn and you start increasing your risk for gastrointestinal cancer.
- Eat mindfully.
Sometimes we eat too much too quickly, especially if we are not paying attention. This can lead to gas, bloating and indigestion. Eating slower and taking notice of what you are putting into your system can reduce symptoms of IBS and even ulcerative colitis. In order to eat mindfully, eat slower, focus on what you’re eating, away from television and phones, notice how your food tastes and how it smells – simply enjoy your food, taking notice of everything about it.
- Get a screening test.
Colorectal cancer is the second top cancer in the USA. Fortunately, it can be cured with early screening and detection. Both men and women need to screen for colon cancer by the time they are 50, especially those who have a family history of colon problems.