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4 Easy Ways to Improve Digestion & Gut Health

Everyone goes through times of digestive discomforts from bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, gas, constipation or diarrhea.  But when these are more frequent than not, these issues can seriously disrupt someone's daily life.  Even more importantly it can be a sign of serious health issues.


What most do not realize is how sensitive our digestive systems are.  They are affected easily by food changes, hydration, sleep, stress, movement, exercise, illnesses, medication, supplements, the list goes on! 


Even though so much can affect our digestive systems that also means there are plenty of easy healthy habits you can form to keep it healthy.  Below are proven simple daily habits to naturally promote healthy digestion and overall health!


Fiber!

We all need fiber for a healthy digestive system.  Having fiber keeps the actual muscle of your intestines strong allowing it to push food through.  Think of it like resistance training for your intestines.  It keeps it strong but also gives it something to push through for regular bowel movements.


You need both soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet.  Soluble fiber is a softer gel in the intestines, which adds bulk to the stool. Insoluble fiber pulls water into the intestines and creates a firmer stool which helps push the stool through the intestines.


Fiber also provides prebiotic properties or aka food for the probiotics in your intestines, giving them energy to live and work properly in your intestines.  Fiber is essentially food for the good gut bacteria which allows for a balanced gut microbiome.


Get your daily dose of fiber by consuming a variety of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and some fruit.


Hydration!

So easy, yet SO important!  Staying hydrated is important for a multitude of reasons, but it is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure proper bowel function and prevent constipation.  It is recommended for adults to drink 1.5-2 liters of uncaffeinated fluid per day, and water is also the best to be drinking!



Daily Movement OR Exercise Regularly 

Most people have sedentary jobs and lifestyles and simply do not get enough movement in their daily lives which can be a large contributor to digestive issues. 


Including physical activity can improve digestion and reduce constipation. Those who include just moderate exercise regularly such as daily walks have been shown to have better digestion.  


Walking after a meal alone helps get things moving!



Take Your Time and Eat Mindfully

It is 2021, who doesn’t have multiple things to do every minute of the day.  Most people are eating breakfast while driving and lunch while working.  Then once home they mindlessly eat on the coach. This all can lead to overeating which can cause bloating or gas.  Taking the time to eat can improve digestion and decrease the discomfort of overeating or prevent overeating because you are more aware of what you are eating. 


To practice mindful eating, try the following:

  • Do not multiple task while eating- put away your phone and turn off the TV
  • Pay attention to detail! The smell, taste, texture, temperature, and appearance of your food
  • Eat slowly! 
  • Chew your food slowly and completely, just like mom said
  • Ask yourself do you feel satisfied by the food you are eating, and stop eating when you are full


These easy steps will not only help your overall digestion but they will make you feel and be overall healthier!  Start with one and take small steps to make these daily habits that you do not need to think twice about! 

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