The role of our digestive system is to break down the food we eat into the essential nutrients that will help our body. In cases when digestive health is not looked after, it gets challenging to absorb the vital nutrients and get an incredible energy needed to get going.
Other than our food habits, the lifestyle that we adopt can also have a direct impact on our digestive health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy food and following healthy habits can drastically impact our bodies. Additionally, this can help improve the digestive system’s function and overall health and well-being.
It is normal to experience symptoms such as upset stomach, gas, heartburn, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea quite often. However, the problem arises when these health issues become so frequent and constant that they disrupt our lives. Further, diet and lifestyle changes can make our gut happy as these changes tend to impact our gut positively.
Some of the common diseases that can impact the gastrointestinal or digestive tract leading to poor digestion, are as follows:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
People who suffer from IBS often see changes in their bowel movements regarding their stress issues. These stress points could be mental health concerns or bacterial infections.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
There are two forms of IBD- Ulcerative Colitis, which occurs due to the abnormal reactions of the immune system, thereby, causing inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine. Secondly, Crohn’s disease is another type of IBD that irritates the entire digestive tract.
A healthy digestive system can be a result of a range of factors, as outlined below:
Increased consumption of processed foods such as frozen meals, junk food, and other processed foods can negatively impact digestion. This is because these foods cause an increase in blood sugar, thereby leading to inflammation and poor digestion.
There can be some foods that can become the trigger points for indigestion, causing bloating or diarrhea. Therefore, it is essential to understand the concept of food Intolerance.
Antibiotics can cause digestive problems; however, once the individual stop taking these medications, the digestive issues may resolve.
Not drinking enough water and staying dehydrated for a long time can cause constipation and tight stool and reduce the frequency of bowel movements.
Stress can make our gut unhappy, which can impact our digestion negatively and lead to inflammation, constipation, diarrhea, and in extreme cases, can worsen the IBS or IBD.
How To Improve Digestion?
Increased Consumption of Fiber
A diet rich in fiber and roughage aids in easy digestion and prevents constipation. Nutritionists advise us to consume thirty grams of fiber daily. Fiber is also essential for a healthy bowel movement. Food such as whole grains bread, brown rice, figs, raisins, chia seeds, beans, and oats are reliable sources of fiber and help in bloating and constipation.
Consume Fluids to Aid Digestion
It is essential to keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of water because water helps release toxins from the body through urine, removes waste through the digestive system, and significantly relieves constipation.
Consume Less Spicy Food
Some people have the habit of consuming spicy food, which works perfectly fine with their digestive system. For others, it upsets their tummy leading to heartburn and diarrhea. For people, if spicy food is challenging to digest and causes digestive issues, it is the best choice to go low on such foods and avoid them to keep digestion smooth.
Beware of Triggers
Some people are allergic to certain foods; hence they are advised not to consume them, and certain foods are acidic in nature, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, salad dressings, and fizzy drinks. These foods can trigger heartburn, leading to acidity and difficulty in bowel movements. Also, lactose intolerant people should avoid milk and other dairy products as they can lead to bad diarrhea. In such cases, avoiding such foods and drinks is the best method.
Probiotics are full of healthy bacteria and yeast, which helps manage the side effects of poor diet, antibiotics, and stress on our poor diet. They also help improve nutrient absorption and strengthen the immune system.
When To See Your Doctor?
When the symptoms are severe such as stomach infection has reached a level that has caused fever, issues related to food swallowing, frequency of going to the bathroom, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, black stool, and so on. It is essential to take these symptoms seriously and visit the doctor immediately.
Disclaimer: This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals that have expertise in writing for healthcare, such as the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. Suppose you see any issues related to your digestion, stomach, and other related health issues; we strictly advise you to seek medical consultation.