The digestive system is large and complex. There are many ways in which it can be afflicted and cause people to suffer with digestive issues. In fact, digestive problems are important to address, because they can quickly lead to more serious ailments if neglected. Maintaining a healthy gut does much more than prevent digestive problems. Proper gut health benefits your entire well-being.
If you’re experiencing digestive problems, whether severe or minor, here are some of the most effective natural methods you can use to boost your gut health and live your best life:
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Make an Appointment with Your Doctor
Digestive issues affect millions of people. The symptoms range from gas, constipation, and diarrhea to nausea, vomiting, and bleeding. You may not need to call the doctor if you experience some of the minor symptoms occasionally.
Digestive issues, like gas, constipation, and heartburn can often be reduced or eliminated by taking your own actions through diet, exercise, and other methods.
However, if you begin to experience minor symptoms more frequently, you should consider discussing the situation with your doctor. If you ever begin to experience more severe symptoms of digestive problems, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Digestive Issues include:
- Chronic weight loss
- Bloody/dark stool
- Lack of appetite
- Severe abdominal pain
- Choking episodes
- Chronic hoarseness or sore throat
- Problems with swallowing
Be Conscious of What You Eat to improve digestive health
For many, digestive issues can be wholly related to what they are putting in their body. Whole grains, leafy greens, lean proteins, avocados, and low fructose fruits have been proven to stimulate good bacteria in the gut. This ensures proper function of your organs and cells.
Foods that are high in fiber will help to ensure your body keeps pushing what you eat through your digestive tract effectively. This will typically reduce or eliminate most digestive issues. Other foods that will keep your gut happy include lassi, onions, salmon, dark chocolate, and yogurt. Be mindful of how often you indulge in fast food as well no matter how convenient it is.
Chances are you feel bloated and backed up after eating foods high in carbohydrates. You continually promise yourself you won’t do this to yourself again. Fast food lacks enzymes that are required for healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. Lacking these digestive enzymes lead to bloating and constipation, in addition to being an irritant to those with irritable bowel syndrome.
Work Exercise Into Your Routine
Daily exercise is essential to your overall health and well-being. It plays a critical role in weight management, emotional balance, breathing, heart health, and managing the digestive tract.
A daily exercise routine slows down digestion, which conserves energy for muscles. This allows food to be broken down properly. However, you don’t want to slow your digestive tract down too much, since this can cause other issues. You need to introduce a healthy mix of cardio exercise, take a slow walks, and do daily weight training.
Raising your heart rate stimulates muscles, which helps to eliminate sluggish intestines and pushes waste and toxins out of your body. Exercise plays an integral part in maintaining a healthy gut. Set a goal of exercising four or five times a week for minimum one hour. To prevent stomach issues during a workout, eat low-fiber foods that don’t require a lot of digestion. make sure to wait the appropriate amount of time before exercising — between one and three hours depending on how much you ate. To prevent stomach cramps during a workout, be sure to drink plenty of water beforehand, as those cramps are often a sign of dehydration.
Fight Stress to Improve Digestion
Research shows there’s a direct connection between stress and gut health. When you’re constantly stressed, it can lead to serious problems with your digestive system. Therefore, it’s important to combat the stress in your life in any way you can.
Diet and exercise have a lot to do with it, but it’s also essential to make time for relaxation in your life. Find a hobby or activity that can allow you to step away from your obligations for a moment and de-stress. You should try to do it at least once a week. Moreover, practicing mindful meditation each day can significantly reduce stress levels.
Most importantly, stay away from habits you’ll end up regretting later. For example, watching your favorite TV show and gorging on chips and dip feels good in the moment, but chances are you’ll be feeling the consequences later. It’s not worth it to feel miserable, so find a better way to relieve stress. If munching and crunching makes you feel better, opt for an apple, almonds, or celery instead.
Caring for your gut health and pursuing natural methods of treating digestive problems will help you to live at your full potential. Monitor your symptoms, and be sure to go to the doctor if they become chronic and/or severe. Pay attention to the foods you’re eating and opt for healthier options, and start exercising regularly. Finally, fight everyday stress by adding a relaxing hobby or activity to your routine and trying meditation.
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Scott Sanders is the author of the book Put Yourself First: A Guide to Self-care and Spiritual Wellness During and After Cancer Treatment. He created CancerWell as a way to support those who have been affected by cancer.