Let us accept the fact that all humans love food. But, how many times has it happened that you could not consume your favourite food because of problems in your digestive systems? It is natural for humans to have digestion problems now and then.
However, if the problems persist for longer, that is your warning call for fixing your eating habits. Therefore, to continue to eat your favourite delicacies, here are a few tips and practices for you to improve your digestion for an improved bowel movement.
One of the first steps to having a better digestion system is to correct your diet. We cannot stress enough on how important it is to have a proper diet for your body. Just eating is not enough; eating right is the main deal here.
Here are a few tips for better digestive health that you can easily follow and adhere to:
# Add healthy fibres
It is in common knowledge that fibre is extremely beneficial for your digestive system. Consuming an adequate amount of fibre is one of the best digestion problem solutions that you can find. While soluble fibres help in adding bulk to your stool, insoluble ones help your digestive tract to keep everything in motion.
Here are other benefits of consuming fibre:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Prevents heart diseases
- Reduces risks of ulcer, haemorrhoids
- Reduces inflammatory bowel conditions
# Avoid junk and unhealthy food
We know that junk foods are delicious, but it does a fair amount of damage to your systems. Certain elements such as trans fat, artificial sweeteners, and carbs are usually found in processed and junk foods, which are the reason behind much of the damage. Therefore, instead of relying on junk food all the time, opt for real and healthy food.
Create a diet plan that includes all the necessary nutrients that your body requires for developing a good bowel movement and avoid processed, unhealthy, and junk food as much as possible. Follow this plan for a few weeks, and you will have visible results.
# Drink more water
We keep hearing our elders and all the dietitians repeating how it is mandatory to stay hydrated. The primary reasoning behind that is that low intake of fluids, mostly water, can cause malfunctions on multiple parts of our body. Same goes for the digestive system. Without proper intake of water, you may suffer from constipation.
Therefore, always keep your body hydrated. You may also opt for herbal drinks and natural juices. To make up for the fluid intake, you may also consume vegetables and fruits that have a high water percentage such as celery, watermelon, zucchini, tomato, cucumber, peaches, and so on.
# Adopting healthy habits
You need to understand that your body is a well-connected and organized device that functions properly only when all of its parts are in good condition. In the same manner, just improving your diet will not help you achieve an improved bowel movement. For improving digestion naturally, you will also have to take in consideration your daily lifestyle habits.
To get started with having healthy lifestyle habits, here are tips for better digestive health:
# Exercise and take walks
Exercising is an incredible way to keep your digestive system on the healthier side. We lead hectic days and tend to consume awfully bad food in the flow of it. Exercising can help you substitute a bit of the unhealthy habits and make up for it.
Immediately after consuming food, we tend to get drowsy. However, instead of going and taking a nap, try taking slow walks after meals. It helps increase the speed of digestion and also reduces bloating.
We have tabulated a few exercises for better digestion for you:
Helps to relax, reduce bloating and heartburn.
Stimulates intestinal contractility and smooth bowel movements.
Helps in the smooth functioning of the gut, burns fat.
Image Source: Pexels
Reduces stress, acidity, bloating, and relaxes the abdominal muscles.
# Consume mindfully
Because we are living the fast life, we often tend to treat our food as just another job that needs to be done. However, that is not how it should be. Food should always be consumed mindfully and slowly while savouring each bite. Eating too fast, or eating in a hurry can lead to a lot of digestive problems, which if not paid attention to, can cause a lot of significant health problems later in the future.
Here are a few habits that you must pay attention to:
- A great way to get your digestive system ready for digestion is to observe your food. Sensory perception of your food can be an excellent stimulant for your digestive system. Thus, pay attention to how your food looks and smells before eating.
- Pay attention to the texture, tastes, and flavour of your food. This does not just aid in digestion, but also helps you appreciate your food, which, in return, makes the food more delicious.
- While eating, try and focus on your food. Thus, in a gathering, try not to talk while you are eating, or when at home, turn off the tv while eating.
- Always eat slowly and chew carefully. The purpose of chewing is to break down the food so that it is easier for your stomach to digest them further.
# Say no to bad habits
Other than eating habits and exercises, other bad habits that you have adopted in your life can also affect not just your digestive systems, but your body as a whole. These habits force your body to adjust to these while breaking them down. Therefore, it is best to get rid of such habits slowly, and instead, take on the healthier ones.
A few of the bad habits that people tend to follow are:
# Relax and reduce stress
Lastly, you have to steer clear of stress and just relax. Stress is the culprit behind a lot of mishaps that happen in your body; your digestive system included. The logic behind this is, when you are stressed, your body enters the fight-or-flight mode.
In being so, your body automatically decides that you do not have the time to ingest and digest food. Thus, it reverts most of the energy and blood from your digestive system to the other parts of your body.
Now imagine if you are always stressed and worried. In this state, your body calls in for various diseases and conditions such as stomach ulcers, diarrhoea, and other digestive disorders.
Therefore, always remember to keep calm and not stress yourself out. You can try meditation and yoga to calm your heart and mind, and ultimately your digestive system.
Foods for better digestion
There are so many delicious foods available out there. Though all of them taste so good, some are exceptionally good for your stomach and encourage a bowel movement. If included in your diet, they will help you achieve natural bowel movement without having to do anything else.
Here are a few food items that can surely help you in developing a good bowel movement:
Fermented food items are extremely good for your guts. That being said, the most popular fermented food item is yoghurt, and it can do magic on the health of your digestive system. Containing a friendly bacteria called the probiotics, it boosts your digestive system while tackling issues such as bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation, among other things.
- Dark-green vegetables
A great source of insoluble fibres, dark-green and leafy vegetables are a must-include food item that you must have on your diet chart. Not only does it help in improving digestion for a better bowel movement, but it also helps in providing magnesium and a type of sugar which is good for the healthy bacteria in one’s stomach.
Here are a few of the dark-green vegetables that you can consume:
- Brussel sprouts (vitamin K, C, and, is low in calories)
- Spinach (vitamin K, D, and, manganese)
- Broccoli (high in fibre, potassium, and, vitamins)
- Kale (minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants)
Adding papaya in your diet is not necessary, but it can help make digestion ten times easier for you. With the help of what is known as papain, this delicious tropical fruit helps in breaking down protein fibres and thus makes it easier for your stomach to digest your food. Also, not to forget that this juicy fruit is just scrumptious! Try having it after your meal, and we assure you, you won’t regret it.
- Whole grains
Whole grains are seeds of cereals and must contain 100% kernel. Because of its high fibre content, it is beneficial to your gut. Also, some whole grains fibres contain prebiotics, which is used by the good bacteria in your stomach.
In case you want to know how to keep stomach healthy and clean with other food items other than the one mentioned above, here are few more food items that are extremely good for your digestive system:
Increases probiotics in the guts
Helps in promoting bowel movements
Reduces constipation and normalises stool movements
Improves leaky guts and reduces inflammatory bowel diseases
Helps in easy digestion by breaking down nutrients