Physicians usually associate bad digestion with a range of causes, e.g. gastrointestinal problems or anxiety. Remedies to improve digestion include dietary and lifestyle changes.
Digestive issues that happen occasionally are widespread and could be as a result of digestive disorders or certain types of food. Signs like belly aches or changes in elimination usually go away by themselves eventually, yet some straightforward cures at home may lessen the pain.
This piece of writing looks into potential explanations for indigestion and provides methods for improving and sustaining proper digestion.
Here are some potential explanations for why digestion may not be optimal.
Illnesses that impact the stomach or intestinal region can lead to suboptimal digestion. A few common symptoms of digestive diseases include:
IBS is a common digestive disorder. Approximately 10-15% of grown-ups living in the United States report suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) indicators.
Individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome may have their bowel movements altered in reaction to various stressors. Stress triggers could be bad events experienced in childhood, psychological issues, or bacterial diseases.
Two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
UC is caused by the immune system reacting abnormally. This disorder creates redness and sores on the inside of the big intestine. Approximately 600,000–900,000 people in the United States have UC.
In the United States, more than half a million individuals have Crohn’s disease, which is a digestive disorder. Individuals suffering from Crohn’s disease have discomfort and swelling that affects their whole digestive tract.
Tips for Better and Improved Digestive Health
The way of life you choose and what you consume substantially affects your digestion health. Making an effort to better your digestive wellbeing can assist your digestive tract in performing better and uplift your overall physical and mental health.
Not sure where to start? Try incorporating these strategies into your daily life to keep things running smoothly:
Numerous individuals feel queasiness in their belly before a test or an essential occurrence, yet relentless pressure can influence the relationship between the cerebrum and the digestion tracts, prompting progressing issues.
Physical and mental wellbeing are connected, and alleviating stress can have a beneficial effect on both. The American Psychological Association recommends three key ways to manage stress:
- having a good support network
- exercising regularly
- getting enough sleep
Eating quickly on a hectic day may seem convenient, but it can lead to gastric distress. Take time to relax, particularly before and after eating.
2. Drink mint tea
Mint tea can be used as a cure-all for stomach upset and digestion issues. To make a simple mint tea:
- Set aside 5–10 peppermint or spearmint leaves.
- Boil 1 cup of water and leave it to cool slightly.
- Pour the water over the leaves and steep for 3–5 minutes.
- Add a slice of lemon or a small amount of honey, if desired.
Investigators have discovered that distilling the essential oil from peppermint leaves could bring short-term relief from indications associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, such as abdominal discomfort. Further examination is necessary to gain a thorough comprehension of the underlying science.
Gentle exercise can help support healthy digestion. Staying upright and active will allow gravity to aid the process of digesting food. Consider going for a stroll in the neighborhood as a potential way to alleviate the bloated feeling and lessen the sensation of being too full.
Getting exercise boosts the amount of blood coursing to the muscles in the digestive organs, aiding in the process of transporting food through the intestines.
4. Reduce gas
Gas may be produced as a result of swallowing air while consuming food or beverages. The body also produces gas when digesting food. Gas that is confined in the digestive system can lead to swelling and abdominal distress.
Having some gas is good for one’s well-being, but certain activities can cause a person to inhale more air than normal, leading to a higher gas quantity in their body. Examples of these activities include:
- chewing gum
- drinking carbonated drinks
- eating too quickly
- wearing dentures that do not fit well
Certain foods cause increased flatulence when they are digested. These include:
Giving a light massage to the abdomen can help to send gas out of the body, thus relieving abdominal pain and tightness.
5. Try fermented foods
Small organisms like bacteria have partially decomposed or fully broken down products that have gone through the process of fermentation. These microbes play a role in keeping food fresh, and may even improve intestinal wellness.
Bacteria occur naturally in the gut. Certain organisms are effective at aiding the digestion of food, yet too much of certain types in the body can cause digestive issues. Foods that have been through a process of fermentation contain bacteria that could help maintain a healthy stomach.
Some fermented foods include:
Adding these types of food to one’s eating habits could potentially assist with digestion. Further research is needed in the future to gain insight into the influence of fermenting foods on the intestinal microbiome.
6. Eat more fiber
Fiber intake is advantageous to overall health, as it can help lower cholesterol levels and decrease the likelihood of heart disease. It can also aid in digestion by controlling the frequency of bowel movements.
Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025, it is recommended that the average adult consume around 30 grams of fiber in their daily food intake.
Good sources of fiber include:
One should consume a generous amount of fluids to ensure that the dietary fiber is adequately hydrated so it can move easily through the digestive tract.
7. Keep a food diary
Some foods and drinks trigger problems with digestion. Different people have different things that can cause them to eat excessively, and keeping records of what they eat can help figure out what causes it.
Keep track of what you eat, as well as what you drink, after your meals, snacks, and beverages, and note any digestion issues that may happen afterwards. See if your symptoms get better by eliminating any foods or beverages that may be causing an issue.
A nutritionist can provide guidance prior to making any drastic changes to dietary habits. Keeping a record of what one consumes will benefit medical personnel in granting more accurate guidance.
8. Avoid trigger foods
Different folks have varied responses to different foods; however, there are plenty of eats and quaffs that generally bring about digestive challenges.
- processed foods
- fried foods
- acidic foods, such as vinegar and citrus fruits like oranges
- sweeteners, such as fructose
Limiting the intake of these can help improve digestion.
In addition, takeout and microwave foods contain significant amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fats. Foods that are harder for the body to break down may lead to digestion issues like constipation and bloating.
9. Get both insoluble and soluble fiber
It is essential to have a balance between both forms of fiber, since they benefit your digestive system in different manners. Adams states that insoluble fiber, also known as roughage, is undigestible to the body and offers assistance in increasing stool size.
Soluble fiber takes on water, making it effective in averting diarrhea-like stools. Wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains serve as good sources for insoluble fiber, while oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes are great for acquiring soluble fiber.
10. Limit foods that are high in fat
Adams states that usually high-fat foods are known to decelerate digestion, potentially creating a higher risk of constipation. Adams suggests combining fat-rich foods with high-fiber foods for a balanced diet so digestion goes well.
11. Choose lean meats
Consuming protein is crucial for maintaining a wholesome diet, however, intakes of fatty meats can result in gastrointestinal distress. Opt for lean cuts of meat such as pork loin and skinless poultry and limit your portion of it. Place a greater emphasis on fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables on your plate.
12. Incorporate probiotics — and prebiotics — into your diet
Probiotics consist of the same beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are typically found in a person’s intestines. Adams states that taking supplements can help preserve comprehensive well-being by offsetting the consequences of an inadequate diet, antibiotics, and stress.
Besides, probiotics may increase nutrient absorption, may aid in the digestion of lactose, increase your immune system’s resistance, and potentially even provide relief from IBS. Adams proposes that individuals should have daily servings of probiotic-rich foods, for example, low-fat yogurt or kefir.
Apart from probiotics, prebiotics can also be beneficial for digestion.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that prebiotics act as nourishment for probiotics, which aids them in sustaining the right balance of good bacteria in the intestines. Certain raw fruits, vegetables, and entire grains such as bananas, oats, onions, and legumes contain prebiotics.
13. If you are having digestion troubles, you may want to try out the low FODMAP diet.
Certain classes of carbohydrates like fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) can be difficult for certain individuals to break down.
If you are aware that you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or if you just feel abdominal cramping, belching, bloating, and loose stools, the low FODMAP dietary plan could deliver some respite.
This diet is to be used as a temporary measure to uncover which food items may cause your digestive system difficulty.
Consult an RDN who is experienced in this field to confirm that your diet is healthy while determining which foods should no longer be consumed.
14. Eat on schedule
Adams states that by consistently consuming nutritious meals and treats, your digestion can remain in optimum condition. Aim to regularly have meals and snacks at the same time daily.
15. Stay hydrated
Adams states that consuming a lot of water is beneficial for digestion. Fiber causes water to enter into the large intestine, making the stools more expanded and softer, and therefore allowing them to travel through much easier.
16. Skip the bad habits: smoking, excessive caffeine, and alcohol
Consumption of alcoholic drinks, tobacco, and excessive amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages can impact the functioning of your digestive tract and result in issues like stomach ulcers and acid reflux.
17. Exercise regularly
Adams mentions that regularly engaging in physical activity can help prevent constipation by aiding in the digestion process. Exercising regularly can assist in keeping a healthy weight, which is beneficial for one’s digestive wellbeing. It is important to build regular exercise into your weekly routine.
18. Manage stress
Adams states that excessive mental strain or apprehension can cause an overactive digestive system. Identify activities to help you de-stress and make sure to engage in them frequently.
Persistent or extreme digestive issues could be signs of an underlying medical issue. Some common digestive diseases and disorders include:
People who have signs or symptoms suggesting they may have a medical condition should see a physician. Intense abdominal discomfort, regurgitation, or bowel problems can indicate a serious medical issue.
An individual can employ different dietary techniques to help purify the stomach and diminish digestive problems.
Adhering to a nutritious regimen is one of the preeminent tactics for strengthening digestive health. It has been demonstrated in numerous studies that a lack of a nutritious diet can be the cause or exacerbate digestive disorders.
Certain diet plans can help address digestive health. IBS, among other digestive issues, can be managed through adhering to a Mediterranean diet. This diet promotes the consumption of good fats from fish, olive oil, wholegrain products, and vegetables.
Supplements and teas
Adding certain nutritional supplements and drinking teas may be beneficial in cleansing the digestive system. Ginger is one of the most beneficial natural supplements to support digestive wellbeing.
Studies indicate that ginger has been found to be effective in controlling nausea and swelling. Regular ginger consumption can even prevent ulcers and tumors.
Individuals experiencing digestive difficulties might consider including ginger in their regular routine. Making a cup of tea with new ginger, lemon, and honey can help to placate the digestive system and reduce puffiness. Or try adding fresh ginger to a green smoothie.
Chamomile tea delivers antioxidants and bloat-reducing properties. Drinking chamomile tea with honey can be beneficial in clearing the gut. One should definitely check with a medical professional to ascertain if a newly introduced diet or supplement is suitable for them.
Stress or digestive ailments may be the root of digestion issues.
Certain digestive issues may be able to be treated with interventions that can be done from home, like modifying dietary habits, engaging in physical activity, and recording what is eaten. However, more serious issues may require medical attention.
If somebody has begun to experience digestive issues that they have not experienced before, they should go see a doctor to find out what it is and how to properly treat it.