Digestion is one of the most important aspects of health. In fact, research shows gut health is one of the biggest indicators of chronic disease and overall well-being! Unfortunately, 74% of Americans experience digestive discomfort on a daily basis. However, hope is not lost! There are steps we can take to help improve our gut health!
Here are just a few tips on how to improve digestion:
Avoid Cold Drinks and Food
While staying hydrated is super important since low fluid intake is a common cause of constipation, what you drink also plays a huge part in digestion. Drinking too many cold or iced drinks could negatively impact your digestive system. But, why? Cold drinks cause our bodies to spend unnecessary energy to bring the beverage to an absorbable temperature, resulting in water loss. Cold is also very constricting; causing the blood vessels around the stomach to shrink, slowing digestion altogether. Additionally, cold drinks solidify the fats from the foods we consume, making them more difficult to not only digest but also making it harder for our bodies to remove unwanted fats. Therefore, drinking room temperature or hot beverages such as tea is recommended since warmer drinks help speed up digestion.
Practice Mindful Eating
Not only does chewing your food smaller help your body break down foods it also helps the nutrients absorb better. We often eat our food too fast so focusing on the food and eating slowly helps break down the food more thus preventing indigestion and bloating!
Change your Diet
What kind of foods we eat also impacts how well our bodies will digest them. For example, foods that are high in saturated fat raise our blood cholesterol and slow digestion. Whereas, healthy fats and warm cooked food, break down better in our body. Fruits and veggies also contain crucial nutrients essential to gut health such as cellulose which helps aid digestion.
Exercising is not only good for our overall health but it also serves a specific function in relation to gut health! Participating in even simple exercises such as walking or dancing helps food travel through the digestive system. In fact, it could increase gut transit time by up to 30%!
Stress management is not only important to your mental health but also vital for your gut health too! Stress is associated with a host of digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS), ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation. Whether it’s relaxing on the sofa, taking a nice bath, listening to music, or even trying acupuncture, find a stress management technique that works for you! Visit our blog on stress and anxiety for ideas on how to destress by clicking here.
Whether you have constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, GERD (acid reflux), heartburn, gas, bloating, food allergies, abdominal cramps, and pain, or another digestive issue, there is an acupuncture treatment protocol that can help you. Sadly, most people suffering from digestive disorders assume that they’re doomed to either suffer or take meds for the rest of their lives. That’s just not true! In fact, the vast majority of digestive disorders are absolutely treatable!