The magical 30 feet of digestive tract holds more secrets to your health than you could ever realize. Do you eat for health or do you tend to make your dietary decisions based on your cravings and wants of your taste buds? The latter is the quickest way to run into digestive problems.
Let's be honest, we've been conditioned to make choices that make us feel good, the problem is that we're confused about what it is that makes us feel truly good. A healthy digestive tract can be achieved by providing it with foods that offer the vitamins and nutrients that are crucial to support it.
Issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, bloating, heartburn, gas, and more can be much improved if you just eat right and follow a healthy diet. While this won't be a cure, it will reduce the many symptoms that accompany digestive problems.
Choose Fresh Foods & Be Cautious With Fat
While there's nothing inherently wrong with buying canned or frozen vegetables and fruits, ideally you will take advantage of seasonal fresh produce. Even better if you can buy organic. Your diet needs a healthy mix of cooked and raw foods, as they each have something different to offer. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of your plate should be made up of vegetables, no meat, or mashed potatoes.
Saturated fat is a big cause of many digestive problems, with fried foods being a sure way to introduce a wide variety of issues (https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/ss/slideshow-foods-to-avoid).
Now that you know, you can put this into practice and see how quickly your symptoms start to dissipate – but while we're on the subject, be sure to chew your food thoroughly. Eating too fast, taking big bites, and not chewing enough make it really difficult for your body to break food down properly. This can lead to indigestion, bloating, and constipation. You should consider chewing the first step in proper digestion.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
As we age the acid in our stomach changes, so it's even more important that we change our lifestyle and diet accordingly. Stomach acid plays a vital role in the digestion process, so it's important to have the balance right.
This is where prebiotics and probiotics can come into play. A good example of the former would be apple cider vinegar (it should be organic and unpasteurized), while excellent probiotics include fermented drinks and foods.
Is your diet filled with caffeine and not enough water? This can also affect your digestion. While coffee offers a wide variety of health benefits, your body needs plenty of water to function properly. So, make sure that you drink plenty of water (don't wait until you're thirsty to run for a drink).
Overall, the most effective way to aid your digestion and ease digestive problems is by following a healthy and balanced diet. You will be faced with decisions every day and you should always choose the healthiest option available to you at the time, even when eating out.
According to WebMD), the best types of fruit to aid digestion, in particular, include apples, prunes, watermelon, pears, bananas, kiwi, mango, avocado, and berries.
When it comes to vegetables, choose leeks, cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, beets, peas, squash, sauerkraut, scallions, and zucchini. Other helpful, healthy foods include tofu, eggs, lean meat, fish, peanut butter, and multi-grains.
If you experience digestive issues, you may want to start keeping a food journal, as there may be specific foods that are exacerbating your symptoms. Look at the most common foods and eliminate them from your diet one at a time to narrow down the worst offenders.