Digestive problems can be uncomfortable and even painful, but there are many ways to improve your digestion naturally. From dietary changes to lifestyle modifications, here are 11 evidence-based ways to restore your digestive health. Adequate fat intake is essential for the absorption of some fat-soluble nutrients. Foods high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts (especially walnuts), and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines (12, 1).
Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis (3, 1). Staying hydrated is also important for digestive health. Low fluid intake is a common cause of constipation (14, 1). Experts recommend drinking 50 to 66 ounces (1.5 to 2 liters) of caffeine-free liquids per day to prevent constipation.
However, you may need more if you live in a warm climate or do intense exercise (1). Another way to help meet your fluid intake needs is to include fruits and vegetables that are high in water content, such as cucumbers, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, melons, strawberries, grapefruits and peaches) (16, 1).Alcohol consumption has been linked to digestive problems. It has been associated with stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, and IBS (18, 19, 20, 2). To reduce the risk of digestive issues, it's best to limit your alcohol intake.The connection between the brain and the gut is well-known.
The intestine and the brain are intriguingly connected closely, what affects the brain can also affect digestion (20, 22, 2): Training for stress management, meditation and relaxation has all been shown to improve symptoms in people with IBS (2). Other studies have found that cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, and yoga improve digestive symptoms (2). Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to all aspects of food and the eating process (2). Studies have shown that mindfulness can reduce digestive symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis and IBS) (2).Chewing your food properly is also important for digestion.
Poor chewing has been linked to a decrease in nutrient absorption (2). In addition, the act of chewing has been shown to reduce stress, which can also improve digestion (2).Exercise can also help improve digestion. A study in healthy people showed that moderate exercise, such as bicycling and jogging, increased bowel transit time by nearly 30% (30). In addition, studies suggest that exercise may reduce the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases due to anti-inflammatory effects, such as the decrease of inflammatory compounds in the body (32, 3).Eating slowly can also help improve digestion.
While there isn't much solid science to back up this statement, hormones released by the stomach in response to food take time to reach the brain (3). In addition, emotional eating adversely affects digestion. In one study, people who ate when they were anxious experienced higher levels of indigestion and bloating (3).Smoking is another habit that can negatively affect digestion. Smoking nearly doubles the risk of developing acid reflux (3).
In addition, studies have shown that quitting smoking improves these symptoms (3). This bad habit has also been associated with stomach ulcers, an increase in surgeries in people with ulcerative colitis and gastrointestinal cancer (37, 38, 3).
Zincis an essential mineral for digestive health. The recommended daily intake (RDI) for zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men.The general belief is that exercise can reduce stress hormones which affect the composition of bacteria in the digestive system. Following a diet low in food additives trans fats and artificial sweeteners can improve digestion and protect against digestive diseases.
Apple cider vinegar stimulates the secretion of digestive juices that aid digestion by breaking down food. The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that improve digestive health and protect the intestines from further damage (. If you're looking for ways to feel better here are some tips to help you restore your digestive health. It's important to treat digestive problems as soon as possible to avoid further health complications.
Home remedies for digestive problems such as chamomile tea apple cider vinegar peppermint aloe vera fennel seeds black pepper green tea and lemon juice can help soothe an inflamed and irritated digestive system and improve its functioning.