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10 Natural Ways To Improve Digestion and Support Gut Health

If you suffer from digestive issues or gut health problems, you know how much it can interfere with your life. Digestive health is important because when our gut is functioning properly, not only do we feel better overall, but we can also have better nutrient absorption, increased energy levels, less bloating and better immune function - and who doesn’t want all that, right?    

Fortunately, there are several natural ways to enhance digestion and support gut health. In this post, I’m sharing ten simple and effective strategies that you can incorporate into your lifestyle, starting today.  

Eat a Fibre-Rich Diet:

A fibre-rich diet is crucial for good digestion. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Include ample amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seeds in your daily meals to increase your fibre intake. Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fibre per day (if you don’t regularly consume much fibre, you may want to start with fewer grams and work your way up to let your body get used to the increased fibre intake).

Stay Hydrated:

Adequate hydration is critical for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Water helps break down food, facilitates the absorption of nutrients, and prevents constipation. Make it a habit to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and limit your consumption of dehydrating beverages like caffeine and alcohol. It’s helpful to keep a full water bottle with you when you leave the house and keep a glass or bottle of water with you at your desk as a reminder to drink enough. 

Chew Food Thoroughly:

Proper digestion begins in the mouth. Take the time to chew your food slowly and thoroughly before swallowing. Chewing breaks down food into smaller particles, making it easier for your digestive system to process. Additionally, it signals the release of enzymes that aid in digestion, leading to better nutrient absorption.

Include Probiotic-Rich Foods:

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut. Incorporate fermented foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha into your diet. These foods introduce good bacteria into your gut, promoting a balanced microbiome and enhancing digestion.

Reduce Stress:

Stress can have a big impact on our digestive health. Chronic stress can disrupt digestion, leading to issues like indigestion, bloating, and inflammation. Engage in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or any other activity that helps you unwind and relax.

Exercise Regularly:

Regular physical activity not only benefits your cardiovascular health but also supports digestion. Exercise helps stimulate the muscles in your digestive tract, promoting efficient movement of food through your system. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

Avoid Trigger Foods:

Identify foods that may be triggering digestive discomfort or sensitivities and avoid them. Common culprits include spicy or greasy foods, processed foods, refined sugars, and artificial additives. Pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods and make adjustments accordingly.

Practice Mindful Eating:

Eating mindfully involves paying attention to your food, savouring each bite, and eating slowly. By doing so, you become more aware of your body's signals of hunger and fullness, which can prevent overeating and promote better digestion.

Get Enough Sleep:

Quality sleep is essential for overall health, including digestive health. Poor sleep can disrupt the digestive process and contribute to issues like indigestion and inflammation. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to support optimal digestion.

Manage Medications Wisely:

Certain medications, such as antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can negatively impact gut health. While sometimes necessary, it's important to manage their usage wisely. If you're on long-term medication, consult with your healthcare provider to explore ways to mitigate any potential digestive side effects.

Improving digestion and supporting gut health naturally doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. By adopting these ten strategies consistently, you should start to see improvement over time. Paying attention to how you feel and tuning into what makes your digestion better or worse is also an important step because the more observant you are, the easier it will be for you to make the changes that will work best for you. 



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