Your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat into the nutrients your body needs. If you neglect your digestive health, your body could run into problems absorbing those essential nutrients.  The foods you eat and the lifestyle you live have a direct impact on your digestive health. Taking steps to improve your digestive health can help your digestive system function more efficiently and improve your overall health and sense of well-being.

1) Relax- Stress can affect the digestive system. Many people experience an unsettled stomach before an exam or a big event, but sustained stress can affect the connection between the brain and the gut, causing ongoing problems. There is a link between physical and mental health, and reducing stress can have a positive impact on both. There are three key ways to manage stress:

  • having a good support network
  • getting regular exercise
  • getting enough sleep

During a busy day it can be tempting to rush meals, but this can cause indigestion and stomach discomfort. Take time to relax, particularly before and after eating. Reducing stress by seeking support and making some lifestyle changes may improve problems with digestion.

2) Drink plenty of water- Dehydration is known to wreak havoc on our digestive system. We need to drink at least 3 liters of water a day to keep our system well hydrated. Our intestines use water to push the digested waste through the system and convert it into a form that can be easily eliminated. Continuous low water intake leads to constipation and the build-up of toxins in the body, and this in turn increases your risk of developing more complicated digestive issues. So make sure you consciously take the time to drink the amount of water you need every day, at regular intervals. Don’t wait to be thirsty.

3) Boost Stomach Acid- This is an area of misconception for most people. Many people who have heartburn, gas and bloating likely have too little stomach acid, not too much. The typical treatment is to take antacids, which reduces stomach acid even further, exacerbating the problem. Proper stomach acid levels are critical for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach. Stomach acid also destroys pathogenic bacteria that can lead to illness.  Boost stomach acid naturally by adding freshly-squeezed lemon to your water or by drinking one tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in water each morning. I add both to warm water with a dash of cayenne every morning and honestly, I never feel the same without it.

4) Rest with a detox- A gentle detox on a regular basis can be a great way to reset your entire digestive system. Consider including aloe vera and amla juice in your detox. According to Ayurveda, the concoction helps with digestive issues.

5) Avoid foods that annoy your digestive tract- Some people can tolerate spicy foods. Understand what works for you and eat accordingly. Red chillies, hot spices, caffeine, desserts rich in sugar and fat are few substances which may be suitable for some. While spicy food can irritate the stomach lining in some people. The secret to a healthy digestive system is to either avoid or balance your intake of substances that cause irritation to your system.

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  The views, thoughts, and opinion expressed in the text belongs solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author's employer, organization, or other group or individual. The medical and/or nutritional information on the Blog/Website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advise of your physician .