Digestive Health

Two surgeons preparing for surgery and looking at medical equipmDigestive health problems can interfere with your life. It is important to keep your digestive tract operating smoothly as to avoid issues concerning your overall health.

7 Tips on Improving Your Digestive Health

1.  Stay Hydrated:  Drinking too little water slows down your digestive system.  You should drink plenty of water and other fluids, especially after you exercise.  You will know you are hydrated when your urine is crystal clear.

2.  Physical Activity:  Physical activity speeds up digestion as well as increasing blood flow to all of your other organs.  It also stimulates muscles in the GI tract which helps your organs work more effectively.  You should aim for about 60 minutes of exercise every day.

3.  Limit Fat Intake:  Fatty and fried foods are hard for the body to digest and slow the process down.  To cut down on fat intake, choose meats that are lower in fat such and chicken and turkey.  You can also switch from whole or reduced fat dairy to low-fat or non-fat.

4.  Eat More Fiber:  Fiber helps keep everything moving smoothly in your intestines.  Fiber slows down digestion and absorption so the glucose in food enters your bloodstream more slowly, keeping your blood sugar at a more even level.  Fiber also helps stool pass quickly through your system.

5.  Maintaining a Healthy Weight:  If you are overweight, losing a few pounds eases some of the pressure in your abdominal area and can help reduce heartburn and other discomfort.

6.  Take Your Time Eating:  It takes time for your brain to signal to your stomach that you are full.  Slow down when you eat and chew each bite around 20 times.  This gives your stomach plenty of time to prepare and properly digest the nutrients you are intaking.  It also allows your body to tell you that you have had enough to eat.

7.  Probiotics:  Probiotics are living microorganisms (bacteria) that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms naturally found in the human gut.  Probiotics prevent and alleviate many different conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract.  They are good at regulating the amount of healthy bacteria in your system and normalizing bowel movements.

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