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Your Digestive System: How to take care of your gut

 

A series of interconnected organs are simultaneously working together to break down the food you consume, absorb and move necessary nutrients throughout the body and then eliminate waste.

We give you tips for a healthy digestive system to keep food moving through your digestive tract.

Cut out sugar

Want great gut health? Cutting out sugar from your diet can help. Every day, Americans are averaging about 20 teaspoons of added sugars to their diet. Unfortunately, refined sugars break down the lining in your gut and promote the growth of bad bacteria. The imbalance of gut flora can cause inflammation, constipation and a series of other negative health effects. Eliminate your chances of a “sugarache” by staying clear of sugary beverages and sweets.

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Load up on probiotics and prebiotics

A healthy dose of probiotics and prebiotics can do wonders for your gut. Probiotics are good bacteria and can be found in many fermented foods and supplements. Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics. Prebiotics contain non-digestible carbohydrates that feed probiotics and have been linked to a reduction in fat storage and irritable bowel syndrome. Prebiotics are found in whole grains, garlic, honey, onions, asparagus, bananas, and artichokes.

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Take small bites
Chew food slowly to make it easier on your digestive system. Your digestive system begins in your mouth, as the combination of saliva and chewing breaks down your food. The crushed up food travels to the esophagus and meets in the stomach where stomach acid and enzymes continue the process of breaking down food. Ultimately, the smaller the bite, the easier it is for your food to mix with your stomach acid. By taking small bites, you are helping food move smoothly through the digestive tract during this energy-consuming process that the body endures.

Stay hydrated

Water keeps everything flowing (literally). Water aids digestion as it helps break down nutrients from food. Frequent water drinkers also experience less bloat and constipation.

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Eat a high-fiber diet
Taking a diet that’s high in fiber and rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits can improve your digestive health. This makes sure food moves through your digestive tract, making you less likely to get constipated.

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Eat on schedule
Eating meals on a regular schedule can help keep your digestive system in top form. Aim to sit down for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks around the same time each day.

Digestive issues can sometimes be a sign of something more serious, like gallstones, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

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