Do you usually suffer stomach upsets? Then, your body is warning you that something is not right. It is likely that you are not taking care of your digestive system enough. But, do not be alarmed, this situation is reversible if you adopt the following healthy habits to take care of the digestive system. Your digestive system is directly impacted by the food you eat and the way you live your life.
Gases, constipation, heartburn, heaviness and other any sort of discomfort can attack us at any time. Sometimes we think that healthy eating is enough to avoid it, but there are many other factors that affect the health of the stomach. The truth is that these digestive problems not only bother us and make us spend bad times. In the long run, they can be complicated and bring bigger problems than the simple discomfort of suffering them.
However, by changing our way of eating and lifestyle in general, can help to ease stomach discomfort.
Habits to avoid digestive problems
1. Keep the body hydrated
The famous 8 glasses of water daily, or 2 liters, are essential for the health of the stomach. Multiple studies have shown that water prevents constipation. The intestine needs fluids to transport food along its intricate route. Water is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Additionally, water facilitates the decomposition of food and the absorption of nutrients. Without liquids, we lose much of the benefits of what we eat. Water can not only be obtained by drinking. It is also in foods such as fruits and vegetables, and we can eat it in juices, soups and infusions. Avoid sodas and drinks with caffeine.
2. Eat only what is necessary
Eating more does not mean eating better. Excessive meals cause heaviness, poor digestion and many other problems.
When we eat in large quantities, the body has to work harder to process the excesses. It produces more enzymes to break down food and this forces it to produce more stomach acid, which causes acid reflux in the esophagus. Eating in abundance also causes gas and accelerates the metabolism, which produces exhaustion, sweating and heat sensation.
3. Balance the food
Eating a varied and balanced diet will provide the necessary nutrients to your intestinal tract. Meals should be composed of healthy vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. Dr. Gonzalo Guerra, the specialist of the Medical Center of Digestive Diseases of Colombia, recommends minimizing the consumption of fats. As a protein, it is advisable to eat lean meats such as turkey, chicken etc.
The processed foods typically have fats Trans, which are associated with cardiovascular and stomach problems like ulcers, colitis and irritation of the digestive system. These foods also have additives that, according to studies, cause greater permeability to the intestine, which can cause intestinal inflammation, headaches and food allergies.
On the other hand, omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial for the health of the stomach. They help to satisfy hunger, which reduces the need to eat in excess, and they facilitate the absorption of nutrients. Some studies suggest that fatty acids prevent inflammation and intestinal ulcers.
4. Eat fiber
Foods with fiber have multiple benefits for stomach health and good digestion. Fiber helps cleanse the digestive tract and gives more volume to the stool, which helps against constipation. For that reason, it is recommended to eat nuts, vegetables, cereals and fruits.
5. Control stress
Stress has been associated with dysfunctions in the digestive system such as heartburn, dyspepsia and gastritis. The digestive system and the brain are connected by more than 100 million nerve cells, which transmit information in both directions. That is why we feel butterflies and tickling in the stomach before certain emotional stimuli.
Also, stress affects stomach health, as shown by several studies that link discomforts such as diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and stress gastritis. Relying on techniques to control stress, such as meditation, yoga or exercise, helps mental health and, therefore, digestive health.
6. Respect food and eat slowly
The time of the meal must be respected. The distractions such as watching television or work stressors, even if you think you are relaxed. Also eating very fast creates gas and indigestion. Studies show that paying attention to food helps better digestion and better stomach health. Taking the time to chew well helps avoid stomach upsets. The process of digestion begins when chewing food. Cutting and grinding food well with the teeth facilitates the work of digestive enzymes.
Also, when chewing well, more saliva is produced, which helps break down carbohydrates and fats, and hydrates the solids so that they move better through the digestive tract. So we must take care of this process to facilitate the digestion of food.
7. Keep a meal planner
Not all meals affect all people equally. Some have intolerance or allergies to certain foods and have more problems processing them. By keeping a daily count of the foods that are ingested, you can know which ones react well and which ones can cause discomfort.
It is proven that exercise helps the health of the digestive system. Physical activity reduces by 30% the transit of food through the digestive tract, increasing the absorption of nutrients. It also reduces constipation and intestinal inflammation.
9. Avoid vices
Habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol are the cause of numerous digestive problems. Tobacco increases the chances of having heartburn, ulcers and, in the worst case, gastrointestinal cancer. For its part, alcohol also increases acidity, reflux and also favors the growth of bacteria and can cause inflammatory bowel disease.
Goodbye to digestive problems
It is not complicated to improve digestive health and avoid bad times after meals. Simple changes in diet and daily habits can achieve this. As medical evidence shows, a healthy digestive system means a healthy body in general. These habits will also make you feel better in every way.