Monday, June 15, 2020

Everyday Ideas For Better Digestive Health

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Your digestive tract is fundamental for your survival. If it’s not working, you can’t get the calories you need to sustain bodily processes.

For many people, though, digestion doesn’t happen quietly in the background. Instead, it is an ever-present concern and often a source of pain. 

For the most part, it isn’t the body that is the problem, but how we interact with the modern world. Civilization has created an environment that our stomachs aren’t designed to handle. 

Fortunately, there are ways that you can fight back and keep control of your digestive health. Here’s what to do: 

Eat Meals The Same Time Each Day

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Our bodies have a robust internal clock that tells them when to eat and sleep. So when you start to anticipate a meal, your stomach begins automatically churning out more stomach acid and bile in anticipation of the food that it expects to arrive. When you miss a meal, or you don’t eat at a set time of the day, it can send your stomach out of whack, and you can wind up with problems. 

Find A Way To Manage Your Stress

Our stomachs and brains are connected to each other via the vagus nerve. Some people believe that bellies are actually conscious in the same way that the brain is, just at a lower level. There are more neurons in the stomach than in any other part of the body, except the brain, suggesting that it is a thinking organ. 

Stress, therefore, can affect it profoundly. When you feel anxious or concerned about something, the stomach shuts down, saving energy to tackle whatever threat you face. In the wild, this strategy was fine - you could run away from the tiger chasing you and then relax once you got back to camp. In the modern world, though, stress is chronic. Your boss can email you complaining about your work at any time of the day or night. So you can never entirely switch off, and this can lead to rounds of constipation and diarrhea. 

For some people the issue is excess stomach acid, but what is heartburn? Essentially, it is when the acid moves out of the stomach and into the throat, causing a nasty burning sensation. 

Managing stress better with techniques like mediation, however, can alleviate many of these conditions and leave your alimentary canal in much better shape. 

Include More Prebiotics In Your Diet

Prebiotics are just foods that bacteria can thrive on in your gut. Ideally, you want to eat as many of them as possible, so that you can develop a healthy gut microbiome and keep everything healthy down there. 

The best foods are onion, beans and whole, intact grains, like spelt berries or brown rice. You can also sprinkle seeds on your meals to add a little extra fibre.

Try, where possible, to get a variety of different types of fibre, both from high-water-content veggies, like kale and carrots, as well as beans and grains. Your stomach can make use of both. 

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