Digestive health is more important than most people think. When your gut health is balanced and optimized, you’ll feel better than ever before. Poor digestive health has been linked to all sorts of health issues, including poor sleep, poor mental performance, and others.
Here are six of the most effective ways to improve your digestive health so that you can enjoy your days without bloating, gas, and other uncomfortable digestive issues.
1. Eat a Healthy, Wholesome Diet
A diet high in saturated fat, refined carbs, and food additives does no good for your digestive health. Processed foods contain trans fats, food additives, and artificial sweeteners that not only cause digestive problems, but increase the risk of all sorts of digestive disorders.
Eating a diet that mostly consists of whole foods supports a healthy gut microbiome as well as optimal digestion. Some of the best foods for a healthy digestive system include:
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
- Low-sugar fruits
- Lean protein
While this doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in your favorite junk food or dessert, what’s most important is that your diet mostly consists of wholesome foods.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
There’s nothing better than waking up feeling well-rested and ready to take on the day. But did you know that your nightly sleep habits also impact your digestive and gut health? Here’s what you need to know about the connection between digestive health and sleep.
A lack of sleep increases stress and can cause hormonal imbalances. High levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, can cause intestinal permeability issues. This condition is known as leaky gut, which is where toxins and food pass through the intestine and into the bloodstream. This can lead to bloating, food sensitivities, and stomach pain.
Not getting enough sleep can also impact dietary choices. When you’re sleep deprived, you’ll notice that you’re hungrier more often. A lack of sleep is known to cause an increased appetite, which means that you’re more likely to turn to unhealthy food to get a quick burst of energy.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is for much more than losing weight and burning calories. Regular exercise should be part of your daily routine. The more you move throughout the day, the better your digestive tract will work.
The combination of exercise and gravity help food to move through the digestive system. Doing something as simple as taking a walk after eating can help your body move things along more quickly.
Studies have shown that moderate exercise such as jogging and cycling increases gut transit time by almost 30%. Exercise also offers other gut and digestive health benefits, including:
- Reduced symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases
- Lower levels of inflammatory compounds
- Lowered risk of constipation
While you don’t have to become a gym rat or spend hours on the treadmill, focus on moving more throughout the day.
4. Stay Hydrated
Water offers more health benefits than most people ever know about. Staying hydrated not only quenches your thirst, drinking enough water throughout the day also benefits the mucosal lining of the intestines. Water also plays a role in ensuring there is a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut.
As a rule of thumb, try to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. You are properly hydrated when your urine is a light yellow color. Dark colored urine is a sign that your body needs water.
5. Lower Stress Levels
Stress isn’t always avoidable, and we all face stress on a daily basis. But what you can control is how you react to it. Being in a chronic state of stress takes a toll on your physical and mental health, including your gut and digestive system.
There are many things you can do to keep your stress levels in a healthy range, including yoga, meditation, getting a massage, or simply spending time outdoors. If you're feeling stressed, be proactive and do something that will make you feel less anxious and worried.
6. Take a Probiotic Supplement
Adding a probiotic supplement to your daily wellness routine can greatly improve your gut and digestive health. Probiotics are live bacteria that promote digestive system health. They work to keep your gut healthy by replacing lost good bacteria while also promoting a balance between bad and good bacteria.
A quality probiotic supplement can ease common digestive system issues such as gas, bloating, pain, constipation, and diarrhea. If you’re looking for an effective, pure, and potent probiotic, look no further than Elm & Rye.
Gut and digestive health is important. When your gut microbiome is in check, you’ll notice that you feel better in almost every aspect of life. You’ll sleep better, perform better mentally, and altogether you’ll just feel good!
Follow these tips and tricks to keep your gut and digestive health in check for years to come.