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Do you know the health of your digestive system? There is a correlation between the quality of our food and the quality of our digestive health. Our digestive tract is 30 feet long and is responsible for absorbing essential vitamins and nutrients, delivering them to various points in the body, and expelling wastes and toxins. But to understand the health of the digestive system, we can follow 8 tips that will help our journey to better digestion.
1. Choose organic foods and fiber.
Consuming organic foods can reduce the intake of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals, which will help prevent digestive problems. Also, insoluble fiber can help prevent constipation. It bulks up stools and keeps food moving through the digestive tract.
2. Avoid poor food combinations.
Eating starches (wheat, potatoes, corn, oats, barley) and proteins (nuts, beans, produce, grains) together can result in impaired digestion. Food will decompose in the stomach, which leads to gas, bloating, and constipation. Also, check for any food sensitivities and allergies.
3. Eat smaller portions.
Having a smaller plate means that a smaller amount of food can fit on it. With less food, you consume less. Portion control is important, not only for weight management but for reducing stress on the digestive system that comes from overeating.
4. Chew thoroughly.
Digestion begins in the mouth, well before food reaches the stomach. When we see, smell, taste, or even imagine a tasty meal, our salivary glands, which are located under the tongue, begin producing saliva. A digestive enzyme called amylase, found in saliva, starts to break down some of the carbohydrates in the food before it leaves the mouth. The enzymes not only help break down the food, they also attack bacteria.
5. Consume prebiotics and probiotics.
Your intestines (small and large) are home to friendly microflora (bacteria and yeast). The microflora help you digest and assimilate foods and keep your immune system strong. Probiotics are live microorganisms (mostly bacteria), and prebiotics are non-digestible foods, mainly carbohydrates, which stimulate the growth of probiotics. Most people's inner systems are imbalanced or acidic, which can lead to leaky gut, bacteria and yeast (like candida), and illness.
6. Get enough water.
There are many people who drink a lot of acid-producing soda and coffee to start the day, which dehydrates the body and drains your energy. Drinking filtered water, organic herbal teas, and adding probiotics to your diet provides energy and hydration. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine both say that cold drinks slow your "digestive fire" or your "chi" (energy). Since life and healing require energy, focus on warm tea or room temperature beverages.
7. Cleanse and detoxify.
Our food, water, and air are loaded with chemicals and pollutants. It is almost impossible to avoid taking in and building up toxins. To help your body flush away toxins naturally, drink plenty of water. Aim for 96 oz. of water daily, more if you live in a warm climate or sweat profusely during exercise. Add a slice of lemon and get the benefits of Vitamin C, which helps your body convert toxins into a water-soluble form before it washes them away.
8. Exercise daily.
Exercise helps create a healthy digestive environment by allowing food to move through the large intestine much quicker, which also decreases the amount of water lost in the stool. Intestinal muscles that contract during exercise also contribute to more efficient movement of stools.