5 tips to build and maintain a healthy digestive system

Digestive health is essential to your overall well-being. Poor digestion can affect your energy, mood, and concentration, as well as compromise your immune function. Regular exercise, as well as maintaining a healthy weight and diet, are just some of the ways to nurture a healthy gut. However, proper food choice is important as certain foods can cause discomfort like bloating, gas, or constipation. Fortunately, foods can also be a weapon for improving your digestive system.

“The truth is, many people don’t have to suffer from digestive issues if they’re willing to make the right adjustments and adhere to them,” says Jessica Tong, a registered dietitian based in Vancouver. “With some simple tweaks to your lifestyle and diet, you can be on the way to a healthier gut in no time.” Try these top tips for improved digestive health that can finally relieve you of your gut pain and get you back to enjoying life.

  1. Eat nutrient-dense foods. Avoid empty calories. Pick food that is high in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Keep in mind that not all healthy foods are created equal — many essential nutrients can only be found in particular foods. For example, kiwifruit is the only food with actinidin, a natural digestive enzyme which improves digestive comfort by increasing the breakdown of proteins, including those found in meat, milk, legumes and cereal.
  1. Keep a routine. Variety is the spice of life, except when it comes to your gut. Try to eat at roughly the same time every day so that you can train your body to know what to expect when it comes to digestion.
  1. Get enough sleep. Your digestive organs are replenished and restored as you sleep. Catching some z’s is also important for maintaining hormonal balance, which affects digestion. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of good, restful sleep every night.
  1. Focus on fibre-rich foods. Foods that are high in fibre stimulate the churning in your stomach. Zespri Kiwifruit are a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre, a rarity in fruit, and help retain water at a higher capacity, which helps promote more comfortable and regular bowel movements.
  1. Know your triggers. Food intolerances and sensitivities are often some of the biggest culprits when it comes to digestive health issues. Eliminate certain foods for three to four weeks, then slowly reintroduce them and monitor your symptoms for possible reactions. This will help you to know your triggers and to make any necessary dietary adjustments.


Courtesy of: www.newscanada.com