If you have been following our blog for a while, you might have picked up on the fact that Wendy and I are huge advocates of a healthy gut. Today we are highlighting 5 simple and practical things you can do to improve your digestive health.
- Be a mindful and intuitive eater. Many of our patients don’t realize how much intuitive eating can aid in digestion. I’m sure we’ve all eaten too much and too quickly. By practicing intuitive eating, you can make sure to honor your hunger, respect your fullness, and eat at a slow pace, which will help your digestive tract function more optimally.
- Increase your fiber intake. It’s recommended that women get 25 grams of fiber per day and men should aim for 38 grams. Foods rich in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. Fiber aids in digestion and promotes regularity.
- Boost your probiotic intake. Simply put, there are an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing an excess of 500 species that live in your GI tract. Most of the bacteria in our gut help to keep harmful microorganisms (also known as pathogens) in check. They also help us to digest food, absorb nutrients, and help to boost our immune function. You can obtain probiotics from foods like Sauerkraut, Kefir, Yogurt, Kimchi, Miso Soup, Tempeh. You can also consider taking a probiotic supplement. I actually recently started taking this probiotic and have been loving it so far (TMI: Bowel movements are on POINT). Probiotics are thought to be safe for most people, but we encourage you to ALWAYS speak with your doctor, dietitian, or pharmacist before starting any supplement regimen.
- Eat prebiotic foods. We like to think of prebiotics as the food probiotics need to grow and thrive. Prebiotics are non-digestible components found in different foods. They work synergistically with probiotics to optimize gut function. Foods that will provide you with prebiotics include Leeks, Onions, Garlic, Scallions, Banana, Sweet Potato
- Drink more water. That’s right, water. It’s simple and free. But you’d be surprised at how many people don’t get enough H20 in their day. Water helps our digestive systems eliminate waste and ensure proper digestion. Many of our patients who are experiencing constipation find that just adding a few additional glasses of water into their daily regimen can bring relief to their occasional GI distress.
Let us know in the comments below what you do to help keep your gut happy and healthy!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.