Digestion can make or break how you feel. Fortunately, you’re able to control how well your digestive system functions with your diet and your lifestyle. By really tuning into your body, you can have a positive impact on your gut health without making any drastic changes to your lifestyle or taking unnecessary supplements.
Here are the 8 best ways to naturally improve your digestion.
Morning Glass of Water. First thing in the morning, chug a glass of water. This could jump start your digestive system. Do not eat or drink your morning coffee until you’ve drank a giant glass of water!
Stay Hydrated. Insufficient fluid intake is a common cause of constipation. If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. In addition to water, you can increase your fluid intake by consuming loads of fruits and vegetables, which have a high water content.
Morning Walks or Training. I start every single morning with a walk. This really gets my body functioning optimally right away in the morning. After I chug my glass of water, I head out the door and every single day, by the time I get to the gym or halfway around the block, I have to go. Make a habit out of it; it could take time for your body to adjust. Exercise helps food travel through your digestive system.
Cardiovascular Exercise. Why do you think people who run marathons poop their pants? Rigorous cardiovascular exercise really shakes things up internally, pushing food through your digestive system quicker.
Drink Kombucha. It's a fermented, probiotic tea that, in many, eases the symptoms of and prevents constipation. Incorporating 4-8 ounces of this into your diet daily could be a game-changer for you.
Monitor Your Fiber Intake. Notice how I didn’t say “eat more fiber” because over-consuming fiber can cause major digestion issues, too. It’s recommended that women get 25g of fiber and men get 32g of fiber daily. Fiber is basically indigestible parts of plants that help push waste through your digestive tract. Read more about fiber in the blog post Fiber 101.
Eat Real Food. You are what you eat and if you’re eating garbage, you’re going to feel like garbage. Make the decision to eat whole foods--unprocessed, fresh-from-the-farm, nutrient-dense, homemade foods. Whole foods will help you reach your fiber goals with no problems. Visit the blog post Fiber 101 for a list of foods high in fiber.
Eat Mindfully. Eat when you’re hungry. Chew your food thoroughly. Slow down. Tune in to how your body feels when you eat certain things. What triggers severe bloating and constipation? It’s beneficial to keep track of what you eat and monitor your symptoms. For example, after tracking what I was eating for a few weeks, I realized I was eating more than twice the daily recommended amount of fiber. After cutting back, my bloating has gotten significantly better.
(*Note: I have noticed there are certain foods that trigger digestion issues for me if I eat them too many times during the week: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, and the skin on potatoes.)
As someone who has struggled for years with regulating my digestion and figuring out what makes me feel best, these are the things that have helped me so much and I truly hope these tips will help you out.