Maintaining optimal digestive health is important to the body’s overall well-being. About 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract.
The following 12 ways to improve your digestive health can be found below:
1. Use Probiotics to Improve Digestive Health
Probiotics refer to “good” bacteria that are beneficial to the health of the gut microbiome. There are two primary types of probiotics: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is the most common type of probiotic and is found in yogurt and various fermented foods. Lactobacillus strains help people who are dealing with diarrhea or cannot digest sugar that is present in milk (lactose). Bifidobacterium is found in some dairy products, and it helps promote a healthy gastrointestinal system.
Probiotics help keep the gut healthy. Because they balance the ratio of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the body, probiotics help the body’s immune system function properly. Food sources of probiotics, especially yogurt without sugar is helpful because it helps increase the good bacteria count.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is one of the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle, and it helps relieve occasional constipation and promote healthy digestion. By exercising regularly, an individual can strengthen his or her digestive tract.
Recent research indicates exercise has protective effects on the GI tract, and there is evidence that humans and animals who exercise have a reduced risk of possible health concerns.
3. Consume a High-Fiber Diet
Fiber is a staple of a healthy diet, and for good reason. It has been shown to help individuals improve their digestive health in a number of ways, including:
Stabilizes bowel movements. Fiber helps increase the size and weight of stool and softens it, thereby reducing the risk of constipation.
Promotes bowel health. Research indicates a high-fiber diet helps people with regularity.
Reduces cholesterol levels. Beans, flaxseed, oats, and oat bran are rich sources of fiber that may help individuals reduce their low-density (“bad”) lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
Delivers weight-management support. High-fiber foods may help people feel fuller after they eat. They also tend to have fewer calories than low-fiber counterparts, making high-fiber foods healthy choices for calorie-conscious individuals.
The Institute of Medicine recommends men consume an average of 30 grams to 38 grams of fiber daily, and women consume an average of 21 grams to 25 grams of fiber daily, depending on their age.
With no shortage of fiber-rich foods available today, it’s easy to incorporate a variety of tasty fiber options into your daily diet. Plant foods — fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables — contain high quantities of fiber. And for those who incorporate high-fiber foods into their everyday meals with the goal of improving digestive health, their immune health will also benefit.
4. Eating Avocados Can Improve Digestive Health
Eating avocados offers a good option to cleanse the digestive system. An avocado contains 54% of the daily recommended allowance of fiber, according to One Green Planet. Plus, avocados are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats to support improved digestive health.
Also, avocados contain high levels of potassium and magnesium. These nutrients help bring water to the digestive system, thereby reducing occasional constipation.
5. Limit Your Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps increase alertness and speeds up metabolism. At the same time, caffeine is acidic and increases the acidity and quantity of gastric secretions. Caffeine also increases the production of stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine; this reduces the blood supply to the intestines and slows digestion.
When it comes to caffeine consumption, moderation is key. Food experts state 400 mg a day of caffeine – or roughly four to five cups of coffee – is considered safe. For those who follow the expert recommendations but continue to experience digestive health issues, reducing or eliminating caffeine may help alleviate these problems.
6. Eliminate Stressors
Physical activity often helps an individual eliminate stress. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that have been shown to help relieve stress and improve mood. Furthermore, resisting the urge to overeat or binge on junk food may help limit stress and improve digestion.
7. Practice Yoga
Yoga helps rejuvenate the body and mind while increasing energy levels. Simultaneously, various yoga poses can help people relieve gas, constipation, bloating, and other sources of digestive discomfort. The cat-cow, downward-facing dog, and triangle poses are among the most popular yoga poses that have been shown to help improve digestion.
8. Staying Hydrated Will Improve Your Digestive System
Water is essential for transporting nutrients throughout the body and eliminating waste products. Drinking sufficient amounts of water and eating foods that contain water aid digestion. Water is necessary for the body to digest soluble fiber, which in turn, leads to soft, well-formed stools that are easy to pass.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends men consume 104 oz. of water and women consume 72 oz. of water daily. This equates to approximately 13 cups of water for men and 9 cups of water for women. Of course, those living in hot climates or at high elevations may need to drink additional water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
9. Eat Berries
Besides tasting good, berries contain vitamins and minerals that are rich in antioxidants, substances that protect the cells lining the gut and manage gut inflammation. The antioxidants in berries safeguard the gut’s epithelial cells, cells that allow minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to enter the bloodstream while preventing dangerous bacteria, undigested foods, and harmful toxins from entering. As a result, the risk of occasional gut issues may be reduced.
10. Enjoy Almonds
Almonds contain calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and other vital nutrients. Adding almonds to one’s daily diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome, as well as promote satiety (feeling full after eating).
A recent Almond Board of California study indicated almonds serve as probiotics. In the study, researchers found patients who consumed almonds and almond skins significantly increased their levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium after six weeks. Researchers also noted the gut health benefits linked to eating almond skins lasted two weeks beyond the six-week study period.
11. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Excess alcohol consumption has been shown to cause substantial damage to the stomach.
Smoking has an astringent effect on the body. It narrows blood vessels and increases an individual’s risk of inflammation. In doing so, smoking raises a person’s risk of digestive complications like heartburn and ulcers.
12. Supplement Daily with Bovine Colostrum to Improve Your Digestive Health
Following the aforementioned tips may provide varying degrees of success in combating digestive health issues. In addition to healthy lifestyle choices and good nutrition, liposomal bovine colostrum supplementation is recommended for overall gut health for people of every age.
Because colostrum helps promote a healthy microbiome, it is a valuable supplement to include in your daily nutrition.
Liposomal bovine colostrum consists of more than 90 bioactives and growth factors and is biologically transferable to humans, which means it can benefit people of all ages. The growth factors promote gut and immune health. It is also suggested that taking liposomal bovine colostrum provides oligosaccharides for the colonization of good bacteria in the gut. Together, these components make liposomal bovine colostrum a viable option to address intestinal hyperpermeability (leaky gut) and promote immune health.