Drink plenty of water
Like all health hacks, drinking water is a miracle cure that comes with a plethora of benefits. Adding a glass of water to your dinner could be the key to giving your digestive system the boost it needs. Drinking water while you eat aids your body in how it breaks down and processes food, and also allows you to absorb more of those necessary nutrients into your bloodstream.
Exercise can improve your health in all sorts of ways, but one key area is your gut. Exercising increases the blood flow to your digestive system, helping to massage the food along your digestive tract quicker. New research shows that doing physical activity can help keep the bacteria in your gut nice and healthy. Even going for a walk or taking up a yoga class can have huge health benefits.
Add healthy fats to your diet
We can’t avoid fats in food, no matter how hard we try. In fact, some fats are actually needed! Adding avocados, seafood (rich in Omega 3 fatty acids), walnuts or flaxseeds to your meals will give your digestive system the little nudge it needs to do what it does best and break down your food. Steer clear of saturated fats, however, as these will only lead to bloating and slower digestion.
Eat nourishing foods
Fruits, vegetables (with their skin on) and ginger are all a super way of giving your gut an extra boost. Leafy, green vegetables contain the nutrient sulfoquinovose, which is a sugar that may feed healthy bacteria to the gut. Ginger is another great way of promoting digestive health – helping to move food along in your gut so that it doesn’t linger any longer than necessary.
Watch your stress levels
Stress can be detrimental to not only your mental health but also to your body. The effects of stress on each person vary: some find it can speed up digestion, causing diarrhea and constant trips to the toilet, while others find it can slow it down and cause bloating and constipation. Whatever camp you’re in, the less stressed you are, the healthier your gut will be. Meditation or yoga are wonderful ways of lowering your stress levels and boosting your body.
Eat three hours before bed
Going to bed with a belly full of food can slow down your digestion, create acid reflux, and lead to weight gain. If you ensure you have a three-hour wait between eating and sleeping it gives your body a chance to properly digest your food – and can give you a better night’s sleep. Say goodbye to those late-night snacks and watch your digestion improve, just make sure you don’t skip any meals.
Drink lemon water
Lemon water is rich in Vitamin C, which is important for a sturdy immune system. Some people, however, swear that drinking lemon water – particularly in the morning – can help with digestion. Although this belief is largely anecdotal, studies on mice have shown that lemon water can help increase gut-friendly bacteria, so it may be worth adding this hack to your daily routine.
Make sure you chew properly
It’s well known that digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing properly helps make sure that your stomach can efficiently process food by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Chewing also helps to promote the production of saliva – which, in turn, can be beneficial for your gut. Experts recommend that you chew around 32 times before swallowing, on average.
Cut down on caffeine
Although there’s a debate on whether coffee has a detrimental effect on your gut health or not, one thing is clear: the more coffee and caffeinated beverages you consume, the less likely you are to be drinking still, plain water. Your body needs around 1.5 liters of water per day for optimal health – and that doesn’t include teas and coffees. Swap those caffeinated drinks out for water, and watch your digestion improve.
Fill up on fiber
Fiber helps to solidify your stools so that they are easier to pass through your body, resulting in a reduced risk of constipation. Fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables, berries and beans can all be key to achieving prime gut health. Of course, as with any dietary change, enjoy everything in moderation. Too much fiber can have the opposite effect.