Power Up Your Gut – 8 Proven Ways to Improve Your Digestion
Did you know that the numbers of microbes in our gut are 10 times more than human cells? Human beings have 100 trillion organisms as their gut flora and they play a vital role in maintaining our health. The vagus nerve runs from the brain to the gut and connects them both. This is why you “feel” butterflies in the stomach. The gut and the brain are closely knit, which is why the gut is called the “second brain” of the body.
The gut microbes have many functions such as reducing inflammation, breaking down stomach acids, fermenting fibre and digesting our food to provide the body healthy nutrients. These nutrients are then absorbed by the body and travel in the bloodstream to nourish all parts of the body, including our brain. This is why it is important to have a healthy digestive system.
Here are some steps you can follow to ensure your gut is healthy and you are fit:
- Watch what you eat – the biggest enemy of our gut is processed food and sugar. Avoid over-consumption of sugar. It is a myth that fats are bad for you. You must eat healthy fats as they help in digestion and also reduce the burden on your liver. Incorporate fibre-rich foods in your diet such as vegetables, legumes, and oats as they give us roughage. These help in preventing constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD). Adding probiotics to your diet also gives your gut the additional aid to help improve your digestion. Consume yoghurts and kefir to increase the healthy flora in your gut.
- Watch how you chew – digestion begins in our mouth. Our teeth breakdown the food we eat mechanically. The saliva makes it easier to swallow the food and the enzyme salivary amylase starts digesting the carbohydrates in the food. Making sure that we chew our food properly makes it easier for our stomach and intestines to digest it.
- Fixed eating schedule – making sure you eat your food on time and in the right quantity is important as well. Eat your breakfast within an hour of waking up and finish your dinner at least 3 hours before your sleep. Do not stay for long periods without food. Try and stay stress-free as stress affects both, the gut and the brain.
- Stay hydrated – ensure that you have plenty of water. This helps avoid gas, acidity and constipation. Water also detoxifies your body and flushes out toxins. Don’t wait to drink water till you are thirsty as your body would already be dehydrated by then.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption – they are toxic for your gut. Follow a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Consume foods good for you and avoid foods or activities that can cause harm.
- Maintain a healthy weight – exercising, yoga, or any other kind of physical activity helps in the digestion process. Our bodies are not made for a sedentary lifestyle. By making sure we incorporate physical activity in our routine, we can help our digestion stay healthy.