Tips for Improving Your Digestive Health

Is your digestion feeling slow and sluggish? Maybe stress is making your gut feel bloated. Many things in our life such as stress and what we eat can impact our gut health. There are several simple things you can do to take care of your gut health.

Be mindful during meals.

Eating too much or too quickly can tax our digestive system. If our digestive system is overwhelmed, it may not work efficiently. This could lead to bloating and fatigue since we’re not properly breaking down our food. Try mindful eating where you take time to see, smell, taste and experience your food. Doing this with the first few bites of food could make your meal more satisfying meaning you could eat less.

Try cooked foods.

Salads and raw veggies are great but sometimes may make your belly unhappy. Cold and raw foods like a salad take more energy and effort for your stomach to break down. Foods that have been cooked for a long time like soups, stews, things cooked in a slow cooker can be easier to digest and are less effort for our digestive system to break down. Maybe switch out a couple of cold lunches per week and substitute a soup instead.

Make mealtime all about the meal.

We all live busy lives and often find ourselves checking emails, reading a paper, etc., during a meal. You may not realize it but reading that email may be stressing you out while you are trying to eat. That stress could put strain on our gut leading to discomfort and other gut issues. Try to make mealtime only about the meal. Take a few minutes to unplug and try to focus on just eating. Your gut will be happier when it only has to digest a meal and not deal with stress, too!

Consider natural products or therapies.

Some natural products and therapies can be used to support your overall gut health. Here are just a few that are offered at the ProMedica Natural Wellness Shop:

  • Digestive enzymes: Helps your body absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.
  • Bitters: Facilitate stomach acid and act as a digestive
  • Marshmallow root: Coatsthe inside of the stomach and prevents acid from causing discomfort and burning, while also providing anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Vitamin D: May be able to regulate gastrointestinal inflammation.
  • Acupuncture: Increases blood flow to the gut/digestive system, which can help decrease inflammation and help with issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), abdominal bloating and heartburn/GERD.

Digestive health plays a large role in our overall health. Try some of these tips to help keep your gut happy and keep you healthy.

Always consult a physician before starting any supplement or diet changes.

Kylie A. Study, M.Sc, MSTOM, Dipl.OM is a licensed acupuncturist and natural wellness practitioner at the ProMedica Natural Wellness Shop in Sylvania, Ohio.