Think of your body as a computer and your digestive system as its CPU (central processing unit) – the speed and efficiency of its processing digital information will largely impact the entire computer’s workflow. It is the same with your digestion – the speed and efficiency of its processing the nutrients you are consuming will have much to do with your energy levels, sleep quality and overall health. Now that you realize just how major the role of this organism system is, you should be aware that you need to work on your diet in order to reach optimal digestion. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you accomplish it.
Get Rid of Bad Habits
Before you start with incorporating healthy diet habits, you have to get rid of the old unhealthy ones. The worst enemies of your digestion are alcohol, coffee and cigarettes. They interfere with the natural functioning of your digestive system and cause problems such as stomach ulcers. Also, steer away from highly processed foods and junk foods – no matter how much you wanted it, burger is never a good idea.
Start Chewing Your Food
You might think that this is a no-brainer, but most of us never actually chew our food properly before we swallow. Because a proper digestion starts in your mouth, you should create a habit of chewing well what is on your plate. This way you will get more nutrients out of the foods and ease the work for your digestive system.
Eat Real Foods
Focusing on whole, fresh foods can significantly improve gut health and the process of digestion. Foods that are high in refined sugars and salts and processed oils, on the other hand, can be difficult for your body to digest. Make sure you consume enough unpolished grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, beans, meats and non-homogenized dairy products.
Aim for a High in Fiber Diet
Amongst these real foods there is a whole group of digestive superheroes and those are the high-fiber foods. They can help the food moving through digestive tracts and prevent digestive issues such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. Some of the best sources of fiber are beans, whole grains, brown rice, berries, potato, oatmeal, cereal and vegetables.
Include Fermented and Cultured Foods
Your digestive system can become more efficient and stronger if you include fermented and cultured foods in your diet. Because they are high in good bacteria, they will help your organism regenerate gut flora naturally. Try to consume a great variety of fermented foods, such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented vegetables, etc.
Eat Lean Meats
There can be no healthy diet without protein. Still, the fatty cuts of meat might be difficult to digest. When you are eating a meat-based dish opt for chicken and turkey (skinless white meat), beef steak cuts, and seafood.
Increase Your Water Intake
Digestive disorders can sometimes be caused by extreme dehydration. The lack of water intake may cause poor distribution of water supplies throughout the body, which can lead to constipation and bloated stomach. Make sure you drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water per day, and add lemon drops or apple cider vinegar to at least one glass.
Have a Schedule
Imagine that you are starting with your job one day at 6am and another at 10am. You would get disorganized and chaotic. Just as well, your digestive system may get confused if you are constantly changing your eating schedule. Have specific hours for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner, and stick to it.
Do a Regular Detoxification
From time to time, you should help your body get rid of the toxins that piled up due to unhealthy diet, stress, air and other outer influences. If you decide for regular body detox, you may avoid the long cleanses that can last up to a month, and just take a few days to reset your body with green smoothies and other detox foods.
As you see, improving your digestion is not as difficult as it might sound, but it carries a number of undeniable benefits which you will be able to sense soon enough.