7 Ways to Improve Digestion

Many Americans struggle with poor digestion or symptoms of poor digestion at some point in their lives. Sometimes all it takes is to change a few simple things to get to feeling better quickly. Here are seven tips to help you improve your digestion and support a healthy digestive tract!

1. Drink half your body weight in water every single day.

That’s right, HALF! Hydration is essential for all your body, including your digestion. The liquid is needed to help digest food and keep the stool soft. So if you weigh 200 lbs, you should drink 100 ounces of water daily (that equates to about 3 liters, a little more than 3 quarts or 10-12 cups per day).

2. Exercise daily.

During exercise, blood is shunted away from the digestive track to your skeletal muscles. After exercise, the priority returns to the digestive track which may improve your nutrient absorption and rate of digestion.

3. Get enough PRObiotics.

Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract that aid in digestion and production of nutrients. Probiotics can be found in dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. If you need to avoid dairy they can also be obtained in fermented foods such as Kombucha and sauerkraut.

4.Get enough PREbiotics.

Prebiotics are foods that contain food for the probiotics (the good bacteria). You’ve got to feed them if you want to keep them. Examples of prebiotic foods include Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root fiber, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, and bananas.

5. Get enough fiber.

Insoluble fiber acts like a broom, sweeping out the digestive tract of dead cells and unwanted waste. Examples include beans, whole grains, avocado and ground flaxseed.

6. Eat the right fats.

Omega 3 fatty acids exert an anti-inflammatory effect. The GI tract is the first defense against pathogens and where 80% of our immune system is found, therefore, it is subject to a great deal of potentially inflammatory stressors. Inflammation is thought to be the root cause of many digestive disorders.

7. Get enough magnesium.

Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. One of its primary functions is to promote relaxation among muscle tissue, including the muscle tissue in the GI tract. Foods rich in magnesium are chia seeds, green leafy greens, nuts, seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), beans, and lentils.