Digestion Tips

Drink Enough Water

Drinking plenty of water during the day will help promote regular, comfortable bowel movements. While the oft-cited "eight glasses a day" recommendation is not necessarily for everyone, getting regular hydration is important. Make sure your intake is high enough to lead to regular urination throughout the day. Also be sure to increase water intake on days you perspire heavily or to counteract the effect of diuretics like alcohol, caffeine or blood pressure medications.

Consider Your Fiber Intake

Getting optimal amounts of fiber from your diet will support a healthy population of gut microbes, which in turn supports comfortable, efficient digestion and overall good health. An eating plan that prominently features vegetables, fruits and nuts is the best route achieve to this. Sprouted, dense breads along with beans and legumes provide added fiber as well. If you choose to consume packaged foods for the sake of convenience, seek out those that contain more grams of fiber than of sugar.

Exercise Daily

The health of your digestive system depends on more than just what is swallowed. Lifestyle factors like exercise play a significant role as well. Set a regular time daily for activity and seek out things you find enjoyable. Find a balance of activities that not only works the cardiovascular system, but also challenges most of the muscles in your body on a regular basis: choices include swimming, yoga, Pilates or lifting weights.

Avoid Processed and Fast Foods

Processed and refined foods are toxic to your digestive environment.  Identifying these "food-like" products in your diet and finding natural, homemade alternatives will set you on the path to wellness. When in a pinch, use a grocery store's produce section as your fast-food restaurant. You can also find "healthy convenience" through hard-boiled eggs, smoked or canned sockeye salmon, cut vegetables or fruit and some raw nuts.

Avoid Constipating Drugs

Regular bowel function is essential to clear potentially harmful substances from your metabolism. Be sure to limit or avoid the use constipating drugs as much as possible. Major culprits are pain medications, especially opiates such as morphine, codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone. Finding alternatives for pain including herbal therapy, acupuncture, exercise and meditation can help reduce the need for these "transit-slowing" drugs.