30/05/2023 / Digestive Disease & Gastroenterology

15 Tips to improve your Digestive Health

Gut health determines your overall health. So it's important to take care of your digestive system.

15 tips to improve digestive health
Keerthana A PKeerthana A P
Keerthana A P
Food Technologist, Engineer & Research Associate
Medically Cited
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Have you ever had diarrhea or stomach aches while you are in a highly stressful environment? Have you noticed that on becoming anxious (which happens in the brain) your stomach would be upset? All this happens because your stomach (gut) is connected to your brain. So, only good digestive health can assure you of good overall health. Similarly, the digestive system can be negatively affected by improper food and lifestyle habits. Read further to know about the tips for boosting your digestive health. 

15 Tips To Improve Your Digestive Health 

Here are the ways to boost your digestion and gut health,

15 Tips To Improve Your Digestive Health

1. Take Less Processed Foods

Processed foods typically have high amounts of sodium, sugars, saturated fats and added additives. These can affect your gut health by destroying the gut microbiota that plays an important role in digestive processes. Since these foods have fewer fibres, you may overcome them, leading to obesity and its related health complications. The processed foods that should be avoided are,

  • Syrups and jams

  • Sugary soft drinks

  • Chocolates and candies

  • Chips and crackers

  • Ice Cream and frozen desserts

  • Sausages and French fries

  • Muffins and Cakes

2. Eat More Whole Foods

Replacing processed foods with whole foods can help you in increasing the digestive capacity of the body and improve your overall health. You can even take the help of a dietician for planning out your diet chart based on whole foods. Some of the nutritious whole foods to incorporate into your diet are,

  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and oats

  • Fruits

  • Non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers and green peas

  • Starchy vegetables like corn, carrots and potatoes

  • Avocado

  • Eggs

  • Poultry

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Legumes

  • Oil like olive and avocado oil     

3. Add More Fibers To Your Diet

Fibers form an important part of your digestive system as they influence the movement of the food inside your stomach. Insoluble fibres move all the intestinal content towards the last part of the digestive process while the soluble fibres bulk up the stool for easy passing through the rectum. Some of the fibre-rich foods to add to your diet are,

  • Beans

  • Broccoli

  • Berries

  • Avocados

  • Whole grains

  • Apples

  • Dried fruits

  • Potatoes

  • Nuts

4.  Decrease fried And Saturated Foods

Fats are an essential component of our diet. But, unhealthy and saturated fats from fried foods can cause digestive problems by causing you heartburn and gas troubles. Hence, you have to choose ones that are rich in unsaturated and healthy fats. Some of the healthy high-fat foods are,

  • Fatty fishes

  • Chia seeds

  • Eggs

  • Avocado

  • Flaxseeds

  • Nuts

  • Oilseeds

  • Tofu

  • Yoghurt

5. Regularly Hydrate Yourself

Water forms an important part of digestion and not drinking it enough can cause constipation or even gas troubles. So, it is important to drink at least 2 litres of water per day. If you have trouble remembering your water intake, just schedule a reminder and take some minutes out of your busy days. 

 6. Cut down on Alcohol, Caffeine And Soda

Adding alcohol, caffeine and soda to your diet can cause heartburn, acid reflux and even stomach ulcers. Especially, people with digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux disease or irritable bowel syndrome should stay away from these, as they can make the symptoms worse. You can replace them with water or some herbal teas for good refreshment!

7. Practice Conscious Eating

Most of us in this hasty world put food in our mouths without being conscious of the quantity and quality of food we eat. This can affect your digestion and cause issues like acid reflux or gas. So, when you eat next time, put down your phones or shut down your screens and give attention to the food. This would hardly take 10-15 minutes out of your busy schedule. 

  8. Chew Your Food Well

So many people have this misconception that digestion begins in the stomach and there is no need to chew the food. But when you don’t chew your food enough with your teeth, it takes much longer to digest in the stomach, thereby causing acid reflux, heartburn and gas. 

9. Eat Your Dinner Before 8

Many people have the mistake of eating dinner at 10 pm and sleeping immediately after that. By doing this, you are putting a lot of stress on your digestive system. Since you are at rest, your body would have less energy to digest the foods and also the stomach acid would reach your throat when you lie down on a full stomach, causing heartburn. So, it is advised to take your dinner at least three hours before your bedtime.

10. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is one of the best ways to improve digestion as it increases the blood flow and movement of foods in the intestine. They can also ease the various symptoms of gastric issues like heartburn, gas, stomach ache and constipation. 

11. Include Prebiotics And Probiotics in Your Diet

Probiotics are bacteria that improve health, help digestion and reduce inflammation. Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that are foods for probiotic bacteria. So, it's important to have a combination of both prebiotics and probiotics in your diet. 

Some of the probiotic-rich foods are,

  • Yoghurt

  • Kefir

  • Idli

  • Paneer

  • Miso

  • Kimchi

  • Green peas

  • Buttermilk

Along with this, some of the prebiotic-rich foods to include are, 

  • Garlic

  • Chicory root

  • Raw banana

  • Apple

  • Flaxseeds

  • Asparagus

  • Onion

12. Avoid Smoking

It is a well-known fact that smoking is injurious to health but do you know that it can even increase the risk of digestive disorders like heartburn, reflux, peptic ulcers, Crohn's disease, colon polyps, and pancreatitis? It is better to quit smoking as the consequences of smoking are not just restricted to respiratory diseases and cancers. 

13. Give up Gums

You might find it surprising how chewing gums can cause digestive problems. But this is true because when you chew gum you take in a large amount of air and it can cause gas troubles. Some people can get digestive problems like bloating and heartburn due to the sugar alcohols present in these gums. 

14. Reduce Stress

Always remember that your mind and gut are connected! When you put immense pressure on your mind, it affects your digestion. To avoid digestive issues in high-stress environments, you can practise yoga, meditation and also breathing techniques. 

15. Sip On Teas

Instead of drinking high sugared or highly caffeinated drinks, you can have herbal teas that would be much easier on digestion. Some of the best teas to have for good digestion are, 

  • Peppermint tea

  • Ginger tea

  • Gentian root tea

  • Fennel tea

  • Angelica root tea

  • Dandelion tea

  • Senna tea

  • Marshmallow root tea

  • Black tea

Take Home Points 

  • Gut health is very important to maintain and promote your overall health. 

  • By following good food and lifestyle habits, you can ensure good gut health. 

  • Having less processed foods, increasing fiber intake, avoiding alcohol, giving up smoking and reducing stress are some of the ways to improve your guts and digestive system.


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