Habits to Help Your Digestion

Maintaining a healthy digestive system is key for ensuring the food we eat is able to be processed properly. While everyone experiences occasional digestive upset symptoms, if they occur regularly, they can cause major disruptions to your life. Fortunately, diet and lifestyle healthy eating practices have a positive impact on your gut health.

1. Eat Real Food

The typical Western diet is high in refined carbohydrates, saturated fat and food additives which have been linked to an increased risk of developing digestive disorders. Studies show that food additives, including glucose, salt and other additives, contribute to increased gut inflammation, leading to a condition called leaky gut. Eating a diet based on whole foods and limiting the intake of processed foods is the best for optimal digestion and overall nutrition.

2. Manage Your Stress

Stress hormones have been shown to directly affect your digestion. When your body is continually in fight-or-flight mode it responds as though you don’t have time to rest and digest. During periods of stress, blood and energy are diverted away from your digestive system to allow the rest of your body to respond to the stressor. What’s more, your gut and brain are intricately connected through the production of hormones. What affects your brain may also impact your digestion.

3. Slow Down and Listen to Your Body

When you’re not paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues, it’s easy to overeat which may lead to bloating and indigestion. Taking time to eat slowly and pay attention to how full you’re getting is one way to prevent over eating and common digestive problems.

For tips on mindful eating click here - https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/8-steps-to-mindful-eating

Denise Boyd, BSc, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RNH) with a specialization in Cognitive and Immune Support.

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