Being a part of the fast-paced society of today has taken a toll on our digestive systems. We suffer from digestive problems left, right and center. Digestive problems like nausea, gas, constipation, heartburn are common to most people. These problems are mostly painful, inconvenient and just plain embarrassing.
Digestive disorders usually happen because of an unhealthy lifestyle, infection, allergy to certain foods, and by following an unbalanced diet. Just like there are causes for these disorders, there are natural, easy ways which you can follow to improve your digestion, and relieve your digestive problems. Medication mostly solves problems which are already created. But by eating properly, you prevent such disorders from happening in the first place.
Here are some natural ways where you can improve your digestion:
- Drink enough water
Water is absolutely critical for proper digestion. Water is necessary for us to be able to digest solid food in our stomach properly and to absorb nutrients efficiently. If we drink an inadequate amount of water, the overall performance of our body decreases, which results in an increase in blood pressure, dehydration leading to constipation.
Drinking a sufficient amount of water every day is imperative to keep vital body functions operational. An average person should drink a minimum of 2.5 liters of water a day.
Remember to drink water between meals, and not during them, so as not to dilute your stomach’s acid content, which is necessary for good digestion.
2. Give your stomach’s acidity levels a boost
Wait for what? That’s correct. Boost them up. Your stomach contains hydrochloric acid, which is a strongly acidic solution consisting of hydrogen chloride and water. Hydrochloric acid or gastric juice is responsible for digesting and breaking down complex food molecules into simpler organic molecules so that they can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream. It also functions as a barrier, protecting your body against micro-organisms in your food.
When this gastric juice goes up into your esophagus, it results in heartburn. There is a misconception that heartburn happens because there is too much acid in your stomach. In fact, the opposite is true – it happens when you have little acid in your stomach. In order for food to properly digest, it must be in the liquid state.
This means that if you do not chew your food properly, your stomach has to work much harder to break down your food, with mechanical means. If food is left in your stomach in the solid state, it can build up the pressure in there, resulting in the formation of gas. This causes the acid in your stomach to splatter about, going back into your esophagus, resulting in heartburn. This is why it is helpful to boost up the acidity levels in your stomach.
You can increase your stomach’s acidity levels naturally by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water and drink that between your meals. Chewing your food properly when eating is a good habit to follow. Chew for up to 20 times per bit until the food you just ate is in a liquid state. This will ease the pressure on your stomach, and help you digest your food better.
3. Add healthy probiotics to your diet
Probiotics are healthy strains of bacteria that live in your gut, and they have an important role to play in helping you digest food better. Probiotics are helpful bacteria and are non-pathogenic in nature, meaning they are not dangerous to your health. They help produce vitamins and fatty acids which help develop other healthy gut bacteria. They also help to prevent infections and work to reduce inflammation.
Although they occur naturally, they can be taken as a supplement as well to increase their levels. Foods like Yoghurt, kimchi, Miso which is naturally fermented are great sources of healthy probiotics.