*Note: This is a sponsored post. This list is a general guide for common health conditions, and should not be taken as medical advice. Always be sure to check with your doctor before you start on any new treatment or protocol.
Whether you experience regular diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, or stomach cramps, living with a digestive order can be challenging. Instead of letting it stop you in your tracks, there are various diet and lifestyle changes that you can make which have a positive impact on your health. Here are five essential tips for living with a common digestive disorder.
Eat Real Food
Many of us follow the standard western diet, which is high in saturated fat, refined carbs, and food additives, however, what you may not realize is that following this diet can increase your risk of developing a digestive disorder. Food additives like salt are best avoided, especially as they may contribute towards gut inflammation. Making big changes to your diet can be hugely beneficial, therefore, sticking with a diet that consists of whole foods, and reducing your consumption of processed foods can be a huge help when it comes to optimal digestion. There are lots of different diets that you can follow, such as the AIP diet. Understanding the AIP diet can help you decide whether it’s right for you.
Get Plenty of Fiber
It goes without saying, eating plenty of fiber is hugely beneficial for your digestive system. Soluble fiber absorbs water, helping to add bulk to your stools, whereas, insoluble fiber helps your digestive track keep everything moving in the right direction. Soluble fiber can be found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and oat bran, whereas insoluble fiber can be found in foods like whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran. If you follow a diet high in fiber, you may notice an improvement with your digestion.
Consume Healthy Fats
To maintain good digestion, you may want to consider consuming healthy fats. Fat helps you to feel satisfied after a meal and is often needed when it comes to proper nutrition absorption. There has been research carried out to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of getting inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Foods that are full of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, and flaxseeds.
If you aren’t drinking enough fluids, not only will you be dehydrated, but it’s a common cause of constipation too. It’s recommended that you drink 1.5 – 2 liters of non-caffeinated fluids each day to help prevent constipation, however, the amount will vary depending on how much exercise you do and where you live in the world. Not only should you be drinking water to stay hydrated, but you can drink herbal teas too to meet your fluid intake. If you’re prone to drinking lots of beverages full of sugar, making the swap for healthier alternatives is crucial.
Manage Your Stress
Whether you work in a busy environment, or you’re running a busy household, stress can play havoc on your digestive system. If you have high stress levels, you may experience diarrhea, stomach ulcers, and constipation. Taking control of your stress levels such as through meditation or relaxation training can be hugely beneficial and help to improve symptoms in those who have IBS. You can also try out other stress management techniques which include yoga and deep belly breathing. These can not only help to improve your mindset but your digestion too.
While all of us experience occasional digestive symptoms like heartburn, constipation, an upset stomach, or nausea, there are others who experience symptoms much more frequently, causing major disruptions to their life. If you are living with a common digestive disorder, make sure eat real foods, get plenty of fiber in your diet, stay hydrated, as well as keeping on top of your stress levels, which can all have a positive influence on your health.
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