When it comes to complete fitness, maintaining your digestive health is just as vital as maintaining your bone health, heart health and the health of the rest of your body. Taking care of your digestive health (bowel movement) can help you stay healthy and happy throughout your life. All you have to do is to start making easy, proactive changes to your diet and lifestyle in order to ameliorate your digestive health.

1. Get on Fiber Rich Diet

According to Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian in Marblehead, Mass., consuming a high fiber diet such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits can improve your digestive health. “A high-fiber diet helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract, making you less likely to get constipated,” Adams says, adding that a fiber-rich meals can also help you prevent or treat various digestive conditions, such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticulosis. In addition, it can help you achieve and retain a healthy weight.

2. Eat Fruits and Veggies

Include a broad spectrum of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet as they are loaded with essential minerals and vitamins. Also include dry fruits in your diet as they provide a broad array of health benefits including enhancing your digestive health. So, they too are an important source of nutrient that shouldn’t be ignored.

3. Incorporate Healthy Bacteria in Your Diet

Stress, antibiotics, lack of sleep, illness, aging and poor diet choices can often lead to an imbalance of your digestive tract bacteria. These bacteria are naturally present in our digestive tract and enhance nutrient absorption, help lactose break down, strengthen our immune system, and possibly even help treat irritable bowel syndrome. Thus, it is essential to maintain the balance of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. Try a daily helping of yogurt with probiotics and fortified cereals.

4. Stay Hydrated

HowtoStayHydratedforYourHealth-fullDrink plenty of water, as water helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber in your digestive system, allowing these substances to pass through more easily.

5. Eat Timely & Properly

As digestion starts in the mouth, eat your food slowly and chew them well. Don’t rush your food. Reduce the size of your portion at mealtimes and avoid overeating. Avoid big meals before going to bed. All of these will keep your digestive system safe from any problem.

6. Restrict foods that are high in fat

Fatty foods tend to slow down the process of digestion, making you more prone to constipation. But as it cannot be completely avoided, it must be paired with high-fiber foods. That can help them digest easily.

7. Go for lean meat

Protein is an essential part of a healthful diet, but the fatty part of the meat can increase the bulk of your bowel movements and can lead to indigestion. Well, not to worry go for lean and tender meat. Meat is easy to digest and absorb, and contains no anti-nutrients or irritating substances.

8. Say No to bad habits

break-a-bad-habitAvoid smoking, excess of caffeine and alcohol. Liquor, coffee, and cigarettes can interfere with the functioning of your digestive system, and can give rise to problems like stomach ulcers and heartburn. Moderate drinking won’t hurt your digestive system, but binge drinking increases acid production in your stomach and can cause heartburn and aggravate other digestive disorders, warns Dr Anton Emmanuel, Senior Lecturer in Neuro-Gastroenterology at University College London and Consultant Gastroenterologist at University College Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Binge drinking” refers to drinking eight or more units of alcohol in one session for men, and drinking more than six units in one session for women.

Also, smoking can weaken the muscle that controls the lower end of the oesophagus and allow acid from the stomach to travel in the wrong direction back up the oesophagus, a process known as “reflux” which may later result into peptic ulcers and inflammation in the bowel.

9. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise keeps the food moving through your digestive system, reducing constipation. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is important for digestive health. Make it a point to include regular exercise into your weekly schedule.

10. Control stress

Too much of stress or anxiety can cause your digestive system to go into overdrive. Indulge into stress releasing activities and relax as it is important to take care of your emotional well-being as well. Stress often leads to a disturbed digestive system, which may cause abdominal pain or diarrhea. Stress can also worsen symptoms of peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. So, find out ways to revitalize and soothe your digestion.

After all, a well-functioning digestive system is the cornerstone of good health!!