Summer is almost upon us, and the last thing you want is to be holed up inside worrying about digestive problems. Do you struggle with stomach cramps or changes in your bowel habits? Or are you simply eager to boost your digestive health? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some simple steps you can take to look after your digestive system this summer.
The foods you eat have a significant impact on your digestive health. The organs in your digestive system are responsible for breaking down and processing the food you consume. Some foods are incredibly good for you while others can cause problems. The odd fried breakfast or pint of beer is unlikely to do you long-term harm. But a diet lacking in nutrients can cause major problems for your digestive health.
Fiber is essential for healthy guts. You need fiber, also known as roughage, to digest food properly and prevent constipation. Good sources of fiber include green leafy vegetables, whole grain rice, bread and pasta and fruit. Other options include beans and pulses and oats.
If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may find that some fiber-rich foods make you feel bloated. Try to keep a food diary to pinpoint triggers. If you find that starchy foods, such as bread and rice, are to blame, get your fiber from fruit and vegetables instead.
Keep an eye on your fat intake. Try to go for healthy fats, such as those found in salmon, olive oil, and avocados. Avoid processed and fried foods. If you notice that some foods give you heartburn or an upset stomach, keep a food diary. You can then make a conscious effort to cut these foods out of your diet. Check out http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/digestive-health/Pages/stomach-friendly-foods.aspx to find out more about which foods to include or avoid.
Water is essential for digestion. It has an important transportation role, and it helps to soften stools. This prevents discomfort when you to go to the toilet. Aim for two liters of water per day. If it’s hot outside or you’ve been exercising, you’ll need to drink more. If you’re prone to heartburn, try and reduce your caffeine intake.
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Look out for warning signs
If you have symptoms of IBS or acid reflux, see your doctor. Warning signs that all is not quite right may include:
- Persistent diarrhea
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Feeling like you’ve eaten too much
It’s best to get any symptoms checked out. If you do have underlying problems, your doctor can suggest treatments and self-help solutions. For more information about acid reflux, visit www.sideeffectanswers.com/how-to-treat-acid-reflux/.
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Probiotics contain bacteria, which are known to have benefits for your digestive system. You can take them as supplements or buy yogurts from health stores. You may find it beneficial to add probiotics to your diet if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or you have diarrhea.
Nobody wants to feel unwell when it’s sunny outside, and you should be enjoying the holidays. Sometimes, it’s impossible to prevent tummy troubles. But following these steps will help to reduce the risk of common ailments and boost your digestive health.