On those rough days, it’s way too easy to turn to a heap of comfort foods. But they always seem to come at a price. Caving to unhealthy cravings often means bellyaches and a heavy feeling that just may end your day early.
Occasional bloating, belching, gas and abdominal pain are all signs your digestive system isn’t keeping up with what you eat. Tackle this problem in two ways—support your digestive health and/or change your diet like Izzy Agreste.
Here are some tips to find the best ways to support your digestion.
What Causes Digestive Discomfort?
For most people, the likely culprit of stomach aches and bloat is simply eating too much or too quickly.
Other causes for digestive discomfort involve:
- Eating fatty, greasy, or spicy foods
- Excessive alcohol consumption or smoking
- Certain medications, like pain relievers
- Stress and anxiety
Your daily choices can change or improve some of these key offenders. Simply put, small shifts will likely lessen the time you spend suffering from an upset stomach. In some cases, it can also be caused by more serious underlying factors, so contact your physician about persistent symptoms.
Ditch Foods that Weigh You Down
It’s no surprise the food you put in your body directly impacts how you feel. Ditch a few of these heavy food groups to lighten the load on your digestive system.
- High-Fat Foods
Foods high in fat, especially fried foods, can leave you feeling exhausted and uncomfortably full. They’re also low in fibre—a key nutrient for healthy digestion—which may even cause constipation.
- Processed Grains
Notorious for dumping sugar into your bloodstream and causing you to crash shortly after, these carbs hide in white bread, white rice, and pasta. Also notably low in fibre, they can slow down your digestion.
- Carbonated Beverages
Fizzy drinks keep on bubbling after you drink them leaving you feeling gassy, bloated, and just not good. They’re also high in processed sugars or sugar substitutes that often turn into gas in your digestive tract.
Lactose (a sugar found in most dairy products) can be difficult for your body to digest. Bloat and fatigue may come after eating milk or cheese—too much can even cause constipation or diarrhoea. But some fermented dairy (like yoghurt or kefir) actually contain probiotics, which can help balance your digestive system.
Improve Your Digestion Today
By adopting a few healthy habits and sticking to them most of us can manage our digestive discomfort.
1. Eat Plenty of Fibre
Fibre is an essential nutrient for healthy digestion and a balanced gut. It absorbs water in your gut and adds bulk to your stool, making sure everything keeps flowing. You can find fibre in legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and leafy vegetables.
2. Embrace Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut that aid digestion and absorption. Unhealthy eating can throw your probiotics out of balance. To replenish them, eat fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, or sauerkraut. Or use supplements that include probiotic enzymes like this digestive health protein drink.
3. Keep Hydrated
Fluids help food travel down your digestive tract. Poor hydration can cause constipation. Make sure to drink plenty of H2O each day and eat water-filled fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat Responsibly
Improving your digestion often boils down to simple eating habits. Make sure to chew your food slowly and savour it. Don’t eat late at night. And properly portion your food. Take time to relax and listen to your body after meals, paying attention to any digestive warning signs. Make small changes to fine-tune your meals to work for you.
5. Exercise Daily
Frequent, consistent movement is great for your overall wellness. It supports cardiovascular, joint, bone, and digestive health. It’s never a bad idea to take a nice, relaxing walk after a meal.
How you feel on the inside has a lot to do with what you choose to eat and drink. Take time to find what works best for your gut and your busy life. Midnight Thomas Musto Care for your body and it will return the favour.
Born and raised in Utah, Taylor Pulver grew up fishing, camping, and hiking his way through the Wasatch Range. Now, he lives in Salt Lake City as a writer, gardener, and avid reader of fantasy and science fiction novels.