How to Improve Digestion: Tips and Tricks

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Our digestive tract is a complex system that sometimes gets clogged up or negatively affected for one reason or another. Whether it’s your diet, the daily stresses affecting your life, or something else entirely, it’s not uncommon to occasionally experience indigestion, stomachaches, and more.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for digestive problems to take care of themselves. You can instead use a few clever tips and tricks to improve your digestion yourself. Let’s check out some natural remedies you can try right now.

Take Mint Tea

Mint tea is a great beverage if you want to boost digestion and settle your stomach. Mint as an herb has beneficial effects for settling stomach aches and refreshing your mouth, which may be helpful if you have sensitive gastric reflexes.

You can add a little lemon juice to your mint tea to make the stomach-settling effect even better. Mint tea also has antioxidants and other vitamins that can improve your overall wellness simultaneously.

Do Gentle Exercise

A little gentle exercise goes a long way for refreshing the mind and body and settling an upset stomach. While we wouldn’t recommend that you do an intense workout session if you have a stomach ache or indigestion, a walk around the neighborhood can do wonders for making you feel better.

Sometimes, our bodies become uncomfortable if we sit around for too long. Additionally, your digestive system can pass food more efficiently if you are standing up since gravity assists with the digestion process.

Take a brisk walk and any food that is having a tough time passing through your intestines will likely proceed more easily.

Avoid Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks like soda and beer are popular beverages, but carbonation adds gas to your digestive tract. While we consume a little bit of gas every day no matter what (simply from swallowing food and drink), consuming too much gas can lead to bloating or indigestion, as well as stomach cramps or gas cramps.

If you are having trouble digesting your food, avoid carbonated drinks for a few days and see if that settles things.

Consume Probiotics

Probiotics are essentially helpful bacteria that comprise your gut microbiome: a system of bacterial organisms that help to digest food, absorb nutrients, and prevent harmful germs from setting up shop in your intestines.

Sometimes your gut microbiome needs a little help. In that case, you could take probiotics, either as supplements or in certain foods like yogurt and cheese. By taking probiotics, you can bolster the gut microbiome and make your digestive tract more efficient and effective, even when it comes to digesting difficult foods like particularly fibrous plants.

Probiotic supplements make it easy to add enough probiotics to your diet without having to drastically alter what you eat every day.

Eat More Fiber

Speaking of fibrous plants, you should eat more fiber in your diet if you experience regular indigestion. Fiber plays a few key roles in your digestive system, including scraping away other food items to be passed as waste and helping your stool to be solid rather than liquid and acidic.

Fortunately, fiber can be found in a variety of helpful fruits and vegetables, many of which also have lots of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for holistic bodily health. Try to target leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, or broccoli and eat fruits like apples, taking care to eat the skin instead of just the fruit flesh. 

That’s the best way to get as much fiber as possible.

Avoid Fatty Meats/Too Much Fat

Overly fatty foods are unfortunately very common in our society, but they can also lead to indigestion, gas, bloating, and more. To that end, you could improve digestion by cutting out overly fatty foods from your diet, particularly those with saturated fat.

Try to avoid overly sugary foods like candy, chips, and gravy.

As a bonus, by changing your diet this way, you’ll enjoy better overall health and your digestive system will absorb more nutrients for long-term wellness. You’ll likely feel the difference quickly as your stomach takes less time to break down tons of oily, greasy foods that sit in your digestive tract for hours.

Stay Hydrated

Lastly, make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Your body needs at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water or so each day, both to maintain overall health and to help your digestive system pass food through the intestines and eventually out as waste.

Without enough water, your digestive system won’t be able to move food through the intestines, which can cause blockages, infections, and more. But be sure that you drink water more than any other beverage, with the possible exception of certain types of tea. 

Drinking too much juice, soda, and alcoholic beverages can also lead to digestive problems, including diarrhea.

Drink more water and you’ll be healthier overall, as well as less likely to suffer from recurring issues like kidney stones.

Summary

All in all, improving digestion is a long-term process that’s best fulfilled by following multiple steps instead of just one or two. You’ll see the best results when trying to improve your digestion if you try all of the tips above, as well as take steps to make your diet a little healthier overall.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got a wide range of healthy eating guides and diet strategies you can try out on this site. Check them out now!

Sources

Understanding the Physics of Functional Fibers in the Gastrointestinal Tract | NCBI

Water and fluid intake in the prevention and treatment of functional constipation in children and adolescents | NCBI

Effect of moderate exercise on bowel habit | NCBI

A Prospective Study of Alcohol Consumption and Smoking and the Risk of Major Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Men | NCBI

Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome | NCBI

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