The digestive system is one of the most important components of the human body. It breaks down the foods that you eat and turns them into the nutrients your body needs to survive. Neglecting your digestive health can have serious negative health effects.
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy digestive system is to gear your diet towards maintaining it. Below are ten ways that dieting affects your digestion. Taking them into consideration will maintain efficient digestion, increase your sense of well being, and improve your overall health.
1. Stick to a high fiber diet
Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for a healthy digestive system. No matter the particular type of diet you have, you should strive to include fiber as a large part of it. Fiber is present in foods such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. It helps move food through your digestive track (reducing constipation) as well as preventing health problems like hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome. Maintaining a high fiber diet can even help you lose weight.
2. Consume both insoluble and soluble fiber
There are two primary types of fiber and you need both of them to keep your digestive system healthy. The two types of fiber are insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. You can find soluble fiber in foods such as oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
3. Limit high fat foods
Many of the most popular diets today limit fat. And with good reason. Fatty foods aren’t very good for you. Sure, you need a little fat to survive but too much of it can cause a number of health problems, not to mention that it isn’t very good for your waistline. Fat can also affect the digestion by slowing it down. It is best to limit the amount of high fat foods you eat and when you do eat them to pair them with something that is high in fiber.
4. Select lean meats
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. One of the easiest ways to get protein is by eating meat. However, eating fatty cuts of meat is no good at all. It can lead to uncomfortable digestion. It is best to stick with lean cuts when you are going to eat meat. Pork loin and skinless poultry are particularly smart choices.
5. Add probiotics to your diet
It is a myth that all bacteria is unhealthy. In fact, there are lots of bacteria that are great for you. Probiotics are one type of healthy bacteria. They affect your digestion by enhancing nutrient absorption, breaking down lactose, and strengthening the immune system. They can even help treat irritable bowel syndrome. Low-fat yogurt and kefir are both solid sources of probiotic bacteria.
6. Stick to a regular eating schedule
One of the best dieting tricks of all time is to stick to a regular eating schedule. Consuming your meals at the same time each day will help keep your digestive system in tiptop shape. Aim to schedule your meals as close to the same time as possible from one meal to the next.
7. Drink water
Another highly effective dieting tip is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated is one of the keys to losing weight (and keeping it off) as well as promoting the overall health of your digestion. Water helps break down fats and fiber in your body, allowing these foods to pass through your body more easily.
8. Skip tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine
Bad habits like smoking and the excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol can wreak havoc on your body. It’s a smart idea to stay away from all of these vices as much as possible. They interfere with the smooth functioning of your digestive system and can eventually lead to problems like stomach ulcers.
9. Exercise regularly
It is not exactly a dieting tip but regular exercise is essential if you want to keep your digestive system in great working order. Exercising on a regular basis actually helps move food through your digestive track. It greatly reduces constipation and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Moreover, it’s an effective way to tone your body.
10. Fight stress
Stress can negatively affect your digestion. It is important to limit stress as much as possible in addition to eating well and exercising regularly. Fortunately, the three things go hand in hand. Both exercise and a healthy diet fight stress.
Many people are unaware of just how much dieting can affect their digestion. But it makes sense when you think about it. Putting healthy foods into your body helps it function much more effectively and efficiently. These ten tips are all great ways to maintain the health of your digestive system for years to come.