I never knew how important digestion would be to my overall well-being as I grew older. It really is one of those things that no one ever thinks about. We just eat the food and expect our bodies to do the rest. For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), digestion consumes our lives. It’s all I ever think about these days and probably something I will continue to think about for the rest of my life. If you have no trouble with digestion, you should consider yourself a lucky human being!
Healthline has a great article titled “The 11 Best Ways To Improve Your Digestion Naturally.” I will be identifying three of these eleven ways that I use to improve my digestion on a daily basis. For people with chronic digestive disorders like me, symptoms associated with bad digestion can be a major disruption to daily activities. Because of my disease, I have missed out on time with my family, friends, at school, and at work. Every aspect of my life has been affected in some small or big way, which required me to make some lifestyle changes, specifically in the arena of nutrition.
1. Practice mindful eating.
During the first year of my disease, I went to see a nutritionist because I felt like everything I was eating was causing me problems. My nutritionist told me about mindful eating which means not eating too much, too quickly. Stop to savor each bite and swallow before you go to take another bite. Often times, when we are really hungry we just dive into our meal and eat as fast as we can. She also suggested putting away any distractions, like my phone or the TV, while I am eating. This helps me focus on the meal in front of me and not eat aimlessly.
2. Practice digestion activating stretches.
I first discovered digestion activating stretches from Brandon Godsey’s book which I mentioned in my previous blog post. These are stretches that I do when I wake up in the morning and am still lying in bed. They include spinal twists, the Happy Baby yoga pose and knees to the chest. These stretches help wake up your digestive system and minimize problems during your morning trip to the bathroom. Check out these 5 best stretches to promote digestion from Aaptiv to learn more.
3. Stay hydrated!
My third tip is to stay hydrated throughout the day. I have a 32 ounce Hydro Flask that I fill at least 3-4 times a day with ice water. This equals one gallon of water which is actually the recommended amount a person should consume each day. This, in conjunction with all the tea I drink, keeps me energized. I have noticed many gastrointestinal benefits from staying hydrated, but there are also other benefits to this like having clear skin.
If you add some of these tips to your daily regimen, you will notice your digestive system improving. They can be hard to maintain at first, but consistency is key if you want to see results. After putting these tips into action, I have noticed a huge improvement in my symptoms and overall a feeling of being in control. Don’t be afraid to talk about digestion with a nutritionist or a doctor. It is normal and so important for us to live and lead healthy lives. A healthy gut = a healthy you!
What are some tips you have for better digestion?