Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The 12 Best Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally

Everyone experiences occasional digestive symptoms such as upset stomach, gas, heartburn, nausea, constipation or diarrhea. 
However, when these symptoms occur frequently, they can cause major disruptions to your life. 
Fortunately, diet and lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on your gut health. 
Here are 12 evidence-based ways to improve your digestion naturally.

1. Eat Real Food
Food additives, including glucose, salt and other chemicals, have been suggested to contribute to increased gut inflammation, leading to a condition called leaky gut (2). 
Trans fats are found in many processed foods. They’re well-known for their negative effects on heart health but have also been associated with an increased risk of developing ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (3). 
What’s more, processed foods like low-calorie drinks and ice creams often contain artificial sweeteners, which may cause digestive problems. 
One study found that eating 50 grams of the artificial sweetener xylitol led to bloating and diarrhea in 70% of people, while 75 grams of the sweetener erythritol caused the same symptoms in 60% of people (4). 
Studies have also shown that artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols decrease the number of healthy gut bacteria and increase the number of harmful gut bacteria (456).
Gut bacteria imbalances have been linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and irritable bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (7). 
Fortunately, scientific evidence suggests that diets high in nutrients protect against digestive diseases (8). 
Therefore, eating a diet based on whole foods and limiting the intake of processed foods may be best for optimal digestion. 
SUMMARYDiets high in processed foods have been linked to a higher risk of digestive disorders. Eating a diet low in food additives, trans fats and artificial sweeteners may improve your digestion and protect against digestive diseases. 

2. Get Plenty of Fiber

It’s common knowledge that fiber is beneficial for good digestion. 
Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps add bulk to your stool. Insoluble fiber acts like a giant toothbrush, helping your digestive tract keep everything moving along (9).
Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, legumes, nuts and seeds, while vegetables, whole grains and wheat bran are good sources of insoluble fiber. 
A high-fiber diet has been linked to a reduced risk of digestive conditions, including ulcers, reflux, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and IBS (10). 
Prebiotics are another type of fiber that feed your healthy gut bacteria. Diets high in this fiber have been shown to reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel conditions (8). 
Prebiotics are found in many fruits, vegetables and grains.