Digest This!: Tips For Your Digestive Health

Could some simple fixes like mindful eating and natural digestive aids help with bloating, gas, heartburn, and indigestion? Consider these tips for your digestive health.

Try mindful eating

Being more attentive while we eat can serve many purposes aside from avoiding digestive discomfort. It can help us appreciate and enjoy our food more and slow us down so we can savor the full experience. There’s also the happy result of helping us find calm and reduce stress. Here are some steps to consider to eat more mindfully.

1. Eat before you’re ravenous

Don’t wait to eat until you’re starving, and try to avoid skipping meals; this makes it really hard to slow down and savor your food.

2. Drink water first

Drinking a tall glass of water before meals can help to minimize overeating; it’s also a great way to stay hydrated.

3. Chew with purpose

Mindfully chew, then swallow everything in your mouth before raising another forkful; this will slow you down and help cut down the amount you eat.

4. Stop before you’re full

Eat only enough to be nearly full; this can help your brain’s signals catch up with your stomach’s true extent of fullness.

5. Avoid distractions while eating

Sitting in front of the television or pulling up YouTube on your phone while you eat will counteract your attempts to be mindful. Try giving your full attention to what you eat by saving the movie for after dinner.

6. Try digestive enzymes

If you struggle to digest typically gassy foods like beans or Brussels sprouts, digestive enzymes, found at health food stores, may be your best friends.

Naturally produced in our body, digestive enzymes help break down food in our stomach and intestines.

There are three main types:

  • Amylase breaks down starches and carbohydrates into sugars.
  • Protease breaks down proteins into amino acids.
  • Lipase breaks down lipids (fats and oils) into glycerol and fatty acids.

Try these digestive helpers

There are plenty of other options that might help to tackle your tummy troubles.

Peppermint

You can find peppermint as a tea or as encapsulated oil. Some studies have shown success in using peppermint for relieving symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. If you’re someone who suffers from heartburn or acid reflux, though, be careful—that peppermint might worsen your symptoms.

Psyllium husk

Psyllium is a great source of soluble fiber that can be used to normalize irregular stools due to constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome.

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)

DGL, in chewable tablets or lozenges, can be soothing and supportive to the tissues of the stomach. Non-DGL licorice can raise blood pressure, so be aware.

Stock up on probiotics

Friendly bacteria naturally living in our guts help with everything from boosting immunity to enabling digestion. Supplementing with probiotics can boost the live healthy bacteria count in our digestive systems.

Probiotics in supplement form help you avoid the sugar and dairy in yogurt and can be much more potent. Probiotics benefits include reducing bloating and constipation.

Get it checked

If your digestive woes can’t be easily managed with these tips, or if your symptoms have persisted for a long time, it might be time to see a health professional for a thorough check-up.

Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before trying a supplement, especially if you a medical condition or take prescription or over-the-counter medications. For example, probiotics should be taken several hours away from antibiotics.

Article copyright 2020 by Alive Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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