Our bodies are complex organisms with intricate systems and functions. When we don’t treat them well or provide the nutriitamins they need, our bodies begin to develop discomfort and possible issues that may eventually require medical intervention. Slow digestion is one of the main health problems many people struggle with daily. Diets packed with processed foods and sugar lead most people to experience sluggishness and even constipation as a result.
It’s quite common as well, affecting an estimated 74% of Americans who live with digestive issues. Few talk to their doctor about their symptoms, and many go without treatment. Read on for 5 tips for improving slow digestion.
SYMPTOMS OF SLOW DIGESTION
There are several signs that your digestion may be slow, and some may not be uncomfortable — or even noticeable — unless you’re paying attention.
Symptoms like these could indicate that your body may be having difficulty processing food and eliminating waste and toxins. For example:
- Stomach pain or discomfort. Bloating, gas, cramps, and constipation could be signs that your digestion is slow, food and eliminating waste and toxins.
- Unintentional changes in weight. If you haven’t changed your diet or exercise routine yet, find yourself gaining or losing weight – you may have slow/unhealthy digestion.
- Difficulty sleeping. Slow digestion and an unhealthy gut can cause insomnia or chronic fatigue – even after you’ve rested.
- Sugar cravings. f you have sugar cravings, your digestion may not be at its peak. Consuming refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup may increase inflammation, leading to cravings, which may exacerbate the problem.
- Skin irritation. A damaged or unhealthy digestive system may affect the skin since it can force your body to release toxins in other ways. If you experience skin irritation or eczema, and your diet isn’t very balanced, you may have slow digestion.
- Intolerance to foods. Food intolerances, which differ from food allergies, could result from an imbalance of bacteria in your gut.
- Autoimmune conditions. Poor gut health can increase inflammation throughout the body, impacting your immune system functions and leading to slow digestion.
WHAT CAUSES SLOW DIGESTION?
Most causes of slow digestion are related to an individual’s diet – specifically, the digestive tract can become sluggish and backed up. Alcohol consumption is another factor that could cause the body to struggle with slow digestion as alcohol disrupts healthy gut flora and processes. Another dietary cause of slow digestion may be consuming too many vegetables, dairy, legumes, cereals, grains, or fruits with naturally fermenting sugars. That likely seems contradictory, but for some people, increased amounts of insoluble fiber for some people can lead to disrupted or slow digestion.
QUICK AND EASY WAYS TO HELP SPEED UP SLOW DIGESTION
You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to speed up your digestion and improve your gut health. While the most straightforward changes you can make have to do primarily with the foods you eat (and don’t eat), exercise and hydration are also important.
- Eat plenty of soluble and insoluble fibre. Be sure to consume foods that are rich in soluble fibre. These include fruits such as oranges, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, apples, and mangoes, as well as dark and richly-coloured vegetables such as leafy greens and bell peppers. Legumes and beans are also rich in insoluble fibre, and multi-grain bread, quinoa, and nuts can also boost your diet with go d fibre content. Watch how your body responds to these types of fibres and adjust intake as needed. The recommended fibre requirement for m is 30-38 grams per day and 21-25 grams for women.
- Add probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are essential for a healthy digestive system and to maintain balanced levels of good gut bacteria. Believe it or not, probiotics are in everyday foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, and even pickles.
- Reduce your consumption of meat. Red meat can tax the digestive system by slowing down the body’s ability to process other food. As an alternative, try balancing your diet with other sources of protein such as nuts, tofu, and peanuts, and when eating animal products, opt for leaner options such as fish and poultry.
- Drink plenty of water. The recommended daily amount of water you ink is eight 8-ounce glasses, which is about two litres or half a gallon.
- Exercise daily. Since your food processes through muscular contractions in the digestive system, you can speed up your digestion by moving y ur body! Thirty minutes of exercise – each day – mixed between aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate and strength training to develop your muscles. A mixed effort of aerobic and anaerobic activity is the perfect way to ensure optimal digestive support.
HOW DO YOU NURTURE YOUR DIGESTIVE HELP?
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**This is a collaborative post.