Your digestive health is very important, and you shouldn’t take it for granted. When you think about it, it takes a lot of work for your body to turn the foods you eat into the nutrition and energy you need.
Digestive problems can mean more than unwanted, embarrassing symptoms. There are so many different types of digestive problems, that it’s important to understand what can cause these and how to prevent them from occurring.
The lifestyle you enjoy and the choice of foods you eat can all have an impact on your digestive health. Follow our list of dos and don’ts and improve your digestion with the help of Digestive Advantage® today.
1. Don’t eat while stressed or angry
It’s interesting to know that our brain and digestive system are connected(1). Even the thought of eating can release the stomach’s juices before food gets there. An emotional brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, stress can be a cause of an upset stomach(1). For better digestion, do what you can to help manage your stress levels(2)
2. Don’t lie down immediately after eating
can be common to feel drowsy after eating a meal. Feeling full and relaxed can give you the urge to take a nap. This may just be your body’s reaction to the biochemical changes caused by digestion of certain foods3. The drowsiness should pass, and you should try to avoid having a nap.
Lying down after eating makes it easier for your stomach acid to travel up into the esophagus, increasing the chance of acid reflux symptoms4. Try to refrain from eating within 3 hours of going to sleep(4).
3. Don’t hesitate. If you have to go…go!
Everyone goes to the bathroom for a number two. If you need to go, you should try to go. If you hold it in, you could miss the opportunity to go all together5. If you repeatedly postpone bathroom trips until a more convenient time, it may lead to constipation problems(6).
4. Don’t eat the wrong foods
Keep it natural and try to avoid fatty and fried foods. They can move undigested through the body too quickly. This process can either lead to diarrhea or it can make the food you’ve consumed stay in your digestive tract for too long, making you feel full and bloated(7).
5. Do keep hydrated
Your body needs water to stay hydrated in order for your systems to be able to work properly. Fluids help carry nutrients to your cells, can flush bacteria from your bladder and may help to prevent constipation. Therefore, staying hydrated can help move waste through your intestines(8).
6. Do improve your posture
Good posture matters as it may help alleviate stomach discomfort related to reflux(9). Staying upright may help your muscles contract and relax as food passes through your body during digestion(9). When you’re slouched, it may encourage food to move back up and out of your stomach into the esophagus(10).
Posture should also be taken in to account when you are sitting in the bathroom. Try using a step to raise your knees closer to your chest. This can help you get into the squat position to help you pass stool without straining(11)
7. Do move more
Active people can have smoother digestion(12). Gentle movement may aid digestion, as it stimulates the intestinal contractions, aiding the passage of stool through the colon(13). Take a light stroll about half an hour after your meal.
Be sure not to over-do it on the exercise though; strenuous exercise on a full stomach could lead to indigestion(14).
8. Do take probiotics
To help keep your digestive system working as efficiently as it can, it’s important to maintain the right balance of good bacteria vs bad bacteria. That’s where probiotics can come into the picture.
Probiotic supplements can help assist with common digestive problems like gas, bloating, or regularity, or simply to supplement a diet.
Try a daily probiotic today from Digestive Advantage and see how it can promote long-term digestive and immune health*. Protected by a natural protein shell, our BC30 patented probiotic survives stomach acid 100x better than leading probiotics and yoghurt‡. Delivering good bacteria where you need it.
(1) Komaroff, Anthony. “The gut-brain connection” Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection
(2) DerSarkissian, Carol. “9 Tips for Smooth Digestion” WebMD. 06 Oct 2016. www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/good-digestion
(3) Butler, Natalie. Why Do I Feel Tired After Eating?” Healthline. 19 Apr 2018. www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/why-do-i-feel-tired-after-eating
(4) Fujiwara et al. “Association between dinner-to-bed time and gastro-esophageal reflux disease” The National Center for Biotechnology Information. 2005. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16393212
(5) Pathak, Neha. “Why Can’t I Poop?” WebMD. 13 Nov 2017. www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/why-cant-i-poop
(6) “Constipation and Impaction” Harvard Health Publishing. Jan 2014. www.health.harvard.edu/digestive-health/constipation-and-impaction
(7) Bhals, Christine. “11 Foods to Avoid When You’re Having Digestive Problems” Everyday Health. 21 Jun 2017. www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/diet/foods-to-avoid-during-digestive-problems/#06
(8) “The importance of staying hydrated” Harvard Health Publishing.18 Jun 2015. www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-staying-hydrated
(9) Vann, Madeline. “The Best Moves to Aid Digestion” Everyday Health. 21 May 2013. www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health-pictures/the-best-moves-to-aid-digestion.aspx
(10) Scaccia, Annamarya. “9 Functions of the Muscular System” Healthline. 21 Mar 2018. www.healthline.com/health/functions-of-the-muscular-system
(11) Luo, Elaine. “How to Make Yourself Poop” Healthline. 30 Oct. 2017. www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/how-to-make-yourself-poop
(12) DerSarkissian, Carol. “9 Tips for Smooth Digestion” WebMD. 06 Oct 2016. www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/good-digestion
(13) Vann, Madeline. “The Best Moves to Aid Digestion” Everyday Health. 21 May 2013. www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health-pictures/the-best-moves-to-aid-digestion.aspx
(14) Robinson, Jennifer. “Indigestion and your Digestive System” Web MD. 21 Jan 2017. www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/indigestion#1