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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

5 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

If you are suffering from poor digestion, you will suffer from a variety of health issues that can include reduced energy levels, bloating and constipation. You can definitely benefit by naturally improving your gut health and it is something that you can truly manage on your own. Good digestion will provide you with many health benefits, including an increased immune system, improved energy levels, and overall wellbeing. Here are five great ways to naturally improve your digestion.
  1. Always Stay Hydrated
Water is undoubtedly one of the best things you can provide your body with – and your digestive system is no different. Just like a shortage on fiber can negatively impact your digestions, not drinking enough water can slow down your digestive system significantly and make it more difficult for you to pass stools. Your gut needs a constant water supply to move waste through your system, so make an effort to consume a glass of water every few hours; it will also help to prevent bloating and constipation.
A great guideline to follow if you want to make sure that your body is sufficiently hydrated is to keep an eye on your urine; if it’s clear then you know you are getting enough water every day. If not, try to increase your daily water intake by adding a few more glasses until you get the desired result.
  1. Stay Physically Active
If possible, always maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. Physical exercise is not only good for improving your body’s circulation and overall health, but it will allow your digestive system to work optimally. Physical exercise speeds up blood flow to all your organs and stimulates the muscles in your digestive tract.
Exercise also reduces stress, so it has multiple benefits to offer your body. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis; this can include walking, swimming, or even using an elliptical trainer. You can do this every day of the week and increase your body’s digestive system.
  1. Avoid Processed Food and Refined Sugar
Apart from the fact that you will gain weight, eating fatty or fried foods are not healthy for your gut. These foods are difficult to digest and it will slow the entire digestive process down. Eating foods that contain a high amount of sugar will also case a build-up of unnecessary garbage in your gut that will only weigh your entire system down, and the same goes for full-fat dairy products. Rather replace these with low-fat or fat-free dairy products and try to go for lean cuts of meat like chicken breast and turkey. Also avoid foods that are high in sugar and dairy, and replace butter and margarine with olive oil when preparing meals.
  1. Increase Your Fiber Intake
You’ve definitely heard this before – eat more fiber to improve your digestion. Fiber will help to move things along in your digestive tract and it will also slow down the uptake of glucose in your blood stream. This in turn will help to keep your blood sugar levels normal and constant. If you eat enough fiber every day, it will also help to increase the overall weight and size of your stools, thereby making it easy for your body to sufficiently pass them through your digestive system. 
Without enough fiber, your digestive system might feel gassy and constipated; you can reduce this effect by stoking up on fiber-rich foods like nuts and seeds, rye bread, apples, raisins, leafy vegetables and oatmeal.
  1. Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Probiotics, or good bacteria, are naturally found in your gut and have many benefits to offer your entire digestive system. They work to prevent many different health disorders and conditions, especially those that influence your digestive tract. Probiotics work to regulate your bowel movements and also help with the natural uptake of nutrients and vitamins. Experts recommend eating foods that are rich in probiotics, like sauerkraut, yoghurt that contains “live cultures”, miso soup, kefir and sour pickles. You can also try taking a probiotic supplement which is available in a powder or capsule form.
Your gut works to process food, protect you from illnesses, and absorb nutrients. There is almost ten times as much bacterium in your gut cells than any other cell in your body and it is important to make sure that you keep your entire digestive system as healthy as possible. A healthy gut has many benefits to offer and this is why it is so important to keep an eye on the foods that you consume. If you want a healthy body, an increase in energy levels, and overall wellbeing, always listen to your gut!

About the Author:
Lorien is a contributor for HealthLine.com, a popular resource that offers expert health advice from qualified professionals and experienced contributors. 

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