A recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that nearly two-thirds of Americans are burdened by gastrointestinal and digestive problems.
For some, it may be a little indigestion with a side of bloating and gas. For others, it may be heartburn or constipation. For the more severe, it may manifest as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcers, or chronic diarrhea. No matter what it is, digestive issues are no fun, causing pain, embarrassment, loss of sleep and sometimes declining overall health. For those of you lucky enough to experience a healthy digestive system, just remember, maintaining that health is extremely important.
There are a ton of pharmaceutical companies out there that boast instant relief, and cures for all types of digestive problems. The truth is, these may work temporarily, but they are not long-term solutions, and can even have side effects if taken too long or improperly. In reality, it’s just putting a small band-aid on a bigger wound.
What causes digestive problems?
There are many factors that can cause digestive problems, from stress and medication to bacteria in food or just a diet that doesn’t agree with you. Chronic conditions like colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease can cause ongoing digestive issues. But just remember, for every cause and symptom, there is a treatment.
Here are 7 tips to help maintain or improve your digestion naturally and permanently:
1. Eat foods that help with digestion
There are herbs like ginger that help soothe your stomach. There are plenty of over-the-counter medicines aimed at digestion problems. However, the best thing you can do is to change your diet to consist primarily of foods that improve your digestion. This is trickier than it sounds to do on your own. Viome’s Gut Intelligence™ and Health Intelligence™ tests help determine your unique microbiome profile and provide personalized recommendations on what you should and should not eat to improve your protein fermentation, intestinal barrier health, digestive efficiency, inflammation and more. Eating right for a healthy gut will help with your overall digestive health.
2. Be mindful as you eat
With today’s hectic lifestyle, many of us have a tendency to scarf down our food. Unfortunately, this can cause weight gain and poor digestion. A common piece of advice is to chew your food 32 times before you swallow. Studies have shown that increasing your mastication can lower your risk of obesity by aiding in appetite control. If you eat too fast, you are done before your stomach can even relay to your brain that you are full. If you slow down, chew well and enjoy your food, you are less likely to overeat. Breaking the food down by chewing before it hits your stomach also helps with your digestion.
3. Ensure your body gets the proper supplements, vitamins and probiotics it needs
Nutrition is key. Getting the proper vitamins, supplements and pre and probiotics to ensure your gut is healthy can go a long way toward improving digestive issues. Viome’s Precision Supplements™ are made to order based on your body’s unique microbiome and cellular health needs. These daily supplements are uniquely formulated for you from 200+ premium ingredients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, botanical extracts, amino acids, prebiotics and probiotics. Plus, they arrive in convenient daily packs, right to your door, on a monthly basis.
4. Drink lots of water!
Water and other liquids help break down food in your body so you can properly digest it. We are, however, constantly losing water through the skin, respiration and going to the bathroom. The National Academies for Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends on average women should drink 91 ounces of water a day, while men should shoot for 125 ounces per day. If you are more active, you may need to increase your intake. Try keeping a water bottle with you all day and filling it up as needed.
5. Reduce your stress
Your gut and brain are connected. As such, stress has been known to wreak havoc on your digestive system. During stressful times, blood and energy are directed away from your digestive system. Focusing on yourself through yoga, breathing exercises, meditation and simple “me time” can work wonders for your digestion.
6. Kick the unhealthy habits
Smoking and drinking alcohol can lead to increased acidity in your stomach and promote acid reflux, stomach ulcers and more. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can certainly help improve digestion. Additionally, eating fatty and sugary foods, especially late at night right before you lay down, can really be tough on your digestive system. Your body needs time to digest, and gravity is your friend. Eating a healthy diet and leaving a couple hours to digest before you go to bed will help as well.
This one seems obvious. It is a prescription for nearly everything. But it’s so true! If you are new to exercise, we are not telling you to become a health nut. Even a simple walk after dinner can help you digest your food. Moderate exercise can promote easier digestion in your gut. Getting upright and moving around helps gravity do its job as well. So, set aside some time to take a destressing stroll around the neighborhood after dinner and pay attention to how your body responds.
These simple lifestyle changes can go a long way toward better digestion, mental, and physical health. Remember, you have one body, and it’s all connected. To find out more about Viome products to assist with tips one and three, visit the Viome products page.
The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome provides this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.