Many people suffer from digestive problems like bloating, cramping, acidity, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation due to a variety of reasons or underlying medical conditions. However, even a healthy person can experience digestive troubles because of unhealthy eating patterns and lifestyle. Especially, if an individual is deficient of fibrous and probiotic-rich foods, then the such digestive complications seem more frequent and chronic.
So, healthy changes in lifestyle and diet are needed to maintain a good gut health. Apart from that, consumption of a few natural foods can aid in the digestion process and can keep digestive health fit and fine.
Here are some foods and drinks that can help you digest better:
Aloe vera juice - Aloe vera juice helps to normalize the gut bacteria and increases the level of water in the intestine which further helps in easy excretion or passing of the stool. Mix 20-30 ml of aloe vera juice in a glass of warm water and have it in an empty stomach for fast results. It can help you in treating frequent constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other inflammatory diseases of the intestine.
Hing or Asafoetida water - Hing is another natural ingredient that aids digestion as it increases the blood flow in the digestive system, enhances the activity of digestive enzymes, and regulates the process of digestion. Take 2 pinches of hing or asafoetida in a glass of warm water and drink 30 minutes prior to any meal. Additionally, you can also add hing in your regular meals to prevent gastric problems.
Hot water - It is the most common and known fact that drinking adequate water is necessary for better digestion. But drinking mildly hot water is much more effective in treating digestive discomfort. Hot water helps in breaking down the food faster while enlarging the blood vessels of the gut. This facilitates quick food movement inside the digestive tract and in easy absorption of nutrients in lesser time.
Curd salad - Curd has gut-friendly bacteria called probiotic, also known as good bacteria. Mixing curd or yogurt with a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and sprouts in the form of salad can keep your gut healthy and promote smooth digestion. Curd salad can be consume 5-6 times in a week to boost the digestive system.
Chia seeds - Chia seeds are treasure of nutrients, loaded with a decent amount of protein, fibers, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which provide several health benefits, including boosting the digestive system. They keep you full for a longer time and make you eat fewer calories per day and contribute in healthy digestion. You can add chia seeds in smoothies, juices, curd, oatmeal, porridge, pudding, and in regular drinking water after soaking it.
Fruit salad - Many fruits help in digestion such as papaya, apple, banana, kiwi, watermelon, guava, etc. They are rich in soluble fiber, various vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes which help in breaking down the foods and increasing the volume of stools. This prevents several digestive problems like bloating, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, constipation, etc.
Oats - Oats are packed with blot-beating fiber which digests slowly and improves the digestion in two ways. First, its fiber helps to add bulk to the stool which reduces the risk of conditions like bloating and constipation. Secondly, some variety of this grain works as prebiotics which helps to feed healthy bacteria of gut.
Green vegetables - Green leafy vegetables should be one of the important parts of our daily diet. They contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, insoluble fiber, and unusual type of sugar which is good for our healthy gut bacteria. They also help to develop the gut microbiome. Some of the most common dark green leafy vegetables which are very beneficial include spinach, broccoli, cabbage, fenugreek seeds, coriander leaves, mint, bottle guard, ridge guard, etc.
Herbs and its seeds - Adding herbs and seeds such as cumin, carom, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, lemongrass, ginger tea, peppermint, etc. in daily meals or snacks help to secrete gastric juices which are necessary for proper digestion and secretion of digestive enzymes. Additionally, using these herbs and seeds in the form of tea or chewing 1 teaspoon of any of these seeds simply after a meal helps to get the food digested easily.
Some bad habits that can interfere with your healthy digestion -
- Frequent uses of carbonated and caffeinated drinks such as cold drinks, coffee, tea, etc. can lead to acidity, indigestion, and diarrhea.
- Processed, oily, spicy and junk foods contain a lot of salt which can hold on extra water and can cause edema, inflammatory disorders, acidity, heartburn, bloating, and constipation.
- Not chewing food thoroughly can lead to abdominal pain, cramps, constipation etc.
- Not drinking adequate water can be the leading cause of severe heartburn, acidity, ulcer in the stomach, piles, and inflammatory bowel disease.
- The habit of overeating or consuming one large meal daily can lead to obesity or serious digestive problems.
- Having a meal and lying down immediately can cause problems like acid reflux, acidity, constipation, etc.
- Lack of physical activity or sedentary lifestyle slows down digestive health and leads to many digestive problems.
To keep our digestion healthy for all our life, whatever we eat should be easily digestible. So, always choose your foods, diet, or supplements appropriately. Also, make sure to notice and maintain the right portion size of your meals to avoid digestive problems.
Don’t ignore your recurring or chronic digestive issues. Seek medical help and get treated.