Digestive Health – Things you need to take care of!
Importance of digestive health and how to improve it.
Digestion is one of the fundamental processes of the human body. The process that starts from the mouth enables humans to absorb the nutrients it needs for the metabolism, sustaining life. Digestion is the process of breaking down the food parts mechanically and chemically so that our body can absorb the minerals – carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, and water. It aides us to absorb and create energy that is needed for our daily activities. Hence, it is obvious that if the digestion is not proper, it directly affects the day to day activities and normal metabolism of the body. However, many people ignore the importance of digestive health. Once you ignore the unhealthy digestive conditions, it can lead to worse situations, sometimes even fatal. The basic understanding on how our digestive organs work will help in improving the health of the same.
What is the process of digestion?
Digestion starts form mouth. The food is the first breakdown mechanically with the help of saliva by chewing. The enzymes produced by various glands helps to break down the insoluble large food into small soluble particles so that it can be absorbed into watery plasma. It then travels through the esophagus to the stomach by the mechanism called peristalsis. Gastric juice in the stomach with contains HCl acid and pepsin which starts protein digestion. The food then passes to small intestine before which it is mixed with digestive enzymes produced by liver and pancreas. 95% of absorption of nutrients happens in the small intestine. There are a number of other chemicals and enzymes that break down each food molecule to carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins. Water and minerals are reabsorbed to the blood in the colon.
What are the common digestive health issues?
Because Digestion is one of the most important processes of body, slightest glitch in the process can affect the digestive health and overall health. Since it is a complicated machinery and process, the immunity mistake may unknowingly attack our own digestive issues. Various lifestyle changes and habits affect the body. It is important to take note of what we eat and how we eat if want to maintain digestive health. Our body shows some common symptoms indicate any malfunctioning in the process of digestion.
It includes burning sensation, loss of appetite, bloating, aversion to certain food products, vomiting, diarrhea, color and texture changes in excreta, etc. It is important to take a closer look at your excreta and note any difference. Even though your digestion is good, a close look on excreta can reveal other medical conditions you may suffer. If you find these symptoms, it is advisable to contact a doctor as soon as possible. Since digestion is a long procedure including many organs, the problem might be associated with any of the organs. As they say, you should treat the disease, not the symptoms.
Digestive health is affected mainly by improper lifestyle and poor food habits.
Improve your digestive health
1. Improve food habits.
It is obvious that the type of food plays a major role in the long and complicated process of digestion. There are some foods to add and some to avoid. Let’s have a look at those.
Add more fiber-rich food to your diet.
Fiber is known to be an aiding for digestion. Fiber helps in the smooth movement of food through digestive tracts, thus avoid constipation. Hence, adding fiber-rich food to your diets can help in improving digestive health. Whole grain bread, hot cereals like oatmeal, grape nuts etc. Issues like some digestion as diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be prevented by eating fiber-rich content. Both insoluble and soluble fiber is significant. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested and adds bulk to stool. Soluble fiber removes water and makes stool less watery.
Fat can be miserable for the body at times. Fatty foods tend to affect digestive process negatively and hence deteriorate digestive health and can cause constipation. Most of the fast foods and junk foods have a large amount of fat. They may seem tasty but leads to poor digestion, health issues, and obesity. Obese people have the tendency to eat more, again having difficulty with digestion and again adding fat to the body. This makes the situation worse. It is advisable to reduce the consumption of fat. However, completely avoiding fat can also create issues. Therefore choosing food with less amount of fat along with high fiber content can create a balance.
Water is actually elixir of life. Staying hydrated can avoid almost every physiological problems of human body and it doesn’t differ in the case of digestive health. Having enough water can help in the smooth process of digestion.
2. Lifestyle changes
In the modern era, our lifestyle affects the body functions largely. Poor lifestyle is the reason for early health issues in millennials.
Eat on schedule
Keeping a schedule on eating time can create a lot of difference in not only your digestive health but also the overall health. Breakfast before 8 AM, Lunch at 1 PM and dinner before 8 pm is the ideal time to have food. A small walk after dinner can help you in better digestion and better sleep. The saying ‘Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Lord, and Dinner like a Pauper’ (very poor person) has a great significance also.
Exercise regularly and reduce stress
Along with the multiple benefits of exercise, it burns fat and helps in proper digestion. Along with that, it helps in the proper movement of food thus reducing constipation. The removal of fat ensures proper functioning of glands and liver thus again improves digestive health.
Stress is another major factor. It can interrupt the functioning of almost entire body functions of us. Exercising regularly, outdoor sports, meditation, or Yoga can be effective in keeping body healthy, under controlled weight and fight stress.
Avoid smoking, alcohol or tobacco
Smoking, alcohol and tobacco affect glands, enzymes, acids and liver. They restrict the proper functioning and proper digestion. Alcoholic people tend to lose the sense of slow eating and digestion and thus create digestive issues. It may also cause stomach ulcers and heartburns. Even excessive amount of coffee disrupts the functioning of digestive system.
Digestive health is something, which sustains our life, provides required energy for all the other body parts. That is why it is not okay to take the digestive system for granted. Especially with modern lifestyle and old ages, it is important to take care of our food habits and digestion.
I hope this article helped you understand more about ‘Digestive health and how to improve it’.
Indiana hospital and heart institute are one of the best hospitals in Mangalore, Karnataka. We offer latest medical service equipped with advanced technology and a mind of compassion. Our specialized departments with expert doctors are always at your service. Well trained paramedics team is available 24×7 for emergency services.