Digestion is an intricate bodily process that involves mixing food with digestive liquids, getting it to move through the digestive tract and breaking it down.
The digestive system starts at the mouth as you chew and swallow food, and ends in the intestines.
Unfortunately there are many things which could go wrong with the digestive system and many things that affect the function of the digestive system. Common digestive disorders include constipation, diarrhoea, Chrohn’s disease, diverticulosis, diverticulitis and cancers of the colon and bowels.
Digestive health can be affected by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, but many digestive issues can also be genetic.
We rounded up our best tips in a series of articles to help you keep your digestive system healthy, and how to spot a problem.
1. Avoid certain foods
Food is important to keep your digestive system going as it should, but not all foods are equally beneficial. Certain foods do not digest as well as others and can cause various symptoms of indigestion, such as bloating, gas and nausea. Here are a number of foods you should cut back on for good digestion.
2. Practice good food hygiene
Many digestive issues arise from foodborne parasites and bacteria that can make you seriously ill. Your risk of getting food poisoning can increase if food is exposed to higher temperatures, if you cook food in a large batch, or if you cross-contaminate raw meat and vegetables. Food poisoning can be avoided with the help of these tips.
3. Consider using a probiotic
Probiotics have become an important topic in health conversations as scientists and the public become more aware of the importance of a healthy digestive system. While a probiotic can’t cure a condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, it can still aid your digestive system. There are many things to consider when choosing a probiotic. Continue reading here if you want to know more.
4. Go to the doctor if something’s up
A stomach ache might not necessarily indicate something as serious as bowel cancer, but may still be a cause for concern. This article mentions the most important red flags that could signify cancer.
5. Don’t be scared of those screenings
As you grow older, a colonoscopy is a vital routine procedure to help rule out any colon issues. Unfortunately, this might be a daunting process for many and something they would rather avoid. If your doctor orders a colonoscopy, don’t put it off. Comfort and reassure yourself by reading this.
6. Know your digestive system
You don’t have to be a medical expert to separate fact from fallacy when it comes to your digestive system. There are many things you might believe that are simply not true at all (including that you need enemas to keep your digestive tract healthy). Don’t fall for these myths.
7. Consider working with a nutritionist
Do you experience irritable bowel syndrome or simply have general digestive difficulties? A nutritionist can play a key role in helping you follow a healthy diet and adopt healthy habits. Our experts at Nutritional Solutions put together this guide on how to manage IBS.
8. Stop bad habits in their tracks
Are you jeopardising your own digestive health without even being aware if it? There are many things we do on a daily basis that may negatively affect our digestion. Read more here.
9. Eat asparagus
Love it or hate it, according to research this veggie is good for your gut health. It’s a prebiotic food, meaning that it feeds the good bacteria that live in your gut. Not sure how to incorporate it into your diet? Read more here.
10. Consider taking up yoga
If you are struggling with poor digestion, these yoga poses may help.
Image credit: iStock