You are what you eat! This might sound cliché, but it’s true. What you put in your mouth impacts you’re your health. We’re told to look after our mental and physical well-being for a healthier lifestyle. Surprisingly, you can take care of both if you focus on your gut health. Since your GI tract plays a part in your immunity to disease, you should ensure you’re treating it right.
But does looking out for your gut health mean only eating greens and working out all day? You don’t need to change many habits for a healthy gut. Be sure to incorporate the following tips into your lifestyle, and you’ll start noticing a healthier abdomen.
Eat smaller portions
Many of us think that since breakfast, lunch, and dinner are the only three meals of the day, we’re supposed to stuff ourselves to stay full till the next meal. However, studies show that eating smaller portions more than three times results in a healthier gut.
Also known as portion control, this trick has been proven to help obese people reduce weight because it promotes the body’s ability to metabolize faster. It also helps reduces the chances of developing diabetes and chronic diseases caused by overeating.
It’s also important to mention that eating on a regular schedule also aids in smooth digestion. If you want to lose weight or reduce your sugar and cholesterol levels, you should eat at the exact same times every day.
Look for early symptoms of disease
Your gut will send you signals if something is upsetting it. It would be best if you looked out for symptoms out of the ordinary that might be an early indication of an ailment. In cases of stomach cancer and rare peritoneal mesothelioma, look out for pain, bloating, and fluid build-up.
In the case of mesothelioma, survival statistics are grim, so the sooner you know, the better your chances of increasing longevity. So schedule an appointment with your care provider.
Symptoms like constipation, vomiting, fever, sudden weight loss, or loss of appetite are common symptoms that indicate a gut-related illness. Visiting the doctor timely will allow you to get the best treatment for your gut.
Stress can adversely affect not only our mental health, but our abdominal health as well. Being stressed releases hormones in the blood and increases the blood flow to the brain and muscles while diverting it from the digestive tract.
If you eat when you’re stressed, your stomach might be unable to digest the food effectively, causing indigestion, bloating, and weight gain or loss in the long run.
Getting proper rest and enough sleep can help reduce stress. Moreover, sit in a peaceful place and be calm before you sit down for your meals.
You must have heard it’s best to drink eight glasses of water a day. The idea behind this habit is to keep your body hydrated. Intake of natural fluids, especially water, helps your GI tract break down food and take up nutrients in the blood. Water also makes your stool softer, so you don’t have to suffer from constipation. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before and in the middle of your meal to aid your digestion.
Include fiber in the diet
Ever wonder why we’ve been forced to eat our greens? The answer is in the fiber content. Eating foods rich in fiber ensures good gut health. Fiber aids in the movement of food through the digestive tract and prevents constipation by softening the stool. It’s essential to take insoluble fiber that adds substance to the stool and soluble fiber that prevents it from becoming too watery.
Whole grains and vegetables are valuable sources of insoluble fiber, whereas legumes, oats, and nuts contain soluble fiber.
You might want to lounge around all day like a potato couch after work, but it’s essential to stay active for a healthy gut. Exercise helps our digestive system in more than one way. Your gut has good bacteria that aid digestion; exercising promotes the growth of these bacteria, known as the micro biome. The development of such microorganisms speeds up metabolism so that we can maintain our body weight.
Low-intensity workouts like yoga, walking, or jogging can aid bowel movement and prevent constipation. Exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to keep your abdomen healthy. Remember to fuel up on energy and drink water after a workout to prevent burnout.
Incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet
Apple cider vinegar is a magic potion for those who suffer from frequent gastric bloating. Apple cider vinegar stimulates the flow of bile fluid hydrochloric acid that helps in breaking down the food in the abdomen. The vinegar improves digestion and the intake of nutrients. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it before a meal to improve digestion.
Minimize sugar, caffeine, and alcohol
If you’ve got good bacteria in your gut, you’ve also got bad ones. These harmful bacteria feed on sugar. Sugar causes inflammation and weight gain. Minimize the intake of carbohydrate-rich foods to ensure a healthy digestive system.
Apart from sugar, caffeine and liquor are detrimental to the gut. Excessive alcohol can damage the stomach lining and cause inflammation. It also slows down the absorption of nutrients into the blood. At the same time, high levels of caffeine can stimulate gastric secretions leading to stomach ulcers. It’s best to enjoy a controlled intake of caffeine and alcohol for a smooth digestive process.
You must eat healthy to stay healthy. Incorporating a few healthy habits into your lifestyle can significantly impact your gut. Eat smaller portions, drink lots of water, and get moving. If you feel funny in your gut, call up a doctor to get yourself checked. Following these simple tips can ensure you have a healthy gut and abdomen so you can enjoy whatever food you like eating.