May 06, 2013
Keeping the digestive system operating in peak condition is important for your overall health, but can sometimes be difficult to maintain with the busy lifestyles that we lead today. Sometimes it is necessary to go back to the basics, to remember how we should be living and try to modify our behaviors so that our bodies can work the way as they were designed. Here are a few tips to help keep your digestive system in peak condition.
1) Balanced Nutrition. It goes without saying that a balanced, natural diet is in tune with our body’s inner workings – after all, our caveman ancestors certainly did not dine on a diet of burgers and fries. It should be your goal to eat unprocessed food, in a format as close to it’s natural state as possible. Make sure you get a good mix of protein (from soy and bean ingredients, or from poultry, fish or other lean meats) and fiber (from fruits, vegetables and whole grains). Fiber is especially important because it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, makes you feel full, and keeps you “regular”.
2) Drink Plenty Of Water. Most of us do not drink nearly as much water as our body needs. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink 9 cups of water a day, and men drink 13 cups. That water in your cup of coffee doesn’t count, so try to limit your consumption of dehydrating drinks like coffee, soda and alcohol.
3) Eat Smaller, and More Frequent Meals. Nutritionists recommend a smaller intake of food consumed throughout the day as 4-5 meals, rather than the traditional 3 meals in a day. This has the additional benefit of reducing spikes in blood-sugar levels, and reduces the urge to snack between meals.
4) Chew Food Thoroughly, East Slowly. This is difficult to do when you’re on the move, but slowing down the way you eat helps digestion enormously. It gives the enzymes in your saliva a better chance of breaking down carbohydrates, and also physically breaks the food into smaller pieces. You will also find that you will feel more full and generally eat less when you eat more slowly.
5) Take Care Of Your Body. Physical care of your body can have a profound affect on your digestion. Exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes a day) to help maintain a healthy heart and blood flow. Exercise also helps reduce stress, which has a big effect on the digestive process both in the area of digestive muscular behavior, and also digestive enzyme production. Stress can also reduce the colonies of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, and that can leave you with imbalanced microflora.
In an ideal world, all your nutrients would come from the food that you eat – however that is not always possible. If your daily diet is less than ideal, consider vitamin and mineral supplements. Natren Probiotics can also help maintain a functional digestive system, providing a helping hand to the body’s natural digestive process, and restoring some of the imbalances that a modern lifestyle and diet imposes on the body. We’ll talk more about that next week.
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