Digestion refers to the process in which your body gets nutrients from your food. When digestion isn’t occurring how it’s supposed to, you can experience abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, and irregular bowel movements. Digestive distress can be a one-time event or it can be a chronic problem.
Digestive distress can be very uncomfortable and disrupting to daily life. Some ways to avoid any digestive distress include:
- Eating several servings of fruits and vegetables per day. You should aim to have at least 7 servings throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables have a high fiber content, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics that keep your digestive system healthy.
- Instead of eating processed grain products like white bread or pasta, opt for the whole-grain products. These grain products contain more fiber.
- Choose chicken or fish for the main dish – highly processed meats and red meats like pork, beef, and lamb can increase your risk of experiencing some digestive distress.
- Eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D – these vitamins can help you prevent digestive issues. You can get calcium from milk, tofu, and yogurt, among other sources. Taking a vitamin D supplement may be the easiest way to get the amount you need – and make sure you have some exposure to sunlight, as sunlight helps your body to absorb vitamin D!
- Make sure you get enough exercise. Try to get around 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity three or more days per week.
You may be at a highest risk for digestive problems if you are either over or underweight. Some of the chronic digestive diseases include acid reflux, GERD, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from one of these conditions or just want general advice on how to improve your digestive health, seeing your healthcare provider or a health coach could help.
HealthLine. (2016, March 21). Digestive Health Basics. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health.