Updated: Jan 6
Maintaining healthy digestion is all about keeping your body in balance. It’s a delicate dance that can be frustrating and energy consuming - I’ve been there and I get it! So many things can throw our digestive systems out of whack - from the foods we eat, to our quality of sleep, stress levels, hormones, environmental factors, and even seasonal changes. According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, 10-15% of the US adult population suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you have belly troubles, you’re not alone. Abdominal pain is one of the most common issues that cause adults to seek medical care. The good news is that balancing the belly and body can also be quite beautiful when you figure it all out.
Below are 5 simple tips to support your gut health so you can waltz, salsa, or tango your way to relief, confidence, and digestive bliss!
Drink warm water: Warm and hot water relieve constipation, break down food, remove toxins, and improve circulation. Cold water, on the other hand, shrinks blood vessels, restricts digestion, decreases immunity, and impairs breakdown of fats. Warm water, especially upon waking and in between meals, is among the easiest and best ways to care for your body.
Eat nourishing, whole foods: Ensuring that the majority of your diet is full of whole, nutrient-rich, and unprocessed foods is essential to overall health. Produce like berries and dark, leafy greens, high quality proteins like wild fatty fish (salmon, mackerel and anchovies), lentils, and nuts, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocados, and spices like turmeric, black pepper, ginger, garlic, chilis, and cinnamon, are all anti-inflammatory foods that nourish and heal the body. Aim to eat at least some of these foods and spices every day.
Ditch sugar: Refined or processed sugar is not a friend to the gut and causes inflammation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, pain, and even irritability, acne, heartburn, and fatigue. Sugar alters gut bacteria and feeds bad bacteria, disrupting our microbiome balance. Try naturally sweetened foods instead, like unsweetened applesauce, bananas, dates, sweet potatoes, beets, cinnamon, and coconut flakes.
Breathe: Deep breathing supplies more oxygen to all body parts, including the digestive system. Breathing deeply and slowly also calms the nervous system, which improves gut health. Try taking 10 deep belly breaths at least 3 times per day and notice how you feel before and after.
Move: Physical activity stimulates the gut and increases intestinal activity and blood flow to the muscles in the digestive system, relieving gas and constipation, and helps regulate mood, to boot. Walk, dance, stretch, bike, hike, or swim - any movement is good for your gut! Find more health ideas here.
Have you tried any of these tips? How was your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Maintaining healthy digestion and discovering which foods are nourishing for your body’s needs can be complicated. But with support and persistence, change is possible. If you're looking for health and wellness guidance, you've come to the right place, and I'd love to help you put the pieces together. Please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be well, friends!