Over 70 million people suffer from digestion issues each day. Heart burn, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain being among the most common; digestive problems are rampant and are increasing in prevalence. In the last year, 51 million people made visits to the doctor (physicians office, hospital outpatient and/or emergency departments) with a disease of the digestive system as the primary diagnosis.
There are many actors that play into how well or poorly your digestive system functions, but as a rule of thumb, good habits of hydration, diet and exercise can keep you regular and problem free.
Water and Digestion
Water is very important for your digestion. It keeps the food you eat moving along through your intestines and it keeps your intestines smooth and flexible, too. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of chronic constipation. If you don’t have enough water in your body already — if you’re dehydrated — the large intestine soaks up water from your food waste. This makes hard stools that are difficult to pass (constipation).
Diet and Digestion
Another dietary factor is what (and how much) you eat. If you eat a lot of processed, fried and sugary foods, you are much more likely to encounter digestive issues. Our bodies are not made to break down processed foods, so they are literally not digested. High sugar and bad fats (found in fried foods) in our diet create a build up of toxins in your digestive tract, which could lead to many different forms of indigestion.
Exercise and Digestion
Physical inactivity could lead to digestive inactivity. If you wanna get things moving in there, then get your body moving! All the while drinking enough fluids to replace what you sweat out. In few cases, too much exercise can create digestive issues also. It’s all about balance and a healthy lifestyle. Lastly, sleep. Your body needs adequate rest to rejuvenate all organs so they can perform their intended roles. Make sure to get enough sleep each night.
In summary, a few steps in having better digestion are: First, drinking plenty of water. Next, eating right. Fruit and vegetables, yogurt and whole grains, beans and healthy fats (found in avocado, nuts and fish) are all essentials for good digestion. And lastly, get your 7-9 hours of sleep a night.