We need the digestive system to break down the foods we eat and get essential nutrients from them. Why do we need these nutrients? They are categorized as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. They play a vital role in producing body energy, building all tissues and systems in the body, such as blood, bones, teeth, and muscles, and maintaining the body processes.
Neglecting digestive health can lead to malabsorption. Malabsorption is a condition in which you are unable to absorb nutrients from your diet. The foods you eat and your lifestyle choices can directly affect your digestive health either improving it or harming it. If you want to improve your digestive system, consider incorporating these six things to your daily routine:
1. Don’t use mouthwash
We all have our microbiomes in the skin and mouth. These bacteria play a big role in your health and can help protect your skin, teeth, and digest foods. However, using mouthwash regularly can impair your oral microbiome which can have a negative effect on the rest of your body.
There are various types of microbes living on various parts of your mouth such as teeth, gums, tongue, cheek, lips, and hard and soft palate. Mouthwash can disrupt all of them leading to dysbiosis. This may result in periodontitis. Scientists suggest that mouth dysbiosis might cause a variety of diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, and even colorectal cancer.
2. Don’t follow the Keto diet if it’s not for you
The keto diet consists of fats and protein and is very limited carbohydrate intake. In addition to limiting carbohydrates, it excludes certain types of plant foods such as fruit, whole grains, legumes. Although this diet might be helpful in weight loss and possibly play a role in some conditions, it might have adverse effects on many people.
One of the most common negative effects of the ketogenic diet is gut dysbiosis that is provoked by the strong deficiency of carbohydrates. According to various studies, the Keto diet has a negative effect on the diversity of our gut microbes.
The gut microbiome has many essential functions in your body and digestive health. The healthy gut microflora trains the immune system and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists also believe that a healthy microbiome can help protect us from autoimmune diseases. Before following any diet you should consult your gi specialist and physician and/or dietician.
3. Eat more fiber-rich foods
Consumption of high-fiber foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and legumes daily can boost your digestive health. A high-fiber diet helps to keep food moving through the digestive tract, relieving constipation, and improving nutrient absorption. Eating this type of diet can also help prevent or treat different digestive health issues like hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In addition, it can help you manage your weight.
4. Monitor your digestive health
Heartburn and acid reflux are extremely common conditions that can lead to difficulty of vitamin B12 absorption, esophagitis, tooth decay, and esophageal cancer. Stomach issues are typically caused by improper diet, bad habits, excess weight, and stress. Stress is one of the leading causes of heartburn and acid reflux. To treat these conditions, you should visit your doctor to find the root cause of them and eliminate it.
5. Chew food properly
Since digestion starts in the mouth, chewing is an important part of digestive health and nutrient absorption. The teeth and saliva are the first in a long line of processes that the body uses to break down food and absorb nutrients from it. Saliva is rich in certain enzymes that help break down food and make it easier for your stomach to digest food. Chewing is essential since it causes the stomach to ramp up acid production in preparation for the arrival of your meal.