It does not have to always be about that fanciful product being advertised on TV by beautiful looking women which promises to do wonders for your digestive tract, keeping it healthy and free from any unwanted bacteria.
True, those pills or drinks can do most of what they say they can do. But why go that far when nature is beckoning, pointing you to ways you can manage that precious system in the body called the digestive system.
What is the digestive system?
This is one of the many systems that make up the body. It consists of the gastrointestinal tract with its accessory organs of digestion, which are the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver and the gallbladder. It is primarily concerned with food digestion.
The process of digestion begins in the mouth with chewing, breaking along the different levels of the system which absorbs all nutrients and the unabsorbed material is finally sent out through the anus as stool.
A healthy digestive tract means a healthy body. What you eat and your lifestyle will determine how well your digestive tract works. Exercising, eating enough roughage and drinking plenty of water are a few ways of helping your digestive system work properly.
In this article, we will look at some good habits that will make your digestive system healthy and work properly. Any efforts you will put in will be very much worth it, so spare nothing when it comes to taking care of your digestive system.
Common ailments of the digestive tract.
The digestive tract is vital to the survival of man. It is also the site of some very serious ailments which can be debilitating if not handled fast and appropriately. It is important to take any unusual symptom from the gastrointestinal tract that persists for an unusually long period seriously as it may be pointing to something very serious. Some of the diseases you may encounter include but are not limited to the following;
• Crohn’s disease which is a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract usually in the terminal portion of the ileum.
• Cholera which mostly occurs in 3rd world countries is caused by Vibrio cholerae, a bacteria. It results in dehydration due excessive diarrhoea.
• Gastroenteritis, which can be febrile or not and caused by a foreign bacteria in the gut.
Tips on having a healthy digestive system.
Here are a few tips on how to go about taking care of your digestive system.
1. Eat whole grains & vegetables
According to Maria Adams, RD, MPH a nutrition consultant at Marblehead, Massachusttes, a diet high in fibre and whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits can improve your digestive health. A high fibre diet helps food going through your digestive tract making it less likely for you becoming constipated.
2. Have high & rich diet
Also, she adds that a diet rich in fibre can help treat diseases like diverticulitis, haemorrhoids etc. A high fibre diet also makes you full most of the time without necessarily adding calories to your meals thus helping in reducing body weight.
3. Eat both kind of fibres
When you eat, aim to have both soluble fibre (nuts, seeds, legumes) and insoluble fibre (vegetables, whole grain) as they both have specific functions with insoluble fibre adding bulk to stool bc it cannot be digested and soluble fibre draws in water easing the stooling process.
4. Say no to fatty food
Try to reduce fatty food in your meals as they take more time to be digested and thus slows down the digestive process. This can often lead to constipation. Fats is equally important in our meals so it is advised to combine fats with high fibre food to ease the digestive process and make it easier on your digestive system.
5. If meat, eat balanced
When you eat meat, eat lean. Protein from meat is vital for a balanced diet but fatty portions of meat should be avoided as much as possible as it can lead to uncomfortable digestion. When you eat meat, eat the loins or when it is chicken, eat skinless chicken.
6. Low-fat probiotic meals are good
Low-fat probiotic meals like yoghurt or kefir are to be eaten daily if possible. Probiotics have the same kind of healthy bacteria which is harmless to the body and present in the digestive tract.
It can help your digestive tract remain healthy by fighting the effects of a poor diet, antibiotics and stress. They may also help in breaking down lactose and strengthening the immune system.
7. Keep it scheduled
Aim to eat your meals on schedule, this practice will keep your digestive tract in good shape. You should endeavour to follow the same mealtime schedule every day.
8. Drink ton of water
You should always stay hydrated. Drinking lots of fluid ensures that roughage has enough to pull from when it tries to form bulk stools which are easier to pass through the caecum and anus.
9. Say no to bad habits
Stop the bad habits of smoking, excessive caffeine, alcohol, liquor etc as these can lead to digestive problems like heartburn and stomach ulcers.
10. Do regular exercise
Exercise regularly to ensure good peristalsis and prevent constipation. Exercises can also help improve your weight which is good for the health of your digestive tract.
11. Stress isn’t good
Avoid stress as much as is possible and get involved in activities that free your mind from such stress. Stress can cause your digestive system to go into an overdrive.
Good habits when it comes to eating is vital, as what you eat directly affects the health of your digestive tract. The above tips will help you maintain a very healthy gastrointestinal tract. Keep focus, it is your health and as they say, health is wealth.