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The Best Way to Improve Digestion of Food Naturally
- Amino Acids
These nutrients are all essential to keep your body cells functioning properly. Thus, the digestion of food helps in providing energy and other crucial nutrients to the 75 trillion cells of your body.
It is critical to improve your digestion of food for optimal energy output and nutrient absorption. What better way than to do it naturally? Instead of going for medication or supplements, you must look for natural ways to enhance digestion.
“Lifestyle and choice of foods can adversely affect the way digestion works.”
– Liam Evans, Nutrition Writer, KingEssay
Eating freshly-cooked meals, drinking enough water, exercise, and other similar aspects help in better digestion of food.
Try these 10 best practices to improve digestion naturally for progressive health:
1. Stop Eating All the Time
This is the first and probably the most challenging way to have improved digestion. We all like to eat whatever we like, whenever we like. This is actually quite an unhealthy practice. You should only eat when you feel hungry.
Listen to your stomach, not your urge to eat. The habit of eating all the time will not only cause unhealthy weight gain but will also leave you dilated, distressed, and fatigued.
Digestion of food can be adversely affected if the stomach keeps working all the time. It needs regular breaks to digest the food better. You must take a minimum of five to six hours gap between two meals to make your stomach function smoothly.
2. Go for Freshly-Cooked Food
Freshly cooked whole foods are both healthier and taste better than their refrigerated or canned counterparts. In the West, people are more inclined towards canned and preserved food as they have lesser time to cook fresh food. This practice is detrimental to your health.
One small study involving 20 people found that the ten who followed a heavily processed diet were inclined to eat 500 calories more throughout the day than the ten who ate a whole food diet 1.
Furthermore, the ten who followed a highly-processed diet gained two pounds in two weeks. Just imagine if they continued on that path for the rest of their lives?
Refrigerated and canned food allows bacterial growth to fester than a freshly-picked fruit or vegetable. These growths may not suit well with the intestinal flora in your gut. Therefore, preserved foods may negatively affect digestion. Thus, to enhance digestion you should always go for freshly-cooked food, even if it costs a little more. After all, your health is the most valuable thing in your life.
3. Chew Food Properly
It may sound unusual, but chewing is also the most crucial aspect for proper digestion of food. If you are following a strict nutrient diet plan but still not getting the desired results, you must consider a far simpler approach, such as chewing food properly. Here we are not asking you to chew like a cow, which spends almost 8 hours a day chewing its cuds for around 30,000 chews per day.
“Chewing your food properly has a great effect to improve your digestion naturally as it puts less burden on your stomach to digest the food.”
– John Smith, Head of Academics, Crowd Writer
Food particles which are not broken into smaller particles lead to serious digestive issues. Slowing down and enjoying your food is quite an easy way to improve digestion. You don’t have to do anything else other than moving your jaws a few more times than you usually do.
4. Get Both Insoluble & Soluble Fiber
There are 2 kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Both have extensive benefits for enhanced digestion and preventing diseases. Soluble fiber absorbs water and helping to slow down the process of digestion. Some kinds of soluble fiber may also help to lessen the risk of heart diseases 2.
Some best sources of soluble fiber are:
- Sunflower Seeds
Insoluble fiber appears to help the digestion of food a lot. These fibers pass more quickly through the stomach and intestine by adding bulks to the stool
The most common source of insoluble fiber include:
- Wheat Bran
- Brown Rice
These are all great sources for prebiotics for probiotics in your gut as well. Therefore, consuming these fibers should a part of any healthy gut diet plan.
5. Take High-Fiber Food
“Eat high-fiber to improve digestion.” You may have heard this advice before. The question is, do you heed to it?
High-fiber food mainly includes:
- Whole Grains
Eating fiber helps keep the food moving through your digestive system, which will lower chances of getting constipation. It can also prevent you from developing numerous digestive disorders like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis.
There are various foods which will not only soothe your taste buds but also provide you plenty of fibers. Hence, you must include such foods in your healthy gut diet plan and take them as meals and snacks.
6. Abandon Food with High Saturated Fats
A healthy body needs fats. It may sound surprising, but it’s a scientifically proven fact 3. The best way of consuming fats is the right kind and amount of dietary fats. Overeating of unhealthy and high fats food can cause severe problems for your health.
Learn More: Ultimate Guide to Gut-Weight Axis
On the other hand, if you don’t take enough healthy fats, it will affect your body functions and metabolism. Therefore, it becomes essential to choose the right dietary fats for your prosperity and stable health.
Source of fats which are incredibly healthy and nutritious are:
- Dark Chocolate
- Free-Range Eggs
- Fatty Fish
- Chia Seeds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
An important reminder here is that you must take these foods in the right quantity, as going beyond the healthy limit of fats consumption can be harmful.
7. Drink Ample Water
Water is the source of life. Your body depends on water to survive. The cells, tissues, organs, and system of your body need adequate water to function well.
It is the basic necessity for your all-embracing good health by acting as a digestive aid. Consuming water ensures proper absorption of nutrients and also helps the movement of food through the intestine.
In general, as a starting point, you must have 8 glass of water every day. If you don’t drink enough water as required by your body, the water will be reabsorbed from the colon, which will lead to hard stools and constipation.
8. Exercise Regularly
An active exercise regimen, a positive mental approach, and a high-fiber diet are all essential aspects of a healthy lifestyle. There are multiple effects of exercise on your body that can improve the digestive system naturally.
Exercise can help to increase the level of endorphins, reduce stress level, and enhance metabolism 4. Regular exercise can also lessen symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases and avert constipation.
9. Quit Unhealthy Addictions
This is one of the most challenging ways to improve the digestion of food naturally. Excessive alcohol, drug use, and smoking can negatively affect your digestion.
Also, the long-term results of these vices are determinantal to not just your gut health, but your life. So, if you have an addiction, please seek help immediately. You have bigger fish to fry than your digestion problems. Address those once you get your addiction under control.
10. Microbiome TestingIf you are having trouble with the digestion of food, perhaps you should get to the root of the problems. Go deep into the gut with at-home microbiome testing.
Based on the knowledge of which intestinal flora is in your microbiome, Ombre can recommend strain-specific probiotics targeted to your gut symptoms. With healthy probiotic bacteria in your gut, you will have more microbes in your system to help with the digestion of food.
About the Author: Stella Lincoln is currently working as a Health & Psychology tutor at Academist Help. She holds a Master’s degree in Food Science. Stella also writes a weekly blog in a renowned newspaper about health-related issues. She loves traveling around the world and exploring new tourist destinations.
- 1 “Heavily Processed Foods Cause Overeating and Weight Gain, Study Finds.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 16 May 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190516114550.htm.
- 2 Erkkilä , AT, and AH Lichtenstein . “Fiber and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: How Strong Is the Evidence?” J Cardiovasc Nurs., 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16407729.
- 3 Liu, Ann G. “A Healthy Approach to Dietary Fats: Understanding the Science and Taking Action to Reduce Consumer Confusion.” Nutr J. 2017; 16: 53, 30 Aug. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577766/.
- 4 “Exercise and Depression: Endorphins, Reducing Stress, and More.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression#1.