You will agree that learning to improve digestion will bring you more well-being and happiness, especially if you are 30% of the population suffering from some digestive problem.
But many times, doctors’ solution is to take some medicine that only masks the problem and does not solve it (anti-acids, digestive tops.).
The solution is much simpler: the best way to improve digestion is to eliminate those products that make you sick and consume beneficial foods.
In this article, you will learn:
- How severe digestive problems are?
- What factors contribute to you having a healthy digestive system?
- What are the conditions needed to improve digestion? and
- What are the 10 foods that will help you recover your digestive device’s health?
Digestive problems in modernity
Let’s start with a reflection:
Why don’t we realize we’re on the wrong track?
It is widely regarded that the world in which we live has led us to eat poorly.
But there are still people who don’t believe it.
The proof is that digestive problems are more common than ever.
Notice how they have increased in the number of functional digestive disorders in the United States in recent years:
- And this is only until 2004.
- The trend continues. This graph shows the number of digestive enzymes in recent years and the projection for the coming.
- Modern food is failing. We are not choosing correctly what we put in our mouths and end up with digestive problems and need to take absurd supplements.
It’s not just about looking at data. You can see it yourself in everyday life.
Here are some symptoms you’re probably living with that you’ve come to normalize with:
- Belly swelling.
- Abdominal pain.
All these inconveniences have become part of our daily life.
But this apparent “normality” hides a severe problem.
👉 The digestive system has a significant influence on our immune response.
In many cases, the digestive system’s lack of regulation is the precondition for developing an auto-immune disease.
But not just this.
👉 Digestive problems affect our mood.
It is no coincidence that 70% of neurons outside the central nervous system are concentrated in this system.
But if you suffer from these symptoms, it is not a good sign that you have to learn how to improve digestion. It will be possible to know what a healthy digestive system looks like and see if this is your case.
Characteristics of a healthy digestive system
These are the characteristics of a healthy digestive system:
- A healthy digestive system may feel real hunger.
- Hunger is the digestive system’s way of informing us that it is ready to work. If you’re not hungry or feel like eating sugary cereals, one plate of pasta is that your stomach isn’t prepared to face the food.
- One technique so you know when you’re starving is to put a plate of spinach in front of you. With real hunger, you won’t hesitate to eat it. Without real hunger, you’ll reject it.
- A healthy device does not feel filled after 20 minutes of eating.
- Stomach bloating is one of the signs of stopping eating but having that feeling of fullness for a long time can be a drag. The best thing would be that after 20 minutes, you will stop feeling full or full.
- You wouldn’t have to notice digestion.
- It’s that easy, no swelling, no heartburn, no energy drop, no reflux. Like other systems like the respiratory system you breathe in without realizing it, a healthy digestive system does its job without you noticing.
- If you have any unpleasant symptoms while digesting, it’s because either your digestive system isn’t healthy or because you’ve eaten something that doesn’t do you any good.
- And finally! The bowel movements are healthy.
- We go to the bathroom daily, the stool is neither too soft nor too hard, does not stain nor float, there are no undigested pieces of food, and we have a feeling of complete emptying at the end.
All these sensations should be regular.
Learn how to improve digestion
Mainly 4 factors:
- Have a layer of sturdy mucus filled with microorganisms, enzymes, and immune cells that protects our digestive system and feeds our gut fleets.
- The integrity of your intestinal barrier: That is, the bonds between cells, known as tight junctions, will prevent large proteins and other foreign substances from entering the bloodstream.
- Sufficient microbial diversity: abundant and diverse microbes help maintain gastrointestinal motility, support the intestinal barrier’s integrity, synthesize essential vitamins such as B12 and K2, and are necessary for the proper functioning digestive system.
- Proper stomach acid: stomach acid is critical for good digestion and is also an antiseptic that functions as a chemical entry barrier for pathogens entering food.
The context for improving digestion
Although you’ll find out later about the 10 superfoods that will help you improve digestion, it doesn’t matter if you eat these foods every day if at the same time you don’t generate the right context for your digestive system to function normally.
To generate this context, you must follow these tips:
- Eat food and not edible products
- Avoid cereals as much as possible, especially those that carry gluten, some legumes if you notice that you swell too much, and dairy.
- It leaves room between meals so that the digestive system can recover from work and eliminate any leftover food left out there.
- Guide yourself through real hunger and not social conventions or your brother-in-law’s advice.
- Sleep well at night, as it is the longest time we spend regenerating the intestine, and sleep disturbance is a disruptor of feelings of hunger and satiety.
👉 Eating substances that boycott the digestive process affect your intestinal wall or alter your microbiota, and this won’t allow you to digest well and improve digestion.
The 10 superfoods to improve digestion
- There’s nothing super about these foods.
- This is the tabloid term used by many people in the fitness and health industry but not to help you but to sell more.
- I have used this term as an excuse to list some foods that will gradually help you improve digestion.
- It has been used as a medicinal food in almost every culture, including our own. Many of us remember Grandma’s little ass from when we were cold.
- Bone broth is rich in glycine. Glycine helps stimulate stomach acid production, protects against gastric ulcers, seals the intestinal lining, and reduces harmful microbes’ overgrowth.
- Glutamine, another amino acid in bone broth, helps maintain the intestinal mucosa and intestinal barrier integrity.
- Besides, gelatin in bone broth helps draw fluid into the gut, improve intestinal motility, and support healthy bowel movements.
- Finally, this gelatin appears to have specific anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the impact of the release of proteins produced by pathogens known as lipopolysaccharides.
Chucrut and Kimchi
- Fermented foods originated as a way for our ancestors to conserve food before canning and refrigerate it.
- The fermentation process eliminates antinutrients, such as phytic acid, that can reduce the availability of nutrients in many plant foods.
- Besides, fermented foods are natural probiotics. They contain microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed.
- Fermented foods provide rich bacterial species.
- 28 different bacterial strains have been found in the sauerkraut
- He thinks that in the face of ecology as complex as that of our gut, interventions that improve diversity are vital at the moment.
- Kimchi consumption has been shown to increase certain healthy bacteria that produce short-chain anti-inflammatory fatty acids (AGCC).
- Kefir is a fermented and probiotic drink.
- To make a kefir probiotic, we add the kefir strain to the milk.
- If dairy doesn’t suit you, you can use coconut milk or water.
- The strain is a collection of fermented yeasts, bacteria, proteins, lipids, and sugars, called kefir grains.
- The intestinal and digestive benefits of kefir are fairly well studied. It is rich in bacterial that provide antibacterial properties.
- Several of these bacterial strains can regulate the inflammatory response of intestinal cells, with the potential to treat colitis.
- Even a randomized controlled trial showed that daily kefir consumption helps eradicate H, pylori bacteria, the pathogen responsible for stomach ulcers, in two weeks.
- Kombucha is another fermented beverage made by adding a bacterial and yeast-initiating culture (together, called SCOBY) to black or green tea with sugar and ferment.
- Although there are no controlled studies in humans that have shown digestive benefits, kombucha has antimicrobial properties and has been shown to cure stomach ulcers in mice.
- Also, kombucha intake is a good source of glucuronic acid (an essential substance in detox processes) and has antibacterial properties.
Cooked and Cooled Potatoes
- Cooked and cooled potatoes provide large amounts of resistant starch, a specific type of insoluble fiber that passes through the small intestine without being digested for easy fermentation in the large intestine.
- Specifically, resistant starch feeds the types of bacteria that produce AGCC, such as butyrylate, the “preferred” energy source for cells lining the colon.
- AGCCs also stimulate the production of immune cells.
- Other sources of resistant starch include green bananas and cooked and cooled white rice.
- Oriental medicine has used ginger for digestion and nausea for centuries.
- Like other bitter herb family members, ginger helps gastric emptying. This occurs because it stimulates hydrochloric acid production.
- Ginger can also help prevent gastric ulcers.
- One caveat: Herbal medications, including ginger, can be very powerful and should not be over-consumed.
- Licorice is another plant used since time immemorial for its medicinal properties. In Chinese pharmacopeia, it is a harmonizing plant of most phytotherapy formulas.
- Licorice root soothes gastrointestinal problems in food poisoning, stomach ulcers, and heartburn. Licorice root extract can accelerate stomach lining repair and restore balance.
- One study found that glyceric acid also functions as an antibacterial and can be used for bacterial overgrowth.
If you are a fan of licorice or take it for long periods in supplement. Only deglamorized licorice can be consumed regularly. As the assets responsible for undeceived licorice side effects such as water and sodium retention, hypertension, and even heart rhythm disturbances have been eliminated.
- Its essential oils give it anti-inflammable, antispasmodic, and diuretic properties.
- Fennel helps improve digestive disorders such as slow and heavy digestions, aerophagy, gastrointestinal spasms, and anorexia.
- Both the fruit and the root and leaves are consumed. It has even been seen that this plant can improve symptoms in people who already suffer from irritable bowel.
- Raw honey can reduce gastrointestinal inflammation (among other impressive health benefits).
- In animal models, honey helps prevent and cure gastric ulcers.
- Honey reduces colitis-related inflammation as effectively as steroids.
- Besides, honey seems to reduce prostaglandins’ blood levels, which play an essential role in the body’s inflammatory response.
- Of course, honey is lovely and fructose-rich food, so we should consume it in small amounts in general, no more than 10 ml per intake.
- This is not a specific ingredient but is in many foods.
- And then why is it on this list?
- Fiber as such is not food for you, but it is for microbial strains. By eating a diversity of vegetables and fruits, you will be able to diversify how you feed your flora, and at the same time, you will be consuming different micronutrients that will be good for you.
- Having a varied diet in vegetables and fruits, for example, eating seasonal foods, will significantly improve your digestive system.
All these foods can help you improve your digestive problems.
The way to achieve this is through proper feeding. You can see our guide to what we consider healthy nutrition.
Another critical factor in improving your gut health is that you lower the level of stress in your life.
Three interventions can help you achieve this:
- Sleep well.
- Spend time meditating and being in touch with nature.
- Do sports.
If your problem is that you can’t find time to do sports, we recommend using our training APP to find a completely personalized training program that you can do at home, without the need for a gym, dedicating only 15 minutes a day.
Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.