Digestive health is a hot research topic today, given the recent findings related to the gut-brain axis. Scientists are now aware that the gut acts as a second brain in that it is responsive to the psychological and emotional stimuli and signals that it receives. This means that how we carry our stress can influence the balance of bacteria in our gut in ways that positively or negatively impact our digestion. This article will discuss the gut-brain axis and four simple habits you can pick up to improve your digestion naturally.
Understand Gut Motility
Gut motility can be thought of as the sweeping motion that cleans out our insides after we’ve eaten a meal. These motions are natural waves that help the body break down food and move it along our digestive tract. Motility action is impacted by our daily habits, the amount of stress we carry, the balance of bacteria in the gut, and our genetics. When the balance of bacteria is negatively altered, gut motility can become compromised, causing it to take much longer for food to digest. Taking digestive health supplements may help improve your digestion and reduce digestive discomfort. Now that you know how critical gut motility is to your digestion, here are some things you can do to get your gut into shape.
1. Take High-Quality Probiotics
To preserve your gut health, you have to think about maintenance. By taking a high-quality probiotic daily, you are consistently replenishing your body with what it needs to function at its best. You want to look for probiotics containing prebiotics of many different strains. It is essential to give your gut a variety of “good” and “bad” bacteria so that it can reach a balance. You need both types of bacteria to keep your gut healthy.
2. Space Out Your Meals
Since we now know that gut motility is compromised when our digestion is out of whack, it is essential to avoid overloading our digestive systems. The way to reduce stress on your digestive tract is to space out your meals to allow for enough time for digestion and these sweeping actions of cleansing and digestion to take place. You might consider integrating keto dieting or intermittent fasting into your daily regime if deemed appropriate by your healthcare provider.
3. Limit Acid-Forming Foods
Poor digestion can mean you have too much or too little stomach acid. Too much stomach acid means that you might endure acid reflux, heartburn, sour stomach, and other related symptoms. Too little acid can mean that your body has difficulty breaking down food due to a lack of enzyme production. Consider taking up a fasting-mimicking diet to ease digestion and improve metabolic balance.
Enzymes move food along so that digestion can take place quickly. Depending on your specific situation, limiting acid-forming foods like coffee, alcohol, or tomato sauce and including an enzyme supplement can help. All in all, healthy diet changes might be just what you need.
4. Don’t Eat Too Late
When we are sleeping, our body should be focusing on the rest and digest response. If we eat too late, we spend more time digesting our food, giving us little repair and recovery time. To avoid indigestion, poor digestion, and grogginess in the morning, eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. Make sure to avoid nighttime cravings that may irritate your digestive tract.
The Bottom Line
Improving your digestion is a combination of introducing the right supplements, eating the right foods, and monitoring your daily stress by timing your meals. For more help with digestive health, reach out to a functional medicine doctor for nutritional lab testing.
Like this post? Please share!