Digestion is something we rarely think about when it’s working well, but as soon as we catch a bug, eat something that doesn’t agree with us, or otherwise suffer a bit in our belly’s nether regions, good digestion becomes our number one priority.
While there are certainly times when even the healthiest gut and digestive tract is bound to be brought low, for the most part, if you’re tending to your body’s needs properly, your digestion should be easy and carefree. That being said, contemporary life doesn’t exactly make the path to good digestion an easy one, which is why it’s important to follow these six natural tips for healthier digestion.
1. Drink Tea
Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, and everyone from Dr. Andrew Weil to your yoga instructor swears by its health benefits. When you’re having digestive troubles, tea is an ideal way to get yourself on a healthier track. Here are some teas that help with digestive issues:
- Especially if you have an upset stomach, peppermint tea can help settle it.
- Anise Seed. This type of tea encourages the production of gastric acid in the stomach.
- A well-known anti-inflammatory, ginger tea can also lessen nausea.
- Papaya Leaf. For heartburn and other indigestion concerns, papaya leaf is a natural aid.
- And more!
Not too long ago, exercise was part and parcel of daily human existence, and humans had fewer digestive troubles because of it. Because fewer and fewer people in the developed world do work that requires actual work, however, exercise has become a lifestyle choice instead of a necessity, but it’s still one of the quickest and most natural routes to better digestion.
Both movement and gravity join together to get food to travel more quickly through your body, and it doesn’t take much to make a difference. Just a daily walk for 20 minutes will improve your digestion in no time.
3. Take it Fermented
A digestive tract filled with bacteria is essential to good digestion. In many ways, the human digestive system is an elaborate ecosystem, and food digestion can’t happen without the assistance of good bacteria. An unhealthy diet, illness, or the use of an antibiotic can all wreak havoc on the colonies of bacteria your body needs to digest food properly.
Thankfully, however, replenishing it naturally is easy. All you need to do is ingest a variety of fermented food and drinks on a daily basis. Simply adding kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha to your diet will help build up the good bacteria your body needs to digest your food with ease.
While there are lots of reasons to practice good posture, healthy digestion is arguably the best. Good posture allows your body the comfort and space it needs throughout your torso to digest food as efficiently as possible, but it isn’t just your posture when walking and sitting that matter.
Good toilet posture can also be a natural boon for digestion. It turns out that sitting down to have a bowel movement isn’t the best way to have a bowel movement. Squatting is actually the body’s preferred position. Add a small stool to your bathroom and start propping your feet up on it, or purchase a stool tailor-made for the job. Not only will you protect yourself from hemorrhoids, but your bowel movements will take less effort as well.
5. Get Real With Your Food
Most Americans’ diets consist of a lot that the human body isn’t able to recognize as actual food. From preservatives to synthetic chemicals, our food choices too often come from a lab. That such eating should result in digestive troubles should come as a surprise to no one, so, if you’re struggling with digestion issues, start limiting your diet to real food. Cook from scratch using whole ingredients that were sourced locally, and if you must buy something pre-packaged, make sure you know what everything on the ingredients list is.
6. Water Yourself
Being well-hydrated is essential to a well-functioning human body, and digestion is one of the first places good hydration — and its lack — reveals itself. If your bowel movements are hard or infrequent, simply upping your water intake may be enough to improve things.
Few people drink the daily recommended eight glasses of water, and while it can be a chore when you aren’t used to it, once you start getting at least eight glasses of H2O a day, you’ll be amazed at how much better your body feels.
Good digestion isn’t an accident. Follow these six natural tips, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving it.