Every day, I get patients looking to improve their digestion. It’s surprising the number of people who think that their bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation is completely normal and stomach pain is just a way of life. Plus, it doesn’t help that many people are told by their medical doctor that they have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and that it will be a lifelong problem for them with no solution.
I am here to tell you not to settle – there are things you can do! While there are many reasons you may be experiencing digestive distress I want to share 4 easy steps you can take to start improving your digestion. Remember, this is not medical advice and I do suggest working with a knowledgeable medical professional when making dramatic lifestyle changes.
4 Easy Steps To Improve Your Digestion
Step 1. Discover Your Offending Foods
In order to heal we need to first understand what’s doing harm. There are lots of players here including stress and sleep but the hardest part for many people is finding out what foods are truly problematic!
Start by keeping a food journal. This way you might start noticing patterns between your eating habits and the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. As a bonus to you, I’ve included a FREE download of a Food and Symptom Tracker (check it out at the end of this article).
Step 2. Balance The Gut Flora
Our digestive system contains tons of microscopic microorganisms which are imperative to our health. Healthy bacteria have positive impacts on your digestion, immune system, and even your mood. When someone is under stress, eating poorly, and not getting enough sleep and exercise then the healthy bacteria struggle to stay populated and other opportunistic microorganisms start to invade.
Do’s to maintaining healthy gut flora:
- Eat a rich, whole foods diet
- Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Drink live fermented drinks like kombucha and kefir
- Take a probiotic supplement
Don’ts to maintaining healthy gut flora:
- Eat less refined and processed foods
- Avoid sugar and alcohol
- Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics
Step 3. Introduce Healing Foods
After you start to realize what foods are triggering for you it’s important to start focusing on healthy, healing foods to introduce into your diet. Focus on a plant-based diet which will provide lots of vitamins and minerals plus the fiber required for healthy digestion, lean protein (such as chicken or fish), whole grains (such as brown rice or quinoa), and healthy fats and oils (such as olive oil or organic grass-fed butter).
Step 4. Digestive Aids
Occasionally, our digestive system needs a little extra support. Bitter foods or herbs before or during a meal can actually help “kick-start” the digestive process. It will stimulate the gastric fluids (which contain digestive enzymes) to start flowing which will help to break down your food.
These 4 steps can create a foundation to good health. There are many reasons and conditions that often go undiagnosed that may also be causing your symptoms which is why you may need to the assistance of a naturopathic physician to delve deeper into your digestive health concerns. Don’t get discouraged, I’m here to help!
To help you out with step one check out the offer below as my BONUS gift to you YOU!