How to Improve Digestion
Our last few blogs delved into the form and function of the digestive system - make sure to give them a read if you’d like to learn more! Information is great, but it doesn’t get us far if we can’t apply that information in order to feel better.
There are many ways to improve gut health, both through diet and lifestyle practices. The easiest and most effective approach is through diet. Proper hydration is a MUST. Get a reusable metal or glass water bottle and keep it with you throughout the day. Every person is different, but a good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. Focus on eating whole-foods that are seasonally based, incorporating many colors of the rainbow. If you can pick it or easily read all the ingredients, it’s probably okay. Try to balance carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, rice, quinoa, beans), healthy fats (fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil), and lean proteins (free range turkey and chicken). Avoid the urge to eat “comfort foods” that may not be good for you and avoid added sugars, processed foods, and other inflammatory foods such as dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. We recommend working with a holistic nutritionist to help create a program for your unique lifestyle and needs.
As mentioned earlier, lifestyle also plays an essential factor in overall health. Stress drastically reduces gut function, so incorporating a few minutes for meditation, a relaxation exercise, or time for yourself each day can also help improve overall gut health. Obesity increases the risk for many diseases, including esophageal, gastric, colon, pancreatic, and other cancers. Maintaining a healthy body weight can minimize these risk factors, as well as decrease the risk for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and other diseases. If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor or nutritionist about a weight-loss program that is right for you. And stay active! Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day - whether that be brisk walks, hikes, or biking. Something is better than nothing; if you’re unable to set aside 30 minutes, try to incorporate more movement into your daily routine: get a standing desk, schedule a lap around the office building every hour, or stretch during your lunch break. It’s all about small changes to create a new routine!
Wellness practices can also improve gut health and function. Colon hydrotherapy, the gentle infusion of filtered water into the colon, can be highly beneficial to remove impacted waste and improve digestion. Working with a nutritionist through certain seasonal cleanse protocols and natural supplements can also give your body the reset it needs to start functioning optimally.
Celebrate healthy choices and don’t blame yourself when you get off track. The best approach is prevention and healthy practices while you’re still feeling well. Above all, tune into your body and begin listening to the signals it sends when something is off. We’re always here to help if you need guidance or accountability to get you started.
To Your Health,
Internal Wisdom Team