Summer schedules typically fill up fast — longer days allow for more activities. Summer’s also a time when healthy eating is tossed to the wind in favor of convenience, when homemade meals are replaced by packaged snacks or drive-through bags. Bloating, gas, constipation, and pain in general, are all symptoms of a stressed stomach looking for relief.
Digestive health doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping your tummy in tip-top shape is rather simple. It comes down to being conscious of what you eat, how much you eat, and how often you move. Below are five easy things you can do to improve your digestion starting now:
Probiotics are live microorganisms that may provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. The benefits of these good bacteria may include supporting immunity and a healthy digestive system. Our favorite probiotic food, of course, is kefir. Blend it in a smoothie, drizzle it on your salad, or drink it straight from the bottle.
There are two types of fiber to consider – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is digested more slowly, which helps you feel fuller longer. Insoluble fiber is considered gut-healthy fiber because they pass relatively intact through your gastrointestinal tract and speed up food waste passage. Make sure you’re getting enough of both. For a quick probiotic-fiber fix, grab a bottle of our Kefir with Oats — each eight ounce serving contains three grams of fiber — a combination of soluble and insoluble!
Avoid Highly Processed Foods
In general, it’s good to limit your intake of processed foods, opting instead for whole, real foods. Highly processed foods are typically filled with sugar, fat and artificial ingredients, which can irritate your stomach. Furthermore, too much sugar can cause your blood sugar to spike, while some kinds of fats can actually slow down your digestive system.
Drink More Water
Water is the key to good digestive health. Fluids are needed to digest foods and move them through the gastrointestinal tract. They’re also necessary to digest and break down fiber and fat. Everyone has different needs for water, but aim for about 9-13 cups per day, depending on your age, weight, activity level, and gender.
We all know that adequate exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, but it’s also crucial for digestive health. Aerobic and deep breathing exercises, such as running, yoga and cycling, stimulate the contractions in your intestines, which is how food waste passes through the body. Just be sure not to overdo it, and avoid strenuous workouts too soon after meals.