"All diseases begin in the gut" (and ends in the gut too)- this quote stands really true because a healthy gut means good overall health. A good digestive system and a happy stomach also determines your mood. Have you ever seen someone having constipation/gas/acidity living a moment of relief? Definitely not. But, how do you make your gut happy? How do you boost your digestion? We have got answers to all your questions right here, so stay hooked.
How does digestion work?
Going back to the 8th grade biology lesson, digestion begins in the mouth while chewing the food and ends in the small intestine. While the food is travelling through the GI tract, it gets mixed with digestive juices, which breaks the larger molecules of food into smaller ones and this is what digestion stands for. Now that we have understood how digestion works, let's see how you can boost your digestion.
1. Eat more fiber
Fiber, as we all know, is really good for digestion. It can be of two types- soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps add bulk to your stool. Insoluble one helps in movement inside the digestive tract. Oat bran, legumes, nuts and seeds are good sources of soluble fiber while whole grains, vegetables and wheat bran are rich in insoluble fiber. Pre-biotics is another type of plant-based fiber which helps in keeping the gut healthy by boosting digestion. Fruits like apple, banana, berries, tomatoes; onion, garlic, artichokes, asparagus, soybeans, cocoa and barley are some good source of pre-biotics.
2. Hydration is the key
According to experts, a human being, on an average, should drink 1.5 to 2 liters of non-caffeinated fluids per day to avoid constipation. A well-hydrated body ensures proper absorption of nutrients in the body and acts as a medium for transportation of oxygen to the blood cells. Drinking enough water is one of the best way to hydrate the body. Other than water, you can include fresh juices, herbal teas, green teas in your diet. Fruits and vegetables with high water content like watermelon, melons, cucumber, strawberries and peaches is another way to get the water going in your body.
3. Avoid stress
While we know it is easier said than done, but try to take as less stress as possible. Not only is stress bad for your mind, it really affects your entire body in some way or the other, one of them is creating chaos in your digestive system. It can either cause indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, IBS and even stomach ulcers. Try indulging in meditation, stress-management activities, yoga, hobbies that help you unwind from your regular routine. You can also include green teas like hibiscus, lavender and chamomile that are known to calm the nerves and reduce stress in your diet. An easy way to divert your attention from stress is trying the 5 by 5 rule-"if it does not going to matter in 5 years, do not spend more than 5 minutes being upset about it".
4. Indulge in mindful eating
Sometimes, your body does not change its functioning even when you are eating the right foods and following a supposedly healthy lifestyle. The reason might be not what you are eating but how you are eating. Possibly you are not paying attention to how you eat your meals, maybe you are eating a lot of food very quickly or sometimes, you are so lost in your thoughts that you end up eating less.
Mindful eating is paying attention to all aspects of your food and the process of eating. It involves eating at a medium pace, chewing your food properly and savouring each bite of your food. Avoid watching TV, movies, shows or using any device while eating to pay all of your attention on your food. Consciously appreciate the smell, texture, flavour and taste of your food. Most importantly, be grateful for the food you are able to enjoy.
5. Regular exercising
Get into a workout routine/yoga/cycling or anything that just moves your body. You can start with taking a 15-20 minute walk after every meal. Regular exercising helps in improving digestion, reducing constipation and inflammation in the body.
#TassyamRecommends some Indian hacks to boost digestion 1. Make use of hing in your cooking- Hing is a spice known to improve digestion and reduce chances of bloating, gas and acidity. Try making use of hing while cooking especially in Indian food. Have a look at Tassyam's Hing variety! 2. Chew on some fennel seeds- The Indian tradition to chew fennel seeds and mishri has a reason behind it. Fennel seeds help in boosting digestion, reducing inflammation and growth of bacteria that cause gas and bloating.