Health & Nutrition

7 Tips to Help Your Digestive Tract

1. Eat foods rich in beta-carotene:

When the intestinal lining is healthy it produces enough mucous to lubricate the digestive tract allowing the food to pass through smoothly. A lack of vitamin A which comes from beta-carotene will cause the intestinal lining to produce less mucous, so it is very advisable to eat orange and yellow vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene. Examples are: peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, melon, oranges, mango, squash and carrots. The darker the color of the fruit/vegetable, the more beta-carotene it will have.

2. Chew your food well:

The first stop the food takes in its journey in your digestive tract is actually the mouth. Chemical changes already take place in the mouth when chewing and the more the food is chewed into a liquefied mass the more effective the rest of the digestion will be. Try chewing every bite of food 20 times. It may feel strange at first and need getting used to but after 3 weeks it will feel natural and you will be doing your body a great service by giving your digestive tract a great head start. Your body will absorb the available nutrients more efficiently.

3. Get physical:

Physical activity uses every muscle of the body including those which encase the digestive tract and move food down the tract through contracting and relaxing. In this way the food moves along and then out. More than this, when you’re doing physical activity you speed up the heart rate and your muscles will have an increased supply of blood and oxygen and the materials necessary to create energy. Besides assisting digestion, physical activity helps maintain a healthy body weight. Any type of physical activity is suitable including walking calmly.

4. Make time for a good breakfast:

There’s a good reason breakfast is called the most important meal of the day! Breakfast is your opening volley of your metabolic processes throughout the day and will improve your metabolism for the day if you don’t skip it. Even if you’re not hungry remember you’re doing yourself a real big favor when you eat breakfast and if you include a probiotic yogurt in your breakfast you can double your benefit.

5. Drink water but not during the meal

Water will contribute to the smooth transport of food in your digestive tract. That is why a person should drink 8 glasses a day to keep the digestive tract working well. However, drinking during the meal should be discouraged as it dilutes the digestive acids in your stomach making them less effective and slowing down the digestion process.
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6. Take life easy going, don’t get excited:

Emotions strongly influence the digestive tract and the quality of your digestion. Researches talk about a ‘stomach-brain relationship’ because of the stark similarity between the neurohumors (message transmitters) of the brain and the digestive tract. When we’re in stress the digestive muscles work less and less digestive enzymes are secreted causing digestion and elimination to slow down or even come to a halt causing constipation. If you have a calm lifestyle and tranquil life your digestion will be far more efficient. A rule of thumb is that if you’re at all stressed, avoid eating at the time. Also don’t eat while reading news so the brain doesn’t make a subconscious association between feeling the bad news gives you and the act of eating. This might cause your body to hold back on digestive juices when you need them the most.

7. Don’t Smoke:

Cigarette smoke has approximately 7,000 different chemicals, 70 of them documented carcinogens. 2 of them benzopyrene and NNK are both problematic carcinogens with a very high risk of causing cancer in smokers. From the mouth these toxic substances enter the digestive tract down the esophagus through the liver and pancreas, gall bladder and the intestines and cause them much damage. Smoking also causes less blood to flow to the intestines and weakens them. It is important to note that some of this damage is reversible and some of these side effects will stop the moment you stop smoking.


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