5 Tips to Maintain A Healthy Digestive System At Any Age 


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You need a healthy digestive system for overall well-being and health. The digestive system plays a vital role in digesting food and absorbing nutrients to keep the body functioning correctly. 

A dysfunctional digestive system can cause many health problems, including gastrointestinal disorders (GI), weight gain or loss, nutrient deficiencies, skin problems such as dermatitis, eczema, and acne, and psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, you should take measures to maintain a healthy digestive system. 

This guide presents you with five practical tips to maintain a healthy digestive system that you can use at any age. 

1. Consider Taking Probiotics 

Probiotics are helpful bacteria found in the gut that have many health benefits to support healthy digestive and immunity systems. Taking probiotics for digestion helps balance good and bad bacteria and ensures your body functions optimally. An imbalance in these bacteria leads to digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation. 

Several research findings on probiotics support the idea that they can help restore the digestive system. A review of 12 studies found that probiotics help relieve diarrhea, especially in children. Another study found that combining probiotics with rifaximin effectively alleviated bloating and the symptoms of IBS. 

The benefits of probiotics go beyond supporting healthy digestion. They help strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of mental illness and certain infections. 

However, you should only use high-quality probiotic supplements from reputable sources. Not all probiotics that are available are of good quality. It’s also advisable to consult a healthcare professional before taking probiotics, as they may conflict with certain medications and may not be suitable for people with underlying conditions. 

2. Eat A Balanced Diet 

A healthy diet is crucial if you want to improve your digestive system. However, it’s not just about eating healthy; it’s also about making sure your foods are varied and in the right amounts. Different important body organs, including the digestive system, need nutrients to function optimally. That’s why you need a balanced diet with essential nutrients. 

Your diet should consist of lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Eat at least five servings of varied fruits and vegetables daily. Eat whole grains such as cereal, rice, and bread instead of refined grains. Also, eat lean protein from healthy sources such as tofu, beans, fish, and chicken. 

For dairy products, opt for low-fat or fat-free products like cottage cheese and yogurt. You can also use plant-based alternatives like soy milk or almond milk. For fats, stick to healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and olive oils, but use them in moderation. 

Healthy foods contain fiber, which ensures regular bowel movements, which is necessary to avoid constipation. They’re also rich in essential minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that help the body function properly. 

When adding healthy foods to your diet, limit fried and processed foods. These foods contain large amounts of additives and unhealthy fats that can lead to digestive complications. They can also trigger inflammation in the body, which leads to many digestive problems. 

With the help of a nutritionist or a doctor, you can customize your diet. This will help you keep your digestive system healthy. 

3. Stay Hydrated 

Proper hydration is often overlooked but important in a healthy digestive system. Dehydration negatively affects the digestive system, causing abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation. Drink enough water or hydrating liquids such as coconut water, broths, and teas to stay hydrated.  

Drinking water throughout the day quenches thirst and balances body fluids. They help with digestion and saliva production, blood flow, absorption and transport of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. 

It’s also advisable to avoid unhealthy drinks like alcohol and sugary beverages like fruit juice and soda. These cause excess sugar in the blood and disrupt blood sugar levels. This disrupts your digestive system’s normal functioning and causes problems like bloating. Alcohol interrupts the absorption of nutrients and irritates the stomach lining. 

4. Exercise Regularly 

Regular exercise is crucial for a healthy digestive system at any age. It has been shown to have many health benefits, from improving bowel movements to relieving constipation. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress that negatively affects your digestive system. 

One study found that regular exercise improves the transit time of the colon. This is the time it takes for food to travel through the colon. Another study shows that exercise lowers the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. 

Fortunately, there are many exercises that fit your lifestyle. And it doesn’t have to be complicated at all. You can walk, run, swim, or do strength training. The most important thing is choosing a physical activity you enjoy and can keep up with. 

Even if you have a busy schedule, exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. You can break it up into 10-minute sessions and exercise three times daily. Stay calm, listen to your body, and take breaks when needed. 

5. Manage Stress 

Most people with digestive problems suffer from chronic stress. Stress significantly affects the function of your digestive system and leads to various symptoms. So, you must reduce stress to a healthy level for a healthy digestive system. Chronic stress affects your digestive system by activating the “flight or fight” response. This is the body’s automatic physiological response to threatening or stressful events. 

The body typically returns to normal after a slight stressful event. But chronic stress puts your body under constant pressure, resulting in continuous body reactions that can cause problems with your blood vessels and heart. It also disrupts your digestive system, causing bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Chronic stress also triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease. 

You can combat stress to improve the health of your digestive system by practicing stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. 

Conclusion 

As you’ve seen, a healthy digestive system is essential for many reasons. Most importantly, it ensures that your body gets the vital nutrients for overall health. A dysfunctional digestive system often leads to unpleasant symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and abdominal pain. By following these five tips: drinking plenty of fluids, eating a balanced diet, managing stress, exercising regularly, and taking probiotics, you can maintain a healthy digestive system at any age.  

Plus, there is always time to start improving your digestive health. Start making small changes in your lifestyle right away. Remember, a healthy digestive system leads to a happier and healthier life. 


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