Digestive system problems such as heartburn, gas, bloating and constipation reflect what’s happening throughout your body. “As we age, the natural cycles slow down and don’t work as well.”
The main drivers of gut health change are shifts in stomach acid, gut immunity, and gastrointestinal flora—the complex ecosystem of bacteria in your digestive system. When gut health is good, you’re less likely to experience damaging inflammation and lapses in immunity.
The following ways to protect your digestive system may sound surprising because they’re not just about diet. “Everything ties together.”
- Eat the right foods. Americans’ fiber intake is 40 to 50 percent of what it should be. A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides the fiber that builds good bacteria and gut health. Other foods that build a healthy digestive system include yogurt that is rich in probiotics and other fermented or pickled foods such a sauerkraut and pickled ginger.
- Get more sleep. Not getting enough sleep is linked to a higher prevalence of obesity, which sets you up for digestive system disorders.
- Move more. As with other aspects of health, exercise is the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight to ward off digestive system problems.
- Manage stress. Reducing stress is fundamental to reducing heartburn. There’s no magic diet that works. Try relaxation therapies along with other distraction techniques.
- Get help for issues like anxiety and depression. Mood and digestive system health (especially disorders like irritable bowel syndrome) are closely linked via the brain-gut connection.
Source: KK Publishers