The digestive tract accounts for most of our immune systems. Ensuring that your gut health and digestion are operating correctly and efficiently can contribute to improved overall wellbeing. It means the body will be able to absorb necessary nutrients, there will be a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, the digestive system will be able to remove toxins out of the body, and it will improve energy.

When the digestive tract is not working properly, however, the body will let you know. One might experience bloating after eating a meal, feeling overly full after eating just a small amount of food, excessive gas whether it be belching or flatulence, noticing an increase in constipation or diarrhea, or other symptoms of abdominal discomfort.

Here are six ways to improve your digestion and help ease abdominal discomfort:

Movement and Exercise Whether it is gentle movement or high-impact exercising, physical activity of any kind increases blood flow throughout the body, including the digestive tract. It is known to help food move through the intestines, reduce symptoms of constipation and IBS, and improve the balance of bacteria found in the gut.

Stay Hydrated Drinking water helps digestion by allowing food to be properly broken down by saliva and stomach enzymes. It aids in moving food throughout the digestive tract, allowing nutrients to be properly absorbed, softening stool to ease symptoms of constipation, and eliminating toxins and waste from the body.

Eat Mindfully – By chewing food slowly and properly, the body is able to start breaking down food easier, which aids in digestion. It also provides the opportunity to relax, enjoy each bite, and be in the present moment.

Manage Stress – Another important factor in supporting digestion is managing stress. Easing stress, whether acute or chronic, can lower inflammation in the body and in the GI tract, and reduce symptoms of IBS and GERD.

Eat More Fiber – Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and supports digestive health by helping to remove bad bacteria and other stagnant particles found in the intestines, which reduces the risk of colon cancer. Eating fiber can also support healthy bowel movements and provide nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

Take a Probiotic – Probiotics support a healthy digestive system by breaking down fiber in the diet, balancing good and bad bacteria in the gut, promotes absorption of vitamins and minerals, and supports a healthy gut microbiome.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your digestion and overall wellbeing, and you’d like the support of a professional, we welcome you to contact us at Family Health Nurse Practitioner of Rochester. We are located at 656 Ridge Road in Webster, NY, and can be reached by calling 585-643-7393 or by submitting an email through our secure contact form.