The digestive system is one of the most critical systems in the human body. If this system is unable to properly digest the food and help the body absorb nutrients, it becomes very difficult to achieve good health. Improper digestion affects not only the gut, but also your hormonal, immune, and nervous systems. It is possible that your diet is perfectly balanced, but if your gut is not functioning properly, then it will affect your body’s nutrient absorption, and consequently, its energy production.
“If the small intestine does not absorb the nutrients, the liver cannot process them and turn them into useful energy for the body. Hippocrates, who is often regarded as father of western medicine, is believed to have said that ‘all disease begins in the gut’. A major portion of the body’s immune system resides in the gut, which is also known as the second brain of the body. It keeps track of the allergens and microbes that get into your system. If the digestive system is unhealthy, it makes you susceptible to immune dysfunction,” says Dr G Prakash, dy. CMO, Jindal Naturecure Institute.
He further says that medicines designed to moderate the acid levels in the stomach to treat gastrointestinal conditions often end up making it worse by limiting the absorption of key nutrients like magnesium and calcium. “If the digestive enzymes don’t do their job, the food eaten does not get broken down properly. The indigestion can lead to flatulence, bloating and fecal impaction,” he says
Gut health is often disturbed by unhealthy eating and living habits, which also include mental stress. To help keep your digestive system healthy, Dr Prakash suggests a few naturopathic tips.
*Cut back on sweets as well as fried and fatty foods. Fatty foods are one of the main reasons of bloating. Fat slows down the process of emptying the stomach, which may result in increasing your sensation of fullness.
*Do not overeat, and make sure to include plenty of fiber rich vegetables, sprouts and fruits in your diet.
*Chew your food thoroughly when you eat. Do not gulp down either food or liquids.
*Avoid stimulants like alcohol, caffeine, sugars, carbonated drinks and white flour.
*Keep yourself hydrated, by drinking at least three liters of clear water every day. Dehydration slows down the lymphatic system and inhibits the removal of waste from your body.
*Herbal teas are good for boosting digestive health. Chamomile, ginger, peppermint, green tea, dandelion root and lemon tea have been shown to aid in healthy digestion.
*Drink two glasses of water when you wake up, followed by a cup of green tea with lemon juice. It will aid in good bowel movement, and help avoid constipation.
*Avoid dairy products. Try using soya milk and its products.
*Avoid non-veg, refined oils, and fried items.
*Do not eat if you are anxious, upset or in a hurry. Meal time should always be a relaxed occasion. Eating when you are stressed out or while watching TV can interfere with your digestion. Practice mindful eating.
*Avoid consumption of tobacco in any form as it is responsible for some of the most common digestive disorders, like peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd).
*Smoking also affects the liver’s ability to process alcohol, medications, and other toxins, causing them to accumulate within your body.
*Make sure you exercise a lot daily. Take a brisk walk or practice yoga for at least 45 minutes daily.
*Take four teaspoons of isabgol and a quarter tea spoon of ajwain with a cup of warm soya or skimmed milk before you go to bed.