Do you often suffer from stomach problems? If so, you’re not alone. Millions worldwide experience stomach pain, nausea, and other uncomfortable symptoms daily. In many cases, these problems can be resolved with simple changes to your diet. This article will discuss how nutrition can help improve your stomach health. It’ll also provide some tips for avoiding common stomach problems. Let’s get started.
Eat Real Food
The first step to improving your stomach health is ensuring you eat real food. Eating processed, pre-packaged foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Instead, avoid processed foods and opt for natural sources of nutrition like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. For instance, you can prevent leaky gut syndrome by avoiding fatty and processed foods, dairy, and gluten. Eating real food will ensure you get the nutrients you need to keep your stomach healthy and functioning properly.
Some real foods you should consider eating include leafy greens, legumes, fresh fruits, and nuts. These foods are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that support gut health. Additionally, eating real food helps keep your digestive system working properly and prevents constipation. Ensure you balance the foods you eat by including various protein sources, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Limit Refined Sugar Intake
Refined sugar is bad news for your stomach health, as it can lead to digestive upset. Too much sugar can cause gas, bloating, and other digestive issues. Additionally, sugar can feed bad bacteria in your gut, leading to inflammation and an imbalance of bacteria in the stomach.
Therefore, it’s important to limit your refined sugar intake as much as possible. Instead, opt for natural sources of sweetness, like fresh fruits high in fiber and antioxidants. If you must take sugar, use natural alternatives like honey and maple syrup. Besides, limit the quantities to the absolute minimum.
Get Enough Fiber
Eating enough fiber is one of the best things you can do for your stomach health. Fiber helps keep your digestive system running smoothly and prevents constipation, inflammation, and other common stomach problems. Additionally, it helps reduce bad bacteria in the gut while promoting the growth of good bacteria.
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. You can also find fiber in supplement form, such as psyllium husk. Aim to get at least 25-30g of dietary fiber per day for optimal digestive health. Ensure that you drink plenty of water when eating more fiber to help digestion.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods can trigger stomach issues, so it’s important to avoid these as much as possible. They trigger your digestive system and cause discomfort, nausea, bloating, and gas. Besides this, some will also aggravate chronic digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease. You must avoid these foods and identify any triggers that are specific to you.
Common trigger foods include dairy, fried foods, gluten-containing grains, and processed meats. Keeping a food diary can help identify which foods trigger your stomach problems. If you suspect a certain food is causing digestive distress, it’s best to avoid it until your symptoms improve. You can know a trigger food if you experience abdominal cramping, bloating, and gas after eating it.
Staying hydrated is another key step to improving your stomach health. Not drinking enough water can cause constipation, dry mouth, bad breath, fatigue, and headaches. Additionally, water helps flush out toxins from the body while aiding digestion and nutrient absorption. As a result, it’s important to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day.
You should aim for at least 8 glasses (2 liters) of fluids daily. You can also increase your hydration levels by eating foods with high water content, such as cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes. If you find yourself feeling thirsty, likely, you’re already dehydrated. Excessive dehydration can cause serious health problems, so be sure to stay hydrated. Therefore, ensure to sip on fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated and healthy.
Chew Your Food Properly
Chewing your food is essential for proper digestion. When you chew, it helps break down the food and makes it easier to digest. As a result, you don’t experience uncomfortable digestive symptoms like gas and bloating. Additionally, chewing properly helps increase nutrient absorption from each meal. Before swallowing, try to chew every bite of food until it’s a liquid.
Besides, ensure that you’re eating slowly and taking time between bites. Eating too quickly can lead to overeating and cause digestive distress. Try to create a pleasant mealtime atmosphere without distractions like phones or TVs. Set aside at least 15-20 minutes for meals and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. After eating, wait a few minutes before getting up and doing vigorous exercises, including walking.
Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet
Healthy fats are an important macronutrient for your stomach health. Fats help support the production of enzymes, hormones, and energy. Additionally, they help increase nutrient absorption from other foods in the meal. Healthy fats can also reduce inflammation in the gut and improve digestion.
Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil. Aim to get at least 25-30% of your daily calories from healthy fats for optimal digestive health. Additionally, ensure that you use extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed oils, as they are unprocessed and contain more nutrients.
Ditch Bad Habits
Bad habits can be a major cause of digestive issues. Habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can increase inflammation in the body and hinder digestion. Additionally, these substances may interfere with nutrient absorption from food. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible for optimal stomach health.
Apart from this, ensure that you’re getting sufficient sleep. Not sleeping enough can cause fatigue and interfere with your appetite regulation. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep per night for optimal well-being. With these changes, you can start to feel better and begin your journey to optimal stomach health.
If you’re experiencing stomach problems, start eating real food, avoiding trigger foods, and staying hydrated. Additionally, chew your food properly and add healthy fats to your diet. Furthermore, eliminating bad habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help improve digestive health. By following these steps, you can start to feel better and take control of your stomach health.