Digestive health is the main functioning of the body’s digestive tract, which keeps the body in good health on a whole. The food intake which is fuel for the body has a big impact on our digestive health. The food which is consumed is processed in the digestive system, extracting the nutrients from the food and converting these raw materials into energy.
The digestive tract, called as the gastrointestinal tract consists of the mouth, salivary glands, oesophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine, colon, rectum, and anus.
The pancreas and liver are responsible for producing and adding digestive juices which breaks down the food into nutrients so that it can be absorbed by the body. The gallbladder stores bile until mealtime. At mealtime, it empties the bile into the small intestine. The majority of nutrients from the food which is digested, are absorbed through the small intestine, then travels to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.
Symptoms of weak digestive health
Some of the most common signs are:
Constipation– having less than three bowel movements in one week. Bloating of the stomach can happen frequently.
Vomiting– it may recur frequently due to the feeling of being full after a meal.
Weight loss– even though you may be eating a healthy diet, unintentional weight loss indicates poor digestive health.
Diarrhea– You may have explosive or chronic diarrhea.
These conditions can be managed with proper nutrition, diet modification and in some cases, surgical intervention.
Improving Digestive health
A few simple modifications to your daily habits and routines can make a difference in your digestive health.
Drink sufficient water. You need your digestive system to keep processing and moving and water help in the process. Lack of water just slows down the processing.
Reduce consumption of fatty food. Fatty foods are hard for the system to digest and they slow down the digestive system.
Maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight can ease some pressure in the abdominal area and may help to reduce heartburn.
Avoid food items that cause bloating of the stomach. Limit your intake of sodium, artificial sweeteners, and starches.
Keep moving around. Physical movement can speed up the digestion process.
Eat more fiber. Fiber keep things in your stomach moving smoothly through your intestines.
Do not eat fast. Give time to your body to digest the nutrients and also give enough time for your brain and body to let you know when you have eaten a sufficient amount of food.