To maintain a healthy body, you must work from the inside out. The GI tract is a major system that affects a person daily, and having a well-balanced gut is imperative to maximize your health. Herbalife Nutrition put together six tips to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
- Eat Plenty of Fiber
Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. You need both to maintain a healthy and active GI tract. Soluble fiber can be found in walnuts, bran, and broccoli. The insoluble form is in apples and oranges. Fiber does not break down easily in the digestive tract, so much of it passes through the body, helping to keep bowel movements regular. Fiber may offer a layer of heart protection, too. It can cling to cholesterol in the body and remove it. Lower cholesterol levels may be good for the cardiovascular system. Fiber does not enter the bloodstream rapidly, so it does not spike blood levels or insulin production. Eating fiber can keep the GI tract regular, and it can possibly aid many other systems and bodily functions.
- Drink Water
Now that you have fiber in your diet, it is imperative to drink water. Fiber will pull water from the GI tract, and this is what keeps bowel movements regular. If there is not enough water, you could become constipated. Water is another key to maintaining a healthy gut. Some liquids can cause dehydration, such as coffee and alcohol, so you should enjoy those in moderation. If you are looking for an easy way to remind yourself to drink water, app developers have created several options that will remind you via your cell phone.
- Choose Chicken and Fish More Often
To help your gut feel good, reduce your intake of red, fatty meats. Select leaner cuts of pork, or opt for chicken and fish a few days of the week. Consuming these lean proteins can give your body a break from heavier kinds of beef, and they add variety to your diet. When eating chicken, avoid consuming the skin. It is a high source of calories and fat.
- Sit Down and Relax During Mealtime
Because of today’s fast-paced society, many of us eat on the run and in our car. If possible, take a break during mealtime. Sit down and enjoy your food. When relaxed and eating, you will slow down and chew your food longer, which helps your stomach, and it may curb heartburn later on in the day. It will also force you to be a more mindful eater. Because you are focusing on eating, you may stop when you are full. It is a good idea to remind yourself not to overeat. Overindulgence can lead to stomach aches and indigestion.
- Slip in Some Probiotics
Probiotics are helpful bacteria for your digestive system that you can get from fermented foods, such as yogurt. The gut can become imbalanced by an improper diet or antibiotics, which may kill off some of the good bacteria as well as the bad. Probiotics bring back the balance. If you choose yogurt, try a select one that is low in sugar. Probiotics are also available as oral supplements.
You do not have to be a marathon runner to have a healthy GI tract, but regular activity may keep it feeling good, along with a proper diet. Walking is an effective and free workout. Try and take a short walk every day, and on the weekends, head out to a trail to add a little more time and challenge to your workout. Any exercise will also help alleviate stress. The less stress you are under, the better your overall health will be.
Explore Herbalife Nutrition for more expert tips on nutrition, fitness and overall wellness.