Healthy Digestive Foods - PIH Health

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Published on August 03, 2018

Healthy Digestive Foods

graphic of the digestive system

graphic of foods that slow digestion, healthy digestive foods and exercise digestive systemFeeling a little bloated and uncomfortable? Do you have heartburn or pain after eating? Read on to learn more about digestive health and what you can do to improve it.

The human digestive system is made up of multiple organs including esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestines and colon.

Foods that Slow Digestion

Ashwin Ashok MD, a Gastroenterologist with PIH Health Physicians, tells us, “Your organs work together to break down food and fluids that your body uses for energy and hydration. Waste products are eliminated by going to the bathroom. And believe it or not, gas, burping and bloating are all normal – they are part of the digestive process.”

Healthy Digestive Foods and More Tips

What can a person do to improve digestive health? Dr. Ashok recommends trying these four ways to boost your digestion:

1. Incorporate foods high in fiber into your diet. Vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains will help keep food moving in your body so you’re less likely to get constipated. If you’re regular, then you’re likely doing a good job of incorporating these foods in your daily diet.

2. Limit foods that are high in fat. Fatty foods slow down digestion and can make constipation more prevalent. If you haven’t gone to the bathroom lately, this may be why. Keeping track of what you eat for a week is a good way to see if diet changes are needed.

3. Incorporate probiotics into your diet. Probiotics provide the same kind of healthy bacteria that most people have naturally. Sometimes, it helps to give your body a digestive “boost”. Yogurt and Kefir contain natural probiotics that can help with digestion. If you’re unable to have milk products, there are probiotics in a pill form as well.

4. Drink water to stay hydrated. Water is good for you. It helps get rid of waste in our body that we don’t need, so constipation is less likely to occur.

Exercise Digestive System

Exercise on a regular basis. Any type of regular exercise will help move waste through your digestive system. It can be something as simple as taking walks. A weekly exercise routine will help keep your digestive track healthy.

“Incorporating these practices into your daily routine should help aid in healthy digestion or improve your digestive health.”

If you feel you may have a digestive disorder, such as chronic pain, heartburn or constipation, you may need medical attention. Your Primary Care Doctor can help or may refer you to a Gastroenterologist. Visit PIHHealth.org/Find-A-Doctor to search our team of medical professionals.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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