“To eat is human, to digest, divine!” Do you find yourself nodding and relating to this famous quote made by Charles Copeland?
Well, let’s face it, not everyone has the privilege of having an effectively functioning good digestion. Even though the benefits of an effective digestion are known, not everyone may be aware of the various factors which affect or cure the functioning of their digestive system. Good digestion is believed to be very crucial for maintaining the overall health of an individual.
Inspite of been a commonly faced problem, indigestion often remains undiagnosed and untreated. But before we elaborate on this point, let’s first try and understand exactly what digestion is all about.
Digestion is believed to be the chemical and mechanical breakdown of food particles into smaller elements. Moving away from its dictionary meaning, in simpler terms digestion is the breakdown and absorption of food by the body.
Process of digestion:
When we think of digestion, the first thing that comes to mind is one’s stomach and intestines. But the fact is that the process of digestion actually starts in the mouth. Not everyone may ponder over what happens after gulping down a spoonful of food. There is more to this complex element than the mere breaking down of food particles.
After introducing food to the mouth, teeth aid in chewing this food and breaking it down with the help of saliva. These food particles then start their long journey down the esophagus into the stomach, where the acids take over and further break down these food particles. The particles, which have somehow escaped this procedure, further continue their journey through the small and large intestine respectively, before getting excreted from the body through defecation.
A healthy digestive system may most of the time be able to function efficiently in the above mentioned manner. However, for the unlucky few who may occasionally suffer from indigestion; there may be an imbalance in this procedure. Having an upset stomach as a result of indigestion may only be the tip of the iceberg as far as complications are concerned. It could further also progress to hyperacidity, bloating, irregular bowel movements, etc.
More so, issues faced by the digestive tract may further be intertwined with various other factors including ulcers, chronic fatigue, poor skin quality, lowered immunity, and also Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease.
Healthy tips to rev up your digestion:
Wake up to a healthy breakfast that is low in fat and high in fiber. Skipping this highly essential meal may further aggravate the condition. Therefore it is very crucial to begin one’s day by consuming a healthy breakfast, followed by a whole-some meal at lunch-time.
Make the right food choices. The consumption of whole-grain or whole-wheat products may prove to be a wise decision. The insoluble fiber from whole grains is believed to provide the required roughage to soften stools, which may be beneficial in curing constipation problems.
Consuming fruits and vegetables in huge amounts may rub some of its positive effects on the digestive tract as well. Since all the required nutrients may not be achieved merely through the intake of foodstuffs, consuming adequate amounts of fruits and veggies is believed to fill up this deficiency gap. The daily consumption of fruits like papaya and pineapple, due to their natural enzymes may be considered a good way of boosting one’s digestive system.
Having a number of small meals throughout the day may be a better alternative than consuming few huge meals. Having small meals is believed to elevate the body’s rate of metabolism, which in turn means burning calories. More so, the rate of metabolism may further be heightened with the inclusion of protein-rich foodstuffs in your daily meals.
Chewing food properly before swallowing may also prove to be helpful for this purpose. Chewing food thoroughly may aid and assist the digestive system in functioning more easily.
You must have already heard a lot about the health benefits of drinking water. Apart from its numerous benefits, water consumption is also believed to aid the digestive system in functioning efficiently. Adequate water intake may notably also give a helping hand to the colons in clearing away all the harmful toxins from the body. However, the consumption of water may best be put to use by adopting certain health patterns. Drinking water in between meals or some time prior to eating may prove to be a beneficial routine. However it may be more helpful if the intake of water during meals may be restricted to a few small sips.
Exercising regularly is also believed to benefit the digestive tract. This may aid in boosting one’s metabolism which further improves digestion. Lowering the amount of stress may also have more than one beneficial effect on an individual’s overall health.
Things to be avoided in return for a good digestive system:
Alcohol could possibly be one of those things, whose complete abstinence won’t do the body much harm. Although its moderate consumption is believed to be beneficial; a person can probably go through an entire life span without drinking this beverage.
Avoiding the intake of foodstuffs having extreme temperatures may be a step taken in the right direction towards a healthy digestion. Food may best be enjoyed by both you and your digestive system when it’s a little above normal room temperature.
Avoid the intake of foodstuffs which are made up of too many spices, fats and concentrated sweets. Apparently, meals containing high amounts of calories are believed to take a greater amount of time to metabolize. Therefore such food items may sit in the stomach for a longer while, thus making a person feel sluggish.
Home cures for better digestion:
Regular consumption of figs, tomatoes, aloe vera, peppers, oatmeal and bran are believed to aid in digestion. Cooking meals with certain herbs and spices may notably be another way of improving digestion. These include turmeric, cumin, dried ginger, garlic, turmeric, carom seed and coriander. Prepare a mixture by adding a few mint leaves to curd or mixing the leaves in plain water. Consuming this mixture may aid in improving one’s digestion.
Curds, especially the probiotic ones, are believed to consist of certain bacteria which are also believed to be beneficial for this purpose. Lemon juice diluted in water and consumed after meals may be another helpful digestive aid. Substituting carbonated and caffeinated drinks with herbal teas could also prove to be beneficial. Fennel may be a good alternative for either using it while preparing tea or chewing on it directly after meals. Fresh ginger tea and peppermint tea may also be effective.
People are highly recommended to consult an expert in the field before implementing or adopting any new dietary regime. Intake of food in the right amount, of the right kind, and at the right time could easily be called the Golden Rule of a healthy digestion!