6 Best Ways to Improve Digestion
One thing that I have learned from eating a vegan diet is the importance of proper digestion. I used to get upset stomachs more frequently than most people, which have dwindled to being few and far between since switching to a vegan diet and really upping my water intake. I rarely get bloated anymore, and my stomach can handle large amounts of fiber at one time without an issue because of my improved digestion.
I have figured out what kinds of foods to eat for optimal digestion in combination with a very active lifestyle and running lots of miles. A lot of runners often experience digestive distress during or after runs because they are eating foods that just are not great for digestion.
I want to share some of my best tips for improved digestion with you. There are so many benefits of having great digestion including a flat belly, less bloating, being “regular”, not suffering from constipation, and just feeling light and energized. I used to get constipated actually kind of frequently because I did not eat enough fiber, drink enough water, or just eat enough food in general. Without further ado- here is how to improve your digestion in 6 easy steps!
1.Drink Enough Water
Drinking water throughout the day has so many benefits from increasing energy levels to helping you recognize when you are actually full. Not drinking enough water really slows down the digestive process and will make it harder to use the restroom. Water also helps to dissolve soluble fiber which helps food to move along the digestive tract.
2. Eat high fiber plant foods (like my Sweet Potato Collard Green Wraps!)
It is very important to eat fiber from plant foods, and not high fiber artful foods (I’m looking at your fiber one bars!). Most people turn to these proclaimed “high fiber” foods instead of eating the foods found in nature that are high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and grains. Eating fiber rich plant food is great for you digestive system because of the high water content of fruits and vegetables.
3. Get moving!
Exercising is so important for good digestive health. Running, yoga, cycling, and swimming are especially great for improved digestion. Exercising increases blood flow to the organs and engages muscles of the digestive tract. Do a short yoga flow before bed, take a walk after dinner, and be sure to get regular exercise to keep things moving along the digestive tract!
4. Eliminate processed foods and high fat foods
Processed foods reek havoc on the digestive system due to their lack of fiber and inflammatory properties. High fat foods like oil are also not good for the digestive system because they are often devoid of any fiber.
5. Add healthy spices/ flavoring to your water
One of the best things to add to your water for improved digestion is fresh squeezed lemon. Other great water additives are ginger root, fresh mint, cucumber slices, lime, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon. You could also add any of these to green tea.
6. Reduce your Stress/ Meditate/ do Yoga
Ever noticed that you tend to suffer digestive issues before big life events? That is because your body is under stress or in an environment that is not relaxing. The brain and digestive system and intricately connected which means that when you get mentally stressed, your digestive system also gets stressed. Try to reduce stress by getting more sleep, meditating, doing yoga, and changing your perspective on any given situation.
Do you feel that you have good digestion? Are there any tips that I missed? How do you keep yourself feeling light and energized?