There’s a strong connection between diet and lifestyle habits and digestive health. Ignoring your digestive health could lead to serious problems involving your entire body, particularly if your system is unable to properly break food down into nutrients. People who suffer from digestive problems often experience a range of unpleasant symptoms, such as cramping, gas and bloating. The choices you make about the foods you eat, how much exercise you get and other fundamental bodily needs (like sleep) have a great deal to do with your gut health and digestive  well-being. 

A healthy gut makes it possible for the body to build a healthy immune system and produces the right kind of bacteria necessary for overall good health. Making the right choices keeps your gut and digestive system on the right track, and helps you avoid many common digestive ailments, such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and rapid weight gain or loss. So here are some tips to keep you feeling your best! 


You’re probably familiar with the feeling you have after Thanksgiving dinner or any heavy meal. You feel like you’ll explode and just can’t get comfortable. Bloating is a condition that’s a bit more complex than the feeling of being full. It’s often caused by a dietetic imbalance that includes excess salt, carbs, dairy and a tendency to wolf down your food without chewing it properly. This contributes to a condition known as dysbiosis, or imbalanced gut, that causes bloating. 

A healthier diet can alleviate the problem, and Chopra points out that taking probiotics, the healthy bacteria that occurs naturally in the digestive tract, provides relief by breaking down the negative effects of an unhealthy diet and other factors, such as stress.

High Fiber

Eating a diet that’s high in fiber can help you avoid a litany of health problems, notes Everyday Health, ranging from digestive issues and constipation to colon cancer. Many Americans don’t get enough fiber in their daily diet, a problem that could be corrected by adding a mixture of whole foods like legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grain foods every day. Studies have shown that a high-fiber diet is effective in preventing diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids, and is key in keeping you at a healthy weight level. 

The carbohydrates humans get from eating fiber produces a feeling of satisfaction after a meal and doesn’t elevate blood sugar levels as quickly as other carbs. In addition to digestion, fiber helps control cholesterol, and prevents diabetes and heart disease (be sure to include both soluble and insoluble fibers, which aid your digestive system in different ways). 

Go Lean

A diet heavy in red meat is more likely to produce digestive problems and lead to colorectal problems later in life, so incorporate lean meats into your diet. Selections like poultry and lean pork loin provide the protein your body needs to create energy and stay in balance without causing digestive issues that often result from a diet heavy in steak, hamburger and other beef products.

Drink Water

People with chronic digestive ailments often drink an excess of soda, sports drinks or some other substance that isn’t conducive to good digestive health. Drinking water instead helps correct digestive problems because water is pulled into the colon, producing bulkier but softer stools that are able to pass through easily and more comfortably. As such, water consumption helps you control weight by purging the system with regular bowel movements. 

Exercise and Hobbies

One of the keys to good digestive health is movement — specifically, keeping substances moving through the digestive system to avoid the kind of blockage that causes constipation, gas and bloating. Regular exercise helps by keeping food moving and by helping maintain a healthy weight through the burning of calories, another important factor in the maintenance of digestive health. If you spend long days at the office, simply standing during meetings and taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you burn calories and stay healthy.

Believe it or not, simply indulging your hobbies can have a positive impact on your digestive health, as well. For instance, some hobbies like golf and walking can help you get your steps in, and others (like photography and baking) will not only get you exercise but also improve your digestion.

Problems with your gut and digestive system may lead to a host of health problems, ranging from constipation to an inability to fend off illness. Luckily, a healthy diet, regular exercise and probiotics help bring the entire digestive system back into balance and reinforce your all-important gut health.

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