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9 Tips for Smooth Digestion

Simple things can make a difference in how well your food agrees with you. They'll help you prevent symptoms such as bloating, belches, or heartburn. Get started with these strategies.

1. Tap Into Plant Power

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Water: A Fluid Way to Manage Constipation

Chronic constipation -- when you can’t poop -- is a common digestive problem. You might have considered over-the-counter laxatives to “get things moving,” but you can do plenty to manage chronic constipation without taking medicine. One of the simplest ways is to drink plenty of fluids every day, eat dietary fiber, and exercise.

Read the Water: A Fluid Way to Manage Constipation article > >

Plant foods have fiber. This helps you stay regular. Bonus: It fills you up, which is a plus if you want to lose weight.

Go for high-fiber foods, such as:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and lentils

Start slowly. As you gradually add fiber to your diet, also increase the amount of water you drink. Water is fiber’s best friend. Fiber soaks it up, and this will help you avoid cramping or gas.

2. Have a Side of Soup

Water and other fluids such as soup, broth, and juice can ease things through your system.

Not a soup fan? Try herbal tea or water with a slice of cucumber, lemon, or lime. Or anything, really, as long as it doesn’t have alcohol (which dehydrates you) or too much caffeine (which can stimulate your intestines too much).

If you favor fizzy drinks, keep in mind that they increase stomach acid, which gives some people heartburn.

3. Break It Down

Eat smaller amounts more slowly. Chew your food thoroughly to make your digestive system's job a little easier.

4. Keep Moving

Is there anything exercise can’t do for you? The list of benefits just keeps growing. You already know it’s good for your heart and your waist line. Turns out that active people also have smoother digestion.

Watch the timing. For some people, exercise right after a meal can cause indigestion. So schedule your workouts before meals or wait at least an hour after eating.

5. Bring on the “Good” Bugs

Probiotics are "good" bacteria that are in your gut. They are in some yogurts and fermented foods. They help with your digestion. You can also add them to your diet with supplements.

6. Outsmart Fatty Fare

Fats tend to stay in your system the longest, making them harder to digest. You may have even noticed a feeling of fullness or burning after a rich meal.

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