Want a "recipe" for smoother digestion? Start with these nine tips. They'll help you prevent symptoms such as bloating, belches, or heartburn.
Of course, if you have any digestive symptoms that are severe or won’t go away, see your doctor.
1. Tap Into Plant Power
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:
- 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 waistline. 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.