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Tips to Improve your Digestive Health when you feel bloated

It seems we only think about digestive health when something has already gone wrong with our digestive system. It is not as if we consciously consider digestive health as we eat. This is simply a given in life. 

Digestive health can also bring up issues we do not want to think about. Problems with the digestive system are generally unpleasant, and discussing these issues is just as unpleasant. This is why we need to pay attention to digestive health. 

But it is crucial to pay attention to digestive health before a problem develops. Most of the issues with digestive health can be prevented simply by paying attention not only to what we eat but also to how we eat. 

The human digestive system is indeed pretty resilient. For those of us who enjoy spicy foods and rich foods, the digestive system seems to hold up well. But once an issue arises with our digestive health, figuring out how to treat the problem can be difficult. 

Digestive health and how to preserve your digestive health are simple matters of being aware of how things work. What is digestive health? How do we take care of digestive health? And what steps can we take to maintain digestive health? This guide will give you the information you need to sustain a healthy digestive system. 

What is your digestive health?

The digestive system, often simply referred to as “the gut,” consists of the gastrointestinal tract. This is the series of organs that include the esophagus, stomach, upper and lower intestine, and the anus. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are also part of the digestive system.

Maintaining the health of this complicated system can be complex. It means paying attention to the many ways that each of these organs and organ systems are impacted by the foods you eat and your overall lifestyle. 

Generally speaking, a balanced diet that includes a healthy amount of fiber is all you need to think about to maintain your digestive health. This also means not eating fatty processed foods, since these are not easily processed by the digestive system. Certainly, synthetic food additives are bad for your digestive health, simply because the natural systems in your digestive tract are not capable of dealing with these substances. 

Just about everyone will experience some kind of issue with their digestive system. This can be in the form of abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. When any of these symptoms persist it is important to seek medical attention because any of these can be a sign of a more severe problem. 

With all symptoms of digestive problems, the first order is to examine your eating habits. Almost all digestive health issues can be linked to diet and lifestyle. 

How does your digestive health work?

The digestive process involves a complex of interrelated organ systems, each of which plays an integral role in your digestive health. The digestive process begins the moment we ingest any food or liquid. 

Starting with the mouth, food is masticated so that it can be taken into the esophagus. This is a tube that channels food substances to the stomach, where they can be further digested with a combination of acids and enzymes. The esophagus pulls foods toward the stomach with a process called peristalsis. Some nutrients and even things like alcohol are absorbed into the body directly through the mouth and esophagus. 

Food substances are then passed into the small intestine where digestive juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine itself further break things down into nutrients that can enter the bloodstream. Waste products are then passed into the large intestine. 

The large intestine completes the digestive processes with enzymes. It also moves waste products through the body, where they can be eliminated through the rectum in the form of stool. 

Each step of the digestive system operates in a delicate balance with every other. The health of the entire system depends on each part. In maintaining digestive health, it is essential that we consume the correct foods and drinks, and that we drink plenty of water. Toxicity can enter the body at any phase in the entire digestive health process. 

Tips for better digestive health when feeling bloated

One of the most common digestive health problems is bloating. This is the feeling of being overly full or swollen after eating. Bloating is usually caused by excess gas or other disturbances somewhere in the digestive health process. As many as 30 percent of people complain of bloating at some point in their lives. 

Simple tips to help prevent or deal with bloating include:

Do not eat too much at any one time

The most common cause of bloating is simple over-eating. Not overeating or eating too much at one time includes chewing your food properly. 

Rule our food allergies

Bloating is a common symptom of certain food allergies. An adverse reaction to the chemical components of some foods can lead to excess gas, and this causes severe bloating. 

The best way to determine if you have a food allergy is to have the problem assessed by a qualified physician. You can also try eliminating specific foods one at a time until you isolate the problem. 

Foods that are commonly linked to allergies included:

  • Lactose: Lactose intolerance is associated with many digestive symptoms, including bloating. Lactose is the main carbohydrate in milk.
  • Fructose: Fructose intolerance can lead to bloating.
  • Eggs: Gas and bloating are common symptoms of egg allergy.
  • Wheat and gluten: Many people are intolerant to gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, and some other grains. This can lead to various adverse effects on digestion, including bloating.

Both lactose and fructose are a part of a larger group of indigestible carbs or fiber known as FODMAPs. FODMAP intolerance is one of the most common causes of bloating and abdominal pain.

Avoid swallowing air and gases

There are two sources of gas in the digestive system. One is the natural by-product of digestion. The other includes gases we swallow when eating and drinking. The most common offended when it comes to swallowed gas are soda drinks. Avoid soda pop and other gaseous drinks. 

Avoid gas-causing foods

The truth about bloating is that it is often caused by simple gas that builds up in our bodies. High-fiber foods, particularly things like beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains, can lead to the production of excess gas. If you find that these foods lead to bloating, try eating them in smaller amounts. 

Try a low-FODMAP diet

FODMAPS are fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols. These have been linked to the exacerbation of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. IBS is known to occur in about 14 percent of the population, and it leads to painful bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. 

Studies have shown that people who suffer from IBS can benefit from reducing or eliminating FODMAPs from their diet

High-FODMAP foods include:

  • Wheat
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichokes
  • Beans
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Watermelon

This diet can be difficult to follow if you're used to eating many of these foods, but maybe worth trying out if you have bloating or other digestive problems.

Take digestive enzyme supplements

There are some over-the-counter supplements that can help you digest foods that frequently lead to bloating. These supplements contain enzymes that help your digestive system break down certain types of foods. 

Notable examples of these enzyme supplements include Beano and Lactase. Lactase is good with lactose intolerance, and Beano can help with issues that stem from high-fiber foods like legumes. 

Probiotics

A great way to prevent excess gas in the intestine is by taking probiotic supplements. These supplements feed the healthy bacteria in the intestine and help these bacteria break down food substances more efficiently. This reduces the amount of excess gas given off during digestion. 

Clinical studies have shown that probiotics can significantly reduce excess gas and bloating in people who commonly suffer from these problems. 

Does exercise help with your digestive health?

Regular exercise stimulates the digestive system and digestive processes. The increased blood flow that comes with regular exercise stimulates the entire digestive process, and this effect continues even while you are resting. 

It is also known that exercise also stimulates the growth of natural intestinal fauna that is part of the process of sound digestive health. 

How to avoid digestive health problems

The best steps to avoid digestive health problems are quite simple:

  1. Cut back on fatty foods.
  2. Avoid fizzy drinks.
  3. Eat and drink slowly.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Don't chew gum.
  6. Exercise more.
  7. Avoid foods that cause gas.
  8. Avoid sweeteners that cause gas such as fructose and sorbitol.

Digestive health FAQs

What is your digestive health? 

The digestive system, often simply referred to as “the gut,” consists of the gastrointestinal tract. This is the series of organs that include the esophagus, stomach, upper and lower intestine, and the anus. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are also part of the digestive system. The overall well-being of this entire system is digestive health. 

How does your digestive health work?

The digestive process involves a complex of interrelated organ systems, each of which plays an integral role in your digestive health. The digestive process begins the moment we ingest any food or liquid. 

What are some common causes of digestive health issues and bloating? 

Some of the main things that lead to bloating include high-fiber foods like beans and lentils, sodas and other gassy drinks, food sensitivities, and food allergies. 

What are some tips for better digestive health when feeling bloated? 

Avoid sugary and fatty foods. Cut down on high-fiber foods if it appears that you are sensitive to them. Try using supplements like Beano or Lactase. Try taking probiotics. Get plenty of exercises. And drink plenty of water. 

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Conclusion

We tend to overlook digestive health until we have already begun to have problems with our digestive system. Since digestive health remains largely undetected until there is a problem, it is easy to overlook digestive health when we think about health and wellness. 

But the digestive system is the gateway for all the nutrients our bodies need. The basic pathway by which nutrients enter the body is the digestive system, and we need to pay attention to digestive health in the same ways we pay attention to our weight and our sugar intake. And the foods we eat have everything to do with our digestive health. 

The fact is, the human body is made to handle certain kinds of foods, while things like synthetic food additives and other toxic substances are not meant to go through the human digestive system. When introducing toxic substances to the body, they impact our digestive health first. 

One of the most common symptoms of digestive problems is bloating. That feeling of being overly full can be the result of simply overeating, or it can be the result of eating the wrong things. In most cases, bloating is a temporary issue that will pass. In the case of something more severe like food allergies, bloating can be chronic and persistent. 

The best way to maintain good digestive health is by eating the right foods. This means eating a balanced and healthy diet that is not loaded with unhealthy fats and sugars. Digestive health also depends on regular exercise. Staying physically fit promotes digestive health. 

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