Featured Video: Digestive Health Awareness

Digestive Health Awareness: The Digestive Tract · Gastroparesis · Other Digestive Ailments · New Jersey Gastroenterologists

Sources: EveryDayHealth.com; Ted-Ed (video)

Your diet and your lifestyle have a direct impact on your digestive health. Improving your digestive health helps your digestion function more efficiently and improve your overall health. According to Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RDN, owner of Halsa Nutrition and adjunct professor of nutrition at Endicott College:

Consuming a high-fiber diet can improve your digestive health by preventing constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Soluble fiber draws in water and can help prevent stools that are too watery. You can get soluble fiber from oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Insoluble fiber, also known as roughage, isn’t digested by the body, but helps add bulk to the stools. Good sources of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.

Protein is an essential part of a healthful diet. Select lean cuts of meat, such as pork loin and skinless poultry, and fill more of your plate with more fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Probiotics can enhance nutrient absorption, may help break down lactose, strengthen your immune system, and possibly even help treat IBS. Good sources of healthy probiotic bacteria and yeasts naturally present in your digestive tract include such as low-fat yogurt or kefir.

Drinking plenty of water is good for your digestive health. Fiber pulls water into the colon to create softer, bulkier stools, allowing them to pass through more easily.

Regular exercising and stress management can cause keep your digestive system from to going into overdrive and prevent constipation.

Aim to eat on a regular schedule — having breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks around the same time each day.

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