How do I Improve Intestinal Health?

Sara Schmidt

Intestinal health can largely be improved through diet modification and other lifestyle changes. By eating nutritious foods slowly and taking smaller bites, most people can reduce their risk of indigestion and help maintain proper intestinal maintenance. Consuming adequate amounts of water and fiber is also helpful for optimal intestinal health.

Bowl of oatmeal.
Bowl of oatmeal.

Without sufficient water intake, the intestinal lining can become inflamed. A bacterial imbalance can also occur, causing bodily harm and sickness. To consume enough water, you should drink 0.03 fluid ounces (1 milliliter) of water per calorie of food eaten. In hot weather, more water should be consumed; more is also required during physical exercise.

Sauerkraut contains probiotics, which can help improve intestinal health.
Sauerkraut contains probiotics, which can help improve intestinal health.

Too much sugar and too many refined carbohydrates can help breed harmful bacteria. They are also harder for the intestines to process. By switching to whole grain foods and reducing your sugar intake, you can help create a healthy digestive environment ideal for intestinal health.

Eating too much sugar or sugar-laced food can cause intestinal discomfort.
Eating too much sugar or sugar-laced food can cause intestinal discomfort.

When the body lacks fiber, waste can accumulate in the digestive tract. Discomforting symptoms, such as constipation, can also develop. In order to keep intestinal operations running smoothly, adults should consume 0.7 to 1.2 ounces (20 to 35 grams) of fiber daily. Eating foods such as oatmeal, fresh fruits, and leafy green vegetables, brown rice, and whole grain cereal can satisfy these recommendations. Fiber supplements can also be taken if desired.

Foods high in prebiotics, such as apples, aid in intenstinal health.
Foods high in prebiotics, such as apples, aid in intenstinal health.

It can also be good to eat probiotics, helpful bacteria that protect against harmful bacteria. They can also help make both the small intestine and large intestine healthy by aiding the digestive process. Probiotics are most commonly found in yogurt, though they can also be consumed through other fermented foods, such as kefir, naturally fermented pickles, sauerkraut, and cultured butter. They are also available in supplement form as beverages or capsules.

Lifestyle factors often contribute to poor digestion.
Lifestyle factors often contribute to poor digestion.

Prebiotics, which help ensure the health of the probiotics, are also helpful for the body. They can be found in foods such as apples, leeks, garlic, bananas, and onions. These helpful bacteria are also available as a supplement.

Consuming adequate amounts of water can contribute to optimal digestive health.
Consuming adequate amounts of water can contribute to optimal digestive health.

Avoiding chlorine, which can kill probiotics, can help maintain optimal intestinal health. This is usually accomplished by filtering tap water. Cooking can kill food's natural enzymes that foster good intestinal health as well. People who wish to protect their intestines with digestion-aiding enzymes often consume much of their food uncooked.

Probiotics can boost intestinal health.
Probiotics can boost intestinal health.

Some people opt to take nutritional supplements to foster good intestinal health. Peppermint oil is a popular herbal supplement used for increasing intestinal health. Digestive enzymes are also available in supplement form.

Villi, which are tiny projections that line the walls of the intestines, absorb nutrients during the digestive process.
Villi, which are tiny projections that line the walls of the intestines, absorb nutrients during the digestive process.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

Sporkasia

I have a friend who studies the role of foods on the human body. She believe healthy eating is the key to staying healthy and fighting off disease. She also believes in the healing powers of foods.

When I asked her what was the most important step I should take to maintain good health, she was adamant that intestinal health through diet was the biggest factor to staying healthy.

Drentel

This article was an eye opener for me. I know that drinking water is one of the best things you can do to help digestion. I have always made a point of drinking more than the recommended daily intake of water.

However, most of the water I drink comes from the tap, so from reading the article I now know that I may be killing probiotics, which aid in the digestive process and contribute to colon health. After reading this, I am thinking I should switch to bottled water or get a water filter for the tap.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: