What can I do to Aid Digestion?

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  • Originally Written By: Paulla Estes
  • Revised By: Bott
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2018
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Digestion in humans is the process by which food is taken in, processed, and passed on through the body. Diet, water intake, and activity level can have a serious impact on digestion, and even healthy people can suffer from problems with digesting food. Symptoms like diarrhea, gas, constipation, indigestion, and other complaints are not serious in the short-term, but over an extended period of time, they can have harmful effects or even lead to serious illnesses. A few simple ways to improve the digestive process is to eat properly; consume more enzymes, fiber, and natural nutrients; drink plenty of water; and exercise often.

Eat Properly

For most people, a balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, meat, dairy, and oils, and eating a healthy diet can improve digestion. Not only is it important to eat the right types of foods, but also to eat the food properly. For example, the digestive system runs more smoothly when food is eaten slowly; this allows the organs to work properly at a normal pace. Along the same lines, when too much food is consumed at one time, it cannot be digested as easily because it overloads the system, so to speak. Eating the right amount of food, slowly, will improve the body's digestive capabilities.


Consume More Enzymes

To aid digestion, the first place to begin is making changes in one's diet and enzymes are a helpful way to start. Enzymes help the digestive process because they increase nutrients and cause food to be more fully digested. Echinacea is one helpful enzyme, as are pepsin, spirulina, and milk protein, to name just a few. Many enzyme supplements can be purchased on the Internet or in most major drugstores.

Fiber and Natural Nutrients

Fiber is a carbohydrate that helps aid digestion, as it keeps things moving in the intestine, preventing toxic build up, which can lead to the aforementioned symptoms of digestive problems. Fiber can be found in raw fruits and vegetables, but it can also be purchased from major drug stores as a dietary supplement. Also helpful are natural nutrients that cleanse the intestine, such as aloe vera, beta carotene, senna pod, garlic, acidophilus, and rosehips.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is one of the most helpful aids to digestion. Drinking the recommended eight to ten glasses of clean water each day keeps the body hydrated and helps aid digestion in the intestinal tract. Some studies show that drinking cold fluids will actually slow down the digestive process, so many people choose to drink water at room temperature.

Exercise Often

Aerobic exercise and stretching each day also contribute to healthier digestion, as the body as a whole will be in better working order. Many health care professionals recommend walking for ten minutes each day to avoid bloating or other uncomfortable symptoms of the digestive process. A variety of exercises, such as yoga, done after eating are believed to increase the rate of digestion; these exercises can be researched on the Internet or taught by most yoga instructors.


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Post 7

Meat and dairy are not needed. If you check out the food pyramid, you find that the "protein" group is satisfied by plant protein in the form of beans, soy products, soy yogurt, soy cheese, tofu, soy milks and ice creams, peanuts and other nuts. These supply healthy fats and proteins as well as calcium. This is better since they are more digestible than flesh protein and do not give the unhealthy saturated fats and cholesterol that meat and dairy give and are attributed to disease, cancer, obesity and heart attack.

Post 6

@Fa5t3r - Well, I would also say that people should make sure they eat plenty of fiber whenever they can. It's not only useful for making sure you are regular, you will also be making sure you keep your gut healthy.

I think people get discouraged when they first start getting more fiber because it can feel like it's upsetting your stomach. But if you persist you'll be better off.

Post 5

I've always been a little bit irritated by people who complain about digestion problems all the time. It seems like that kind of complaint that you can make suit whatever hypochondriac impulse you happen to have.

But, there are quite a few serious conditions that can happen, even to young people, which I found out last year when my sister was diagnosed with bowel cancer. So, if you are suddenly having digestive problems, and you didn't change your diet, don't just look for home remedies, go to the doctor.

Post 4

@anon163430 - I always thought it took more water to digest carbohydrates, but in fact it takes more water to digest protein and you might even get some water back from carbohydrates.

I just want to make something clear though. I've heard rumors and received emails over the years where people have tried to make out that drinking cold water with your meal can cause cancer or obesity or many other different ailments. It's supposed to be because the water mixes with any fats and causes them to congeal.

This is not true. If cold water does anything, it might slow down digestion a little but that's it. I've heard of people refusing to drink water because of this kind of worry and there's no basis to it. Drinking water, even cold water, will help the digestion process, not cause cancer.

Post 3

Water literally helps keep the juices flowing. It helps maintain your intestinal wall hydrated which is important for nutrient absorption. Also, water is required for many processes like secretion of acid and absorption of salts and sugars.

Post 2

How does water actually aid in food digestion? I mean in what way does water function? The mechanism?

Post 1

Now there's a yogurt on the market that has "Bifidus Regularis." The makers of this yogurt say it aids in digestion.

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