"Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and a good digestion." -Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Digestion is beneficial for the breaking down of foods that we consume into helpful nutrients. These digested foods are essential for the provision of the needed energy, growth and tissues, and cell repairs. For the blood to absorb these foods and water and transport them to the different cells in the body, it needs to change into smaller molecules of nutrients.
The digestive system of the body helps to break down these nutrients from drinks and foods into proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and fats, and oil. It's therefore important to understand that what you eat can contribute to your digestive problems. Most people now eat too much-processed foods and sugar and fewer fruits, fiber, and vegetables.
Unhealthy eating habits can also be part of the digestive problems such as bloating, heartburn, nausea, upset stomach, and indigestion that most people now face. Indigestion problems is a painful experience for people suffering from this illness since there are always sceptical of the food to eat and if their body system will be okay with the food.
This is a painful experience! But there is no need to continue crying over spilt milk since a healthy diet can help reverse these problems faced by your digestive organs. Superprof will be showing you some of the benefits of nutrition, the benefits of healthy eating to the digestive tract, and the importance of good nutrition to the body. When you follow these steps judiciously, expect to live a healthy life because most digestive problems can be prevented by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Understanding The Human Digestive System
Understanding the digestive system is important in knowing how it works and ways to maintain it. This knowledge helps one to know what the gastrointestinal tract composed of and ways there interact with each other.
Structures of the Digestive System
The digestive system of every human composes of different organs that work together for the breaking down of foods. The major organs that make up the digestive system include the mouth, the oesophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, the rectum, and the anus.
Another organ that is also helpful is what is called the gastrointestinal tract also known as the GL tract or the digestive tract. It composes of the liver, the gall bladder, and the pancreas.
How the Human Digestive System Works
The human digestive system works in tandem with each other. The process helps to break down the foods and liquid into smaller parts or both. These foods get broken down into smaller parts by the GI tract that is small enough for the body to absorb and distribute.
Once the foods or liquid are adequately broken down, the body moves the nutrients to where it's needed. The large intestine absorbs water while the waste products of the digestion process become faeces. It is important to know that disturbances or abnormalities in the digestive system can lead to stomach problems. Also, the nerves and hormones help control the digestive process.
Ideal Foods for Fast Digestion
The effects of a balanced diet on the digestive processes cannot be overemphasized. Since the digestive tract plays a major role in one's health, one needs to eat healthily. Certain foods make one suffer from digestive problems such as cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and constipation.
Most times even healthy people are not exempted from some of these digestive problems. These might be as a result of low fiber or lack of probiotic-rich foods in their diet. Here we would be looking at some of the best foods that one can take to improve digestion.
Healthy Fruits and Veggies
"Have Fruits and Vegetables, if you want to live a Fruitful Life"
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of fibers, vitamins, and minerals that are needed for digestion. These nutrients help to enhance one's digestive health such as the prevention of constipation, diverticulosis and staying healthy regularly. Examples of great fruits and vegetables that are necessary for your digestive system includes
- Avocados: This fruit can never go wrong. It can be taken at any time of the day and help people suffering from stomach inflammation as a result of indigestion.
- Carrots: A carrot is not only good for the eyes but can help speed up the digestive processes. It comes fully packed with antioxidants and fibers that are healthy for the digestive system
- Apples: A popular cliché that an apple a day keeps the doctor away is not an overstatement. Apples come with essential nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, and other dietary fibers. These antioxidants help to reduce the inflammation in one's digestive system.
- Beetroots: These are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, and potassium. There can be taken raw when eating salad or drinking juice.
- Cucumber: It comes with a high percentage of water and fiber and helps to soften stool. They also help to prevent constipation and helping for smooth bowel movements.
- Blueberries: Another fruit that is great for the GI tract due to the fibers and vitamin C it comes with is the blueberry fruit. It's Yummy and good for the tummy.
These fruits and vegetables are great and can easily be found in most local markets or the nearest mall. To take advantage of the benefits of these fruits and veggies, it is important that you eat them raw most often.
Foods Rich in Proteins
The right quantity of protein is needed for the optimal working of the digestive system and for a meal to be balanced. Foods rich in protein can be gotten mostly from animal sources such as beef, poultry, and fish and plant-based sources such as beans.
Experts, such as dieticians may often encourage people to make sure that they get the majority of their proteins from non-animal based products since animal products are mostly filled with saturated fats that might increase the cholesterol level.
To help with your bowel movement and digestion, you are encouraged to consume more black beans, nuts, such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts. You can also add kidney beans, chickpeas, white beans, and soy products. Another great source of healthy protein is the consumption of yoghurt. These yoghurts provide the human gut with essential bacteria that hastens up digestion.
Some Food One Needs to Avoid
Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork.
-Old English Proverb
To avoid most of these digestion problems, it's important to avoid some types of foods. Some of the major culprits of these digestive problems include
- Caffeine: This is a major substance that helps to stimulate the bowel movement causing it to go too fast. These fast movements can cause stomach aches and painful diarrhoea. Caffeine and most energy drinks prevent the bowel from working in its natural way.
- Processed Foods: These foods lack fiber and come with so much refined sugar. Since they are mostly refined, there often come with no or low fiber which is not good for the digestive system.
- Spicy Foods: Spicy foods are known to irritate the digestive organs and mostly for individuals suffering from ulcers. These spicy foods can also cause discomfort while passing faeces.
- Dairy Foods: Some dairy foods such as butter, cheese, and milk are not good for the digestive tract if you are already suffering from any digestion issues.
- Fried Foods: Fries can be great and tasty food but they are not good for the digestive system. Fried foods such as fish, chips, and chicken fingers can slow down your stomach from emptying thereby causing a bloated or constipated stomach.
Healthy does NOT mean starving yourself EVER. Healthy means eating the right food in the right amount". – Karen Salmansohn
Eating good food is not just the ultimate in keeping healthy but eating rightly at all times. In other to stay healthy here are some ways to follow when consuming those balanced diets
- Ensure that you eat to your satisfaction at all times. Don't go over your limit as it will cause digestive issues such as stomach upset and heartburn
- Concentrate on your diet while eating. Don't eat while pressing your phones or laptops
- If you are going to eat snacks, ensure that they are healthy ones such as nuts, apples, or prunes.
- Avoid eating late at night, most especially heavy foods
A healthy lifestyle begins with a conscious dieting plan and healthy habits.
Ensure that you drink enough water
Water is life and to stay healthy, you need to stay hydrated always. With good hydration, the digestion process goes smoothly and effortlessly. Enough water is needed to break-down the food you eat and to also soften the stool.
Experts recommend that one should consume at least 2 litres or 8 glasses of clean water every day. Other great ways that one can take to stay hydrated is by drinking decaffeinated teas, fruit juice, or soups occasionally.
Definition of Some Digestion Terms
- Fibers: Fibers also known as roughages are gotten from fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts that can't be broken down by the body. It passes through the body undigested helping to keep the digestive system healthy and clean.
- Gastroenterology: This is a branch of medicine that focuses on the digestive system and its disorders
You can read more on Superprof on the effects of a balanced diet on