madison memorial hospital, nutrition, healthy digestive system, digestion, exercise, hydration

Improving your Digestive System

One of the most common initial problems and complaints treated here at Madison Memorial Hospital is abdominal pain. This can come from a number of problems associated with the body’s digestive system and often times can be solved through drinking water and going on a walk.

What is digestion?

Everyone who eats food somehow needs to digest it. When there are problems with digestion, various side effects can come about. The process of digestion refers to how the food you eat becomes nutrients for your body. Digestion then uses these nutrients to help your body with energy, growth and cell repair, according to WebMD.

What are common digestive tract problems?

There are several problems that can occur to digestive tracts. Some of these problems include constipation, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, heart burn, irritable bowel syndrome (I.B.S.), and inflammatory bowel disease (I.B.D). Inflammatory bowel disease is when part or all of the digestive tract is inflamed.

How do I improve my digestion?

The following things you can do to better improve your digestion.

Watch What You Eat

The first thing is to include high fiber foods in your diet. These foods consist of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit. Choosing lean meats such as lean cuts, pork loin, and skinless poultry can aid in better digestion. Low-fat yogurt and kefir are probiotics that will help normalize bowel movements. Instead of eating butter or margarine, you can substitute olive oil. When it comes to eating real food, check the freshness, whether or not it is organic, as well as the quality of food. It is beneficial to put quality food in your quality digestive system.

madison memorial hospital, quality of food, digestive health, healthy eating, hydration, nutrition

The quality of our food and the quality of our digestive health have a strong correlation.

Eat on a Schedule

Try to eat on a consistent schedule. Sit down for your meals. Eat snacks around the same time during the day. As you eat, take your time and fully chew your food. Put technology away and focus on your meal. Savor your food and give yourself time to digest as you form healthy habits. While you are developing positive eating habits, watch your mood. Whether you have a positive or negative mood will affect how much you eat. When you eat only when you are in a positive mood, you are more aware of what you are eating. Eat in a nondistracted, relaxed environment.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Drink water often to ensure your body is properly hydrated. Being hydrated helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber and allows food to pass through your body easily. Water along with beverages which contain electrolytes are important in the body. Also limit smoking, caffeine, and alcohol. These substances can interfere with the function of your digestive system as they can cause stomach ulcers and heartburn troubles.

Exercise

Exercise regularly! As you exercise, it will help move food through your digestive system. Exercises, such as walking, using the elliptical, and biking, will aid in the reduction of constipation and support healthy weight management. As you plan exercise into your schedule, you are more likely to get out and make it happen. Exercising can help with weight loss and reduce heartburn.

Lessen Your Stress

When you mishandle stress, it will send your digestive system into overdrive. To reduce stress, breathing techniques within meditation, yoga, walking around, or even taking naps can be beneficial. Stress is dangerous when not handled correctly.

What are symptoms of poorly functioning digestive systems?

Poorly functioning digestive systems show numerous amounts of symptoms. Check to see if you have any of the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • lower back pain
  • excess gas
  • bloating
  • loose bowel movements
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • irritability
  • acne
  • skin rashes
  • low energy

Here at Madison Memorial Hospital, we care about your digestive health. We don’t want you to be in pain with a poorly functioning digestive system. We encourage you to do your part to reduce the risk of having any problems.

Further dietary counseling information can be found at Madison Education Department.

Madison Education Department

35 N 1st E, Rexburg, ID 83440

208-359-6524

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail
eating healthy, healthy eating, healthful, healthy, fruits, vegetables, salad, madison memorial hospital, calories, caloric intake, energy, smile, food

Eating Healthy

Healthful Food Suggestions

ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends that our meals include about an equal ratio of fruits and vegetables compared to grains and proteins. That means that you should make fruits and vegetables about half your plate.

Try eating whole grains rather than processed grains for added health benefits. “People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many [emphasis added] nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies” (ChooseMyPlate.gov). Whole grains also contain more nutrients and fill you up better than refined grains.

Fruits are a sweet, natural dessert and a much better option than junk food or candy because they contain nutrients and lack the refined sugars.

“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check” (Harvard School of Public Health).

Fish such as salmon are another heart-healthy protein option. “The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week.”If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative sources of protein.

If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative plant sources for protein while still part of the vegetable food group.

Caloric Intake Guidelines

Ever wonder how many calories you should eat a day? This WebMD link shares the average calorie intake to “maintain energy balance” based on gender, height, and the amount of daily activity.

Learn What Your Food is Made of

USDA.gov has a food tracker called Food-A-Pedia. It is a great resource to track the nutritional content and calories of what you eat.

Also, don’t forget to prepare your food properly and wash your hands before eating!

Other resources:

healthline.com

authoritynutrition.com

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail