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As we age, our physical problems seem to exaggerate and often give us a more challenging time. Stomach aches turn into constipation and acid reflux, and before you know it, indigestion is interfering with the whole day. Of course, the good news is that you can take steps to improve your digestive health.
If you are dealing with gut problems or digestive issues, it is time you take your health into your hands by incorporating these tips. Once you do, your digestion will improve, leaving you with fewer health problems.
The Top 10 Steps to Improve Your Digestion
1. Healthy Diet
Poor nutrition is the most common factor among people with digestive problems. Here are a few steps you can take to maintain a healthy diet:
- Eat multiple proteins such as lean meat, fish, and beans
- Add more fiber to your diet, including whole grains, fruits, and raw vegetables
- Stay hydrated! Drink the recommended amount of water throughout the day
- Reduce your salt intake
- Avoid white foods such as potatoes, rice, and bread
2. Consider Taking A Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics contain good bacteria that improve your gut health in the long run. People dealing with chronic constipation and digestive issues will find probiotics the most helpful. A healthy gut microbiome is one of the essential things for digestive health.
That is why you should take probiotic supplements or ingest them naturally. These include having items such as tempeh, kombucha, certain yogurts, and fresh sauerkraut.
3. Stay Active
Yes, our energy levels and mobility decrease with age, but that should not deter you from staying active. You can always do exercises to improve your blood circulation and digestion. Some gentle activities for seniors include yoga, walking, swimming, cycling/spinning, and much more.
Staying active will help you maintain your weight and improve your digestive health. Of course, exercising also has endless other advantages that will benefit you.
4. Eat Smaller Meals
Older adults can't accommodate as much food as younger people due to the reduced elasticity of the stomach wall. That is why you should not overload your digestive system. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and your digestive system will work much better.
Doing this will also allow the body to sync with your satiety signals. In the long run, it will help you prevent any digestive discomfort you may have faced because of taking large meals.
5. Increase Your Water Intake
As you age, water is your best friend. It will help you to facilitate bowel movements easily and decrease problems of constipation. You can also consume water from foods such as cucumbers and watermelons, or beverages like tea, to stay fresh all day.
You should drink enough water that your urine remains clear all day. If it is a dark color, it is an indication that you are not consuming enough water. Click here to learn more about how to stay hydrated and its benefits!
6. Manage Stress
Stress can cause your digestive system to go into disarray, among other symptoms. It leads to many digestive problems such as IBS, ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, and much more. That is because cortisol (the stress hormone) has a direct effect on your digestive system.
That is why you should take steps to manage your stress. You can do this by indulging in mindful habits such as relaxation and meditation. It will give your body a chance to rest so blood and energy can be redirected towards digestion.
7. Let Go Of The Bad Habits
Yes, old habits die hard, but you need to ease the load you put on your body each day as you age. That is why you should let go of bad habits that negatively affect your digestive system. These include:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Binge eating
- Munching on late night snacks
- Consuming too much sugar
- And much more
8. Indulge In Mindful Eating
When we are not paying attention, we overeat too quickly. Doing so can lead to problems such as indigestion, gas, bloating, and much more. To overcome these problems, you should indulge in mindful eating, which is all about paying attention to the food and eating process.
Here are a few tips for eating mindfully:
- Put away the phone and TV while eating
- Observe how your food looks on the plate and how it smells
- Consciously select each bite of food
- Eat and chew slowly
- Pay attention to all aspects of the food, such as taste, temperature, and texture
9. Talk To Your Doctor About Your Medications
Sometimes certain medications can hurt our digestive system. They can cause problems such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and much more. That is why you should consult your doctor and check your medications.
If you have side effects because of these medicines, you can ask for an alternative. It is essential to be mindful of what is causing your body to act a certain way. Once you understand this, you can take the proper steps.
10. Incorporate More Colors In Your Diet
Older adults should include colorful vegetables and fruits for healthy digestion. The more color a fruit or vegetable has, the more antioxidants it contains. That is why you should reach for colorful foods such as strawberries, blueberries, leafy greens, and much more.
In the long run, it will aid your digestion and help you decrease your chances of colon cancer. Incorporating these foods is essential for long-term health and overall digestion.
Keep in mind that improving any aspect of our health requires consistency. You have to keep doing these things to see long-term results. So, stay on track with your goals, and your body will be grateful for these changes.