14 Tips for Improving Your Digestive Health
Probiotics foods, fiber, elimination diet, and food journal improve our digestive health. You can start taking action and improving your digestive health today. The following tips will help you identify areas of improvement for your own lifestyle, and help you make the right digestive health decisions.
#1 Probiotics Foods
You’re probably familiar with probiotics foods. They are foods that contain bacteria that are good for your digestive system.
Did you know that you have more than 100 trillion bacteria, about three pounds worth, living in your gut?
It’s one of the reasons why your digestive system has such a profound influence on your health.
You can influence that health by making sure there’s a good balance of healthy bacteria in your gut, and that starts with probiotics foods.
There are a number of probiotics foods, including:
For example, instead of having the same type of yogurt every morning for breakfast, you might have kefir or miso soup with your lunch.
There are two types of fiber; soluble and insoluble. Both types come from plants.
You’ll get a good amount of insoluble fiber from grains and soluble from fruits and vegetables. Generally speaking, foods that are high in fiber are also considered prebiotics.
Prebiotics are food for probiotics. They support good bacteria to thrive. You can make sure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet by eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains every single day.
#3 Food Journal
A food journal is simply a written log of the foods that you’ve consumed.
You don’t have to calculate calories or track the amounts. The goal is to identify potential food triggers that cause digestive problems.
When you track what you eat, you can begin to identify patterns.
You can track your food using a notebook and your favorite #2 pencil, a word processing document or a mobile application.
Tools like Evernote and OneNote are good tools if you like to keep everything organized and at your fingertips.
The method isn’t as important as the information you’ll be able to gather.
Food journal can be very useful tool to help you identify what’s causing your digestive problems. Over time, you may find that you’re sensitive to a number of different foods.
The next step might be to try an elimination diet to test your suspicions.
#4 Elimination Diet
An elimination diet seeks to identify the food or foods that are causing your gut issues.
When you can identify the culprit, you can then take steps to modify your diet. An elimination diet works like this:
Based on your food journal, or a niggling suspicion that you might have, you eliminate a food for 21-25 days.
It takes your body 21 days to stop producing antibodies to an allergen. So after completely eliminating the food, you can gently reintroduce the food into your diet.
For example, if you think you may have a sensitivity to dairy then you would not eat dairy of any kind for 21 days. This means carefully reading the labels on foods because dairy is in a lot of foods. Casein, a dairy protein, is even put into soy cheese, lunchmeat and other foods that you might not expect.
After your 21 days, you might then try a small piece of cheese or a couple of ounces of milk. Then pay close attention to your body and your digestion.
What happens? If nothing happens, then you probably don’t have a sensitivity to that particular food. If you get a stomach ache, or worse, then you know that dairy is a problem.