Tips for healthy digestion
Get enough fiber
Fiber is the structural portion of a plant, so it’s found in good-for-you foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Adults should be eating in the neighborhood of 30 grams of fiber a day, but the average intake among adults in the US is only about a third of that. Our busy lifestyles contribute to the problem – when we’re eating on the go, we’re less likely to find the fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aim to have a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack, toss some beans into a soup or salad, and choose whole grains over refined “white” breads, cereals, rice and pasta.
Get some “good” bacteria
Your digestive system is home to thousands of strains of beneficial bacteria that help to break down foods that are resistant to normal digestion – which allows you to obtain more nutrients from your foods. The bacteria in your system also help to keep the growth of other, potentially harmful, bacteria at bay – thus promoting healthy digestion.While the idea of consuming bacteria in the diet may not sound appealing, the probiotic bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods can promote digestive health.
Meet your fluid needs
Fluid helps the fibers in foods to “swell” and helps to add more bulk to the material passing through the lower digestive tract, which keeps things running smoothly. Watery fruits and vegetables go a long way towards meeting fluid needs, but it’s still important to drink fluids throughout the day.