(Washington, D.C.) – A lot of Americans struggle with digestive difficulties with many not knowing how to fit in regular physical activity or make the best dietary choices that can actually promote digestive health.
According to the International Food Information Council Functional Foods/Foods for Health Consumer Trending Survey, 81 percent of Americans believe foods and beverages may improve digestive health. Many are also aware of the relationship between fiber, probiotics and prebiotics and maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Yet, few Americans are consuming these types of foods and beverages to experience their health benefits.
Getting regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and grains as well as certain yogurts and fluids can help promote optimal digestive health. “Making the right choices in your diet is your best assurance of keeping your digestive system running smoothly,” says David Grotto, registered dietitian and author of “101 Optimal Life Foods.”
Using these tips will have you well on your way to staying healthy and regular.
Ten Tips To Achieve Optimal Digestive Health:
- Consume a Balanced Diet. Choose a variety of foods from each food group, especially fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and grains as well as certain yogurts and fluids.
- Establish an Eating “Routine.” Eat regular meals to help promote consistent bowel movements.
- Eat Small, More Frequent Meals. Aim for 4-5 small meals per day versus 2-3 large meals.
- Chew More. Digestion starts in the mouth. Chew thoroughly. Chewing can help with the needed breakdown of some nutrients.
- Remember a Mealtime Beverage. Fluids help move solids through the digestive system.
- Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Veggies. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can also provide prebiotics that support the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Eat Yogurt or Kefir Daily. Certain yogurts and kefir contain probiotics that can help promote digestion.
- Relax After Eating. Give your body time to digest your meal before being active again.
- Avoid Overeating. Excessive intake can burden the digestive system.
- Get Moving. Focus on fitting physical activity into your day to help promote digestive health. Even slow activities like stretching and walking will promote good digestive health.
These tips and more are included in a new digestive health video featuring the “Guy-a-titian” David Grotto, RD, which is the sixth in the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s “Foods for Health” video series. Additional videos on Healthy Kids and Families, Immune Health, Weight Management, Heart Health and Healthy Aging, are available on the IFIC Foundation FoodInsightTV channel, which features a wide range of videos on food and health topics. The new video and corresponding “Foods for Health: Eating for Digestive Health” online guide are available on the Foundation’s digestive health resource webpage.