One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to work on improving your digestion. Many people live with chronic constipation because of inadequate fiber and water intake. Most Americans eat an average of 12-15 grams of fiber per day, much less than the 25-30 grams recommended for proper bowel functioning. About 60-80 ounces of water is recommended to help move your food through your digestive system.
Why is this a problem? Because food that sits in your digestive tract tends to ferment, causing bloating, gas, and increasing the likelihood that bad bacteria will thrive. On the other hand, when your food is processed well and at a healthy rate, your body can easily eliminate any waste, excess hormones, and toxins that are in your system.
One of the things I emphasize when I’m working with clients who want to lose weight or overcome digestive issues is to pay attention to exactly what and when they’re eating. If they tell me that they absolutely need coffee in the morning, or rarely eat any veggies other than lettuce, then I ask them about their bathroom habits.
It can be awkward to talk about how you go, but it’s important to notice the frequency. A regular person has an average of two to three bowel movements per day.
If you can go for days without elimination, you may be dealing with chronic constipation.
You can start fixing it by eating higher-fiber foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.
Here Are 5 Foods to Boost your Digestive Power
Pears and apples:
These fruits are a great source of fiber—one medium pear has 5.5 grams and one medium apple has 4.4 grams. Eat them with the skin to maximize the fiber content, and make sure to get organic fruits so that you minimize the amount of pesticides you’re consuming.
You can get a whopping 15.6 grams of fiber in one cup of cooked lentils. While many people get bloated from eating beans, lentils are less gassy and easier to digest than most beans. You can add lentils into a soup or stew, or make a pot of lentil soup as a side dish.
Eat one steamed cup of this cruciferous veggie and you’ll get five grams of fiber. Broccoli also has many phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, so it’s a great addition to your diet that’s good for your overall health.
You probably know these as the things that grow into Chia Pets, but there’s so much more to this tiny seed. This superfood was used by Aztecs to increase energy and stamina when going into battle. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and just one ounce of these super seeds contains 10 grams of fiber.
Add a tablespoon to your morning glass of water, stir, and let them sit for a few minutes until they start absorbing water. In this state, they become slightly gelatinous which can sometimes take some getting used to the texture. In the end, though, they are a great way to add fiber and also help hydrate your body.
This article was written by Christy Goldfeder, a Certified Health Coach, Amazon bestselling author, and wellness writer. She started living a delicious life after she shifted to healthier eating and lifestyle habits—thechanges helped her lose 15 pounds, relieved her from depression, and enabled her to stop taking all of her prescription medications.
Learn how to stop making the most common mistakes that keep you prisoner to the pounds at LiveADeliciousLife.com. Connect with her on Facebook, and pick up a copy of her seasonal cleanse eBook, Delicious Detox, at Amazon.
“Fiber, Start Roughing it!” The Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health web site; http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fiber-full-story/, last accessed September 6, 2013.