You watch your healthy habits and enquire about your foods and where they’re sourced from. You focus on your physical and mental well-being, go for regular runs through the canyon, and enjoy being active – Congrats, you have taken the great steps towards your digestive health and well-being!
Your lifestyle carries a lot of weight – are you staying in a positive mindset when things creep up during your day, are you continuing to consume nutritious foods, and do you drink enough water throughout the day?
There’s a lot you can do to contribute to your digestive health, feel great, and live a healthy life. Know that even little lifestyle choices at a time can move the needle forward.
So, next time you stand on a platform and take in the breathtaking sights of the canyon and the warm lights of the sunrise, feel content with your lifestyle and the choices you make for your body.
But how do you get there? Let’s learn about the building blocks of good digestive health.
What is Digestive Health & Why is It Important?
Your digestive system is responsible for breaking down foods after you’ve eaten – working diligently to make the process a smooth one and allowing you to absorb or utilize nutrients.¹
Your digestive tract spans a variety of organs beginning with your mouth, where saliva mixes with your food to start breaking down the food particles. Hence, good digestive health can be affected by all of the organs that are involved.
When you swallow, food travels into your esophagus and temporarily settles in your stomach, where stomach acid breaks down the food and officially starts digestion.¹
The very long small intestine further breaks down food and starts helping to absorb nutrients and then releasing them into the bloodstream. The large intestine, in turn, absorbs a lot of the water that is left from any of the remains of broken down food. Eventually, the remaining undigested food is expelled from the body.¹
Why is this important, you ask?
You want to make sure your body gets all the nutrients it requires to perform its everyday functions. This also means you want to eat a versatile diet, so your body can get the necessary nutrients including enough dietary fiber in the first place.
For good digestive health, allow your body to have all the resources it needs to complete the digestion process with ease, as it involves many steps and stops.
What Can Contribute to Your Digestive Health?
You can take matters into your hands and incorporate small positive lifestyle adjustments that can make a big difference in your digestive health. Here’s exactly what we mean.
Whether it’s your diet or the way you live, dissect your habits and choices and determine how you can positively impact your digestive health. Below are some questions to consider:
- What kind of foods do I eat?
- Do I consume a variety of different foods and nutrients?
- Do I keep hydrated enough throughout the day?
- Do I move my body enough?
All these factors go hand-in-hand, making for a mosaic with numerous pieces that all have to come together for a perfect picture.
Certain foods can affect your digestive health and fiber is one of the food categories with a positive impact. But where do you even find fiber?
No need to panic. Dietary fiber is abundant in many fruits and vegetables, legumes such as beans, and whole grains.
Eat Minimally Processed Foods
To keep up good digestive health, steer clear of highly processed foods whenever possible. Stick to fresh produce from the local farmer’s market or veggies from your own little garden at home.
These nicely packaged microwavable dinners might look fancy and save time but they can often provide little nutritional value. Many excessively processed foods are, in fact, packed full of sodium, artificial ingredients, as well as preservatives. We know it’s not always possible to avoid processed foods but sticking to minimally processed and fresh options is a great healthy habit to have.
Sometimes we all get busy and realize we’ve forgotten to drink throughout the day. Over the past couple of years, we noticed an uptick in water bottles encouraging you to stay hydrated and we’re big fans! We need to keep in mind that the type of drink we’re consuming is important. Consumption of sugary drinks, like soda, can affect so much more than just our digestive health - think about those afternoon sugar crashes.
Set realistic and achievable goals to increase your water intake and remember that even baby steps are steps that will take you in the right direction.
Sometimes small stresses in our daily lives can add up and turn things upside down. It’s no different when it comes to your digestive health.
While we can try to limit our sources of stress, we can also remember to give ourselves a few minutes each day to relax and recenter. Try starting small by setting a goal for one self-care item you’ll do each week and gradually increase the frequency. Before you know it, it’ll become another healthy habit you’ve incorporated into your daily routine. When we’re more relaxed, our digestive system can focus on working normally.
Get Regular Movement
No, it doesn’t have to be a run through the canyon specifically. Although that would make for spectacular scenery to enjoy while exercising.
Regular movement or exercise has an abundance of positive outcomes including good digestive health. Something as simple as a low-impact walk can help move food through your digestive tract after eating. Start by trying to incorporate some extra movement throughout the workday, whether that’s a walk around the block or 5 minutes of stretching - all the small habits can add up to big results!
Incorporate New Teas
Even if you’re currently a die-hard coffee lover, there are so many teas you can try. There’s a long selection of herbal teas that are caffeine free and black teas that contain caffeine too. Teas can help you keep your hydration up and there’s even some teas that have been used for thousands of years to help with digestion.
Tea can add a little flavor at any time of day. Take a few minutes from your chores and sit down with a warm cup of tea, snuggled in your favorite recliner, and get hypnotized by the snow falling hypnotically outside your window.
With more snow around the corner, it’s sounding more and more like a great idea!
Teas for Digestion – Here’s What Teas You Should Try
Ready for a list of cozy teas that can make for a delightful winter? Without further ado, let’s take a look at 3 teas you can drink that have been traditionally used for digestion.
(1) Ginger Tea
Ginger has a very particular taste, it’s true. And it might just take some getting used to – the peppery sweetness with a punch of spiciness is definitely unique.
But it’s exactly this unique blend of flavors that makes ginger tea so special. And it gets better – did you know that ginger is widely thought to be helpful for digestion? Yes, it’s a tea you should add to the books.
Ginger is likely originally from Southeast Asia. It has been an extremely popular herb since ancient times and gradually spread from China and India to the countries around the Mediterranean.²
(2) Black Tea
What else can you do for your digestive health? Drink more tea of course, like black tea, for instance, which has a signature earthy taste and will help you keep your hydration up.
Black tea is a southeastern Asian tea as well but don’t let that fool you. It’s crossed countless borders and is also popular in the Middle East and North Africa. Blends of black tea have also reached massive popularity in Europe and across North America too.
You can drink hot or cold black tea – making it a great tea to drink year-round, regardless of the weather.
(3) Chamomile Tea
When you think of chamomile, you think of peace and quiet – tranquility. Chamomile definitely doesn’t have a strong flavor but still makes our list of teas you should consider drinking.
Chamomile grows naturally on multiple continents, including warmer parts of Europe and Southeast Asia. Chamomile has a very gentle, yet aromatic flavor that already grasped the attention of the ancient Egyptians many millennia ago.³
Are You Ready To Add New Habits This Winter?
Don’t we all strive to live a happy and healthy life? Viva wants to help you on your journey to a better you. It’s not always easy adding in new healthy habits and sometimes it takes time to see what’s best for your well-being. We’ve all been there!
If you’re ready to receive health and lifestyle tips and tricks from us, sign up for our newsletter here.
- Digestive Health. Retrieved on August 30, 2022. https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/digestive-health
- Ginger. Retrieved on August 30, 2022. https://www.britannica.com/plant/ginger
- Chamomile. Retrieved on August 30, 2022. https://www.encyclopedia.com/plants-and-animals/plants/plants/chamomile#:~:text=Chamomile%20is%20a%20traditional%20medicinal,sunny%2C%20well%2Ddrained%20areas.