Chicago Health | Homepage
6 quick tips for digestive health

6 quick tips for digestive health

If you’re one of the 70 million people affected by digestive problems you probably know that diet plays a role in how you feel. While optimizing your digestive health typically takes trial and error — and the guidance of a health-care provider — there are some helpful changes you can make to your diet that often improve your digestive health. Here are six expert tips.

1. Hike the fiber hill. Americans only get 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day. This is half of the recommended intake (which is 20 to 35 grams) — but don’t start eating all this at once unless you want to clear out an elevator. Increase fiber levels in your diet gradually, and be sure to get enough fluids (about 8 cups a day) at the same time you eat fiber-rich foods in order to soften the fiber during transit.

2. Fabulous high-fiber fruits. Eating a variety of fruits is a great way to get more fiber. Try including these top three fruits — each supplies 3-plus grams of fiber per serving — in your daily intake: pears (up to 5 grams per 1 medium), raspberries (4 grams per 1/2 cup) and apples (4 grams per 1 medium).

3. Have trouble digesting milk? Try yogurt. Research suggests that many people who are not able to properly digest lactose, the type of sugar in milk, can tolerate yogurt with live active cultures. Yogurt is relatively high in lactose, but the bacterial cultures used to make it produce some lactase, the enzyme needed to digest the sugar. Great news for those who are lactose-intolerant and looking for good sources of calcium!

4. Read for secret (lactose-containing) ingredients. Although milk and foods made from milk are the only natural sources of lactose, milk derivatives are often added to prepared foods, including bread and other baked goods, processed breakfast cereals, instant potatoes and soups, margarine, lunch meats, salad dressing, candy and powdered meal-replacement supplements. If you can’t tolerate lactose, be sure to read labels carefully.

5. Water, water, everywhere. Drink more fluids to prevent constipation. Water, particularly when you consume it with insoluble fiber in foods like cereal grains, which hold onto the water, helps soften waste, resulting in less strain.

6. Good bacteria for your gut? Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria found in the gut that help us digest foods and fight harmful bacteria. They also include live, active cultures used to ferment foods, such as yogurt. Interested in getting the potential benefits offered by probiotics? Mix a cut-up banana into a cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt — with a “Live & Active Cultures” seal on it — for a midday snack or turn it into breakfast and add some granola. Try different kinds of yogurt to see which one works best for you.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

(c) 2015 EATING WELL, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Similar Articles

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Environmental Nutrition By Matthew Kadey, M.S., R.D., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter There is only so much food you

Gluten related symptoms: Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

Gluten related symptoms: Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

The Medicine Cabinet: Ask the Harvard Experts By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I seem to be very

Start treatment now to prevent spring allergy symptoms

Start treatment now to prevent spring allergy symptoms

The Medicine Cabinet: Ask the Harvard Experts By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I have spring allergies. Every

Does your doctor’s gender matter?

Does your doctor’s gender matter?

By Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. Harvard Health Blog I've read medical research studies that surprised me. I've

10 tips to fight osteoporosis

10 tips to fight osteoporosis

Environmental Nutrition By Carrie Dennett, M.P.H., R.D.N., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter Because 70 percent of our bone destiny

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

May 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
April 30, 2017 May 1, 2017 May 2, 2017 May 3, 2017 May 4, 2017 May 5, 2017 May 6, 2017
May 7, 2017 May 8, 2017 May 9, 2017 May 10, 2017 May 11, 2017 May 12, 2017 May 13, 2017
May 14, 2017 May 15, 2017 May 16, 2017 May 17, 2017 May 18, 2017 May 19, 2017 May 20, 2017
May 21, 2017 May 22, 2017 May 23, 2017 May 24, 2017 May 25, 2017 May 26, 2017 May 27, 2017
May 28, 2017 May 29, 2017 May 30, 2017 May 31, 2017 June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017 June 3, 2017

Categories

Recent Comments

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives