I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day as she was complaining about her very irritating stomach issues or more specifically, being bloated all the time.
“I have tried EVERYTHING, from fit teas to detoxes and I still have constipation and digestion problems…Like it’s so annoying, right?!”
About two years ago, my sister was complaining about the same things. And no matter what she ate or when, her stomach just wouldn’t digest the food correctly, and it would cause a lot of distress and even pain.
That’s when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of your digestive tract, making everyday life and food very hard to cope with. The reason why I’m bringing up my friend and sister is that I’ve realized how many women and men have stomach issues. From digestion to bloating and just overall pain – there must be foods and remedies to help us have a little less stomach stress!
From the looks of it, every other girl I talk to has some sort of digestion problem. So from nutrition experts to even reviews from some of GRRRL’s best writers, we wanted to share 14 pieces of advice that may help you and your stomach.
1. Start Using Probiotics
I never really thought these could fix or improve my digestion and gut health, but boy was I wrong…Turns out, I just wasn’t very consistent with it, which you apparently have to be in order for these to work. Duh.
You see, the science here is very simple, and not at all risky. Especially if you go for a herbal-based probiotic, those are amazing as well. Sometimes, our gut doesn’t have enough good bacteria to digest and make sure the stomach is processing food properly. Probiotics that work for you answer how to digest food faster on the daily.
Probiotics help balance that out; as long as you consume the recommended amount. You can either go to a nutritionist, or head to the pharmacy and ask for their best products. They usually don’t even cost that much, but can be of great help. Especially if you’re battling rigid constipation from time to time…Or even daily.
2. Vitamins All The Way, Every Day!
So about a month ago, I started taking vitamins every single day. Might have skipped a day or two, due to hectic schedules and the art of forgetting daily tasks; but I’ve been somewhat consistent. I started off with complex B vitamins, vitamin D and C, magnesium, and Omega 3.
There are vegan and herbal options for most of these if your trust in pharmacies is a little sketchy. Vitamin D is great for teeth and bone health, the immune system, lung function, and many many more. Vitamin C is the holy grail of immune system ammunition.
Vitamin B has the following benefits:
- cell health
- energy levels
- good eyesight
- growth of red blood cells
- proper nerve function
- healthy brain function
- good digestion
- healthy appetite
All in all, a plethora of benefits that can help your digestion as well. The healthier you are overall, the healthier your stomach can get. So maybe make some room in your budget for a monthly Vitamin spree, it’s so worth it!
3. Lemon Water/Green Tea
Green tea is known for its cleansing purposes. Many cultures, Chinese most dominantly, are known to use green tea for health purposes, as its benefits and loaded antioxidants are seemingly never-ending. From cleansing your stomach to improving constipation, both green tea and warm water with a bit of lemon can really boost your metabolism; not only that, but it also prevents certain illnesses from occurring if used regularly.
They are incredibly quick to make, and are enjoyable too! Incorporating them into your morning or night routine is super easy, so better get to it. Anf if you ever wondered how to speed up digestion, these quick drinks just might help you get there.
4. Oatmeal For Breakfast Is A Stomach Saver
I can’t even begin to explain how glad I am I started eating oatmeal for breakfast almost every day. When you start making your own variations of it, God is it tasty and healthy.
Oats are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet, no joke. They are filled with fiber and protein; and when you mix and match with different kinds of toppings and fruits, it can literally taste like the healthiest breakfast dessert you’ve ever had.
Personally, I love to make it by using soy milk, one banana, protein powder, blueberries, and some types of nuts, usually almonds!
It’s to. Die. For.
Plus, it’s just amazing for digestion, no doubt about it.
5. Keep The Dairy On The Low
I know. Cheese. The hardest one to let go, but often the one making the most trouble.
Dairy has been proven to be the cause of many stomach issues, even hormonal imbalances. It may cause acne and severe bloating. Cow milk just might be the worst of the bunch, as more and more people are becoming lactose intolerant.
Ditching dairy and adding soy-based products like soy milk or tofu might do the trick. Almond milk is one of my favorites too. And not to mention the amount of plant-based cheese alternatives that are just amazing. Try ditching or minimizing dairy for two weeks and see what happens.
6. Warm Water Does Wonders!
The first thing I do in the morning after brushing my teeth is to take my vitamins with one glass of warm water. It’s amazing for the stomach, improving digestion and getting rid of bloating. Just try it for two weeks, this is how to make food digest faster, and you can thank me later.
7. Stop, And Eat Slower!
I’ll be honest here, I really struggle with this one. Most days, I’m always on the go, and with fast life come fast eating habits. I just want to get it over with so that I can deal with the rest of my day, but that’s super unhealthy! Food should genuinely be enjoyed, not inhaled in three bites.
According to food science, you should eat a meal, no matter the size, in about 30 minutes ideally. I feel embarrassed when I think about all the times I’ve finished mine in about 5. We have to do better. I only started thinking about this when I wanted to speed up digestion.
The reason this is really bad for digestion, other than trying to digest food that has not been chewed and processed fully, is the amount of air we swallow when we eat fast. It creates a lot of gas and bloating, making it super uncomfortable afterward.
8. Exercise, exercise!
We don’t even have to talk about the health benefits here, as we are all already aware. But trying to exercise at least three to four times a week would improve your digestion, mental health, and health overall!
If you’re really not a fan of exercise, why not try dancing or walking? For example, try having a long walk every single morning or night before or after work. Why not? Just put some headphones in, maybe take your dog and try to walk as fast as possible.
Exercises like fast walking or dancing are great for the heart and even better for digestion. And you don’t even have to be a good dancer, just let loose and give in to the music.
9. Protein, fats, greens, and carbs: How To Organize Your Plate
Having the right amount of all types of food is a science of its own. For example, when you’re having lunch 60% of your plate should be pure protein: meats, fish, lentils, etc. 40% of your plate should be greens: some fried haricots or peas, or even a really big salad. And lastly, the remaining 10% are carbs, like bread for example. But try to go for the whole grains one.
As time goes on, you’ll get the hang of it as you’ll start to learn what your body likes the most.
10. Less Sugar and Processed Foods, Please!
Yes, we don’t even have to talk about this, do we? We all know how bad sugar can be for our health, including teeth, blood sugar levels, and even other minor health concerns. That’s not to say that you can never eat sugar ever again, just try to lessen the amount you take on a daily or weekly basis. Same with processed foods.
There are chemicals and ingredients in there our bodies will never fully adapt to digest. Plus, this is exactly NOT what to eat to debloat, as heavily processed foods cause more bloating than anything else!
11. Fishy fish!
Remember Omega vitamins? Well, they come from fish, more often than not. Salmond for example is one of the healthiest choices out there. It is known to balance out hormones, improve blood pressure, and it’s good for the heart.
“Fish is a low-fat high-quality protein. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet.”
And of course, it’s great for digestion too.
12. Trace The Root Of Your Junk Food Craving
Did you know that you can actually control fast food cravings? Yeah, I know! You just have to get to the bottom of what it is that you are actually craving. Just look at the example below:
Cravings are often regarding one vitamin or mineral, not the actual food. Plus, this is how to speed up digestion. There are many ways to find out the root of the craving, just by following instructions like the one listed above. Now, this may not work 100% of the time, but it can be very useful when hunger strikes!
13. Stack Your System On Antioxidant Foods
If you don’t know what these are, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Antioxidants are compounds that are produced in your body, however, they are also found in foods. They can help fight chronic oxidative stress, which is really important. They are even digestive superfoods you should definitely incorporate into your diet.
Stacking your body up with these powerful foods can really make or break your life. Here are some you may not know are essential to a healthy life:
- Dark Chocolate;
- Red Cabbage;
And many many more! Not to say you have to eat all of these foods every day, but try to make a nice meal out of them a couple of times a week. This is just the beginning of a greatmeal plan for digestive problems!
14. Make Room For Mistakes
This just might be the most important one; please make room for mistakes. No one started off knowing everything. Nutrition is a long journey that lasts you your whole lifetime, so try not to stress about it too much. If you’re consistent, positive, and make an effort to cook and research foods you put into your body, you are more than ready for better digestion and happier life!