6 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Digestive Health

improve digestive health

Each time a new year rolls around, the opportunity to become a healthier version of yourself follows. A lot of the time, health goals are centered around diet and physical activity. This year, make a goal to improve your digestive health for 2023. Your digestive system is linked to other aspects of health, such as cardiovascular issues and mental health conditions. Prioritizing your gut or digestive health may be the secret to reaching additional health goals. 

Digestive health focuses on your gut and gastrointestinal tract. At Wake Endoscopy Center, we specialize in treating gastrointestinal issues. Our goal is to provide top-quality healthcare, and in doing so, we want to offer you lifestyle tips that can make it simple to improve your digestive health this year. Here are the new year’s resolutions we recommend if your goal is to focus on gastrointestinal health in 2023. 

What Does Digestive Health Mean?

Your digestive system consists of the organs from the mouth to the anus. These organs include the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. A healthy digestive system means digesting and absorbing food effectively, having a strong immune system, a balanced gut microbiome, and an absence of GI issues. An unhealthy gut or digestive system can result from specific food intolerances or other gastrointestinal disorders. 

How to Improve Digestive Health in 2023

Improving digestive health is crucial for overall well-being, as it directly impacts our body’s ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste efficiently. Incorporating these six steps into your daily routine can significantly enhance your digestive system and promote a healthier lifestyle.

1. Drink More Water

Staying adequately hydrated is essential for proper digestion.  Certain factors determine how much water you should be drinking, such as body weight, sex, and age. The Institute of Medicine recommends about thirteen cups for men and nine cups of water for women. Water helps break down food, aid the absorption of nutrients, and facilitate waste movement through the digestive tract. Drinking more water will keep your digestive system functioning optimally.

2. Quit Smoking

Smoking has numerous adverse effects on health, and one of them is its detrimental impact on digestion. Smoking can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to acid reflux and heartburn. Moreover, it can damage the delicate lining of the stomach and intestines. Quitting smoking is a crucial step towards promoting a healthier digestive system.

3. Incorporate Whole Foods into Your Diet

A diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, provides essential nutrients and dietary fiber that promote healthy digestion. Fiber, in particular, helps regulate bowel movements, preventing constipation and promoting a balanced gut microbiome.

4. Eat Mindfully

Slow down and savor your meals. Mindful eating involves paying attention to the flavors, textures, and sensations of your food. Chewing your food thoroughly aids the digestive process, making it easier for your stomach and intestines to break down and absorb nutrients.

5. Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is beneficial for cardiovascular health and plays a significant role in maintaining digestive health. Regular exercise helps stimulate the digestive tract muscles, promoting proper digestion and reducing the risk of constipation.

6. Schedule Preventative Screenings

Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help detect and address digestive issues early on. Screenings such as colonoscopies and endoscopies can identify potential problems like colorectal cancer or gastrointestinal inflammation, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.

Consult a Gastroenterologist

Incorporating these six steps into your daily life can lead to a healthier digestive system and overall well-being. Remember that small, consistent changes in your habits can profoundly impact your digestive health over time. By prioritizing these actions, you can enjoy the benefits of better digestion and a happier, healthier 2023.