Go With Your Gut
How is your digestive health? Many of us don’t think about food once we’re done with the fun part—eating it! But the power of good nutrition happens inside your body and there are many things that you can do to keep your insides happy. We chatted with Ethan Baldridge, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Aramark Healthcare, to learn how to improve our digestive health. Ethan shared eight expert tips, including the following:
Drink More Water
Aim for 11 to 15 cups of water each day to keep things moving through your digestive tract. When you are dehydrated, water is drawn from your intestines to serve the rest of your body, which can lead to an uncomfortable ‘slow down’ in the digestive process. “This is why you want to increase your daily H20 intake along with your fiber intake,” Ethan shares.
Focus on Fiber
Fiber feeds the healthy gut bacteria that help with digestion while keeping you feeling full between meals. Ethan and other experts recommend getting 25 to 40 grams of fiber a day, though this varies from person to person. Enjoy fiber-filled foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and pulses (use the Mediterranean diet for inspiration!)
“Many of the acute gastrointestinal symptoms Americans struggle with result from stress,” says Ethan (pictured). So, what is the connection? Stress reduces the blood flow to your intestines. Normal, everyday, minor stress is not a problem for most but too much lingering stress can interrupt the digestive process.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.