Your digestive tract does the amazing job of converting all the food you eat into nutrients that can be absorbed and used by your body while selectively filtering out harmful toxins, allergens, and microorganisms. It is aided in this very important task by a well-balanced ecosystem of approximately 500 species of friendly bacteria that help with digestion, regulation of hormones, and production of vitamins.
Any breach in the intestinal lining or upset of the bacterial ecosystem can result in serious illness. This could happen due to several reasons such as overuse of certain types of medications, low-grade gut infections, gluten intolerance, or a low-fiber and high-sugar diet.
Here are a few tips that may help reset your digestive tract:
1. Eat a lot of high-fiber unprocessed foods. These include lots of fresh fruits & vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Research studies have demonstrated that eating more fiber helps with bowel movements, controls hunger, increases the number of good bacteria and reduces the likelihood of developing diverticulitis (formation of pouches in the wall of the colon).
2. Avoid foods that could be irritating your digestive tract. If you suspect certain foods such as dairy products or gluten might be causing your stomach problems, avoid them for a week or two and see if your symptoms improve.
3. Use probiotics. Regular use of probiotics will help regrow the bacterial colonies in your gut that may have been wiped out by frequent use of antibiotics or other medications.
4. Strengthen the intestinal lining. Take supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, glutamine, and zinc which help restore the integrity of the intestinal lining and prevent the passage of harmful substances from your colon into your blood stream.
5. Identify and treat infections of the digestive tract. Some infections can cause overgrowth of harmful bacteria and parasites in your gut, which may inhibit the digestive process. Taking antibiotics or other medication as prescribed by your doctor will resolve the infection.
If you frequently have symptoms such as bloating, constipation, heartburn, reflux, or gas, which are affecting your quality of life, the above-mentioned tips might help you get your digestive tract back on track.