How To Speed Up Digestion Naturally
Not many people are aware of how long it takes your body to fully digest food and to have a bowel movement. As the body requires daily bowel movements it can be difficult to understand how long it took the food to travel through the digestive system.
If someone maintains a good diet that is rich in fiber, it should take them 24 hours to digest their food. However, this can vary slightly from person to person. The length of time that it takes for someone to have a bowel movement depends on many factors, including:
- Food that was consumed
- Level of hydration
- Physical activity
- General overall health
Your digestion time is considered to be slow if it takes more than 72 hours for you to pass a bowel movement. If you are concerned about the length of time it is taking for you to pass stools, then you shouldn’t ignore the signs. Waste that sits in the colon for too long can lead to it being reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. This can result in a higher risk of illnesses such as diverticulitis or cancer.
There are some simple and effective ways on how to speed up digestion and manage settings of digestion. Keep reading to find out how to speed up digestion without medications or depriving diets.
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Signs of Slow Digestion
It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms related to a sluggish digestive system. Many signs and symptoms may be unexpected, so it is essential to your health to have a clear understanding.
- Bowel movements not daily
- Weight Gain
- Uncomfortably full after meals
By being aware of the signs to look out for, you can be on your way to knowing how to speed up digestion.
Why You Have Slow Digestion
There are multiple reasons why your digestion could be slower than it should be. If you are concerned about the speed of your slow digestion, it is important to be aware of what can affect it, so you can manage settings of your digestion.
- Not enough fiber
- High consumption of processed foods
- Too much sugary foods
- Undiagnosed conditions including food allergies
How to Speed up Digestion and Elimination in 9 Natural Ways
1. Perform Regular Exercise
When food is digested, it begins to move throughout the body and digestive system by muscle contractions. When someone does not do enough physical activity, their digestive system can become sluggish as muscle contractions slow down. Lack of physical activity or workouts may cause constipation or general discomfort. Exercise can help boost the contraction of digestive muscles, speeding up the breakdown and passage of food. You can perform a full-body workout each day for 30 minutes to one hour. You can try aerobic exercises that help stimulate bowel movement and get your blood pumping like dancing, running, swimming, and biking.
Don’t forget to do some stretches before beginning your routine to enhance its effects and to prevent you from pulling a muscle.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking enough water has many health benefits. But in terms of speeding up digestion, water helps to keep your stool moist. As water helps to lubricate and soften your stool, it is easy to release from your body. Water also helps improve and reduce the time your body takes to digest food.
On the same note, dehydration may result in hard and dry stool, which causes the digestive tract to struggle in eliminating wastes. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day to keep your gut well-hydrated. You can also eat foods that are high in water content such as watermelon, peaches, cucumber, and zucchini so you have other sources of water. Avoid staying thirsty for an extended time as much as possible so you won't end up having difficulties in releasing waste.
3. Consume More Fiber
Dietary fiber plays a crucial role in your digestive health. It may not be digested in the intestines, but it can help add bulk to your stool and help keep food moving in your digestive tract. Aside from that, fiber aids in retaining water in the bowel to make your digestive waste soft for an easier release. Fiber also helps to stimulate the bowels, by pushing food along throughout the digestive system. The recommended daily dietary fiber intake is 25 g for women and 38 g for men. Foods rich in fiber include avocados, raspberries, artichokes, lentils, oats, and chia seeds.
Other great sources of fiber include:
- Whole Grains
- Fresh Fruits
- Leafy Vegetables
- Whole-wheat Flour
- Wheat Bran
Remember: When you start introducing more fiber-rich foods into your diet, this needs to be gradual. If you consume fiber too quickly, it could lead to gas and bloating.
4. Improve Your Diet
Eating highly-processed foods can contribute to constipation as they may contain low levels of water and fiber. These foods also contain high amounts of sugar and salt that can interfere with metabolism. Sugary drinks, for example, have high levels of fructose, a simple sugar that the liver metabolizes. High amounts of it may change your body’s fullness signals. As a result, you eat more and this overwhelms your intestines leading to indigestion or constipation. On top of loading your diet with fiber, limit your fat intake. A high-fat diet may lead to heartburn. Consume lean proteins, like lean meat and fish, instead. They are easier to digest and lower in fat content.
To support your overall gut health and to help speed up digestion, you should avoid or reduce your intake of processed foods, including:
- Refined Sugar
- Refined Grains
- Fried Foods
- Fatty Foods
5. Take Supplements That Promote a Healthy Digestion
BIOHM supplements for a healthy digestive system[/caption] Aside from fiber, there are other essential nutrients you can take to help improve your digestive health. BIOHM Probiotics, for example, contain healthy bacteria and fungi which help breakdown digestive plaque created by bad gut microorganisms. The result is total gut balance and thorough digestion of ingested food.
Another good thing about its formulation is it’s allergen-free (no egg, no soy, no gluten), vegetarian, GMO-free, and all natural. It also contains added fiber and enzymes that speed up digestion. Maximize its effects by adding BIOHM Prebiotics to your daily supplements. It provides the ideal environment and feeding ground for probiotics so they can perform their function in the digestive tract. Zinc is also another nutrient your digestive tract needs to improve its performance. A study showed that a lack of this mineral is linked to gastrointestinal disorders.
RELATED: How You Eat Is Nearly As Important As What You Eat
6. Quit Bad HabitsAn unhealthy lifestyle can also contribute to an improper digestive function. Smoking, for example, is associated with stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal cancers. If you're suffering from any digestive issues, quitting smoking may be beneficial. Drinking alcoholic beverages can also raise the production of acid in your digestive tract, leading to stomach ulcers, acid reflux, and heartburn.
7. Listen to Your Body
Giving in and heading to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge can help promote regular bowel movement and lower your chances of suffering from constipation. Overeating can also interrupt with the regular bowel movement of your digestive system. This can lead to indigestion, bloating, and gas. Eat slowly and allow food to be properly processed in your body. Keep your intake to what your stomach can handle.
It is also just as important to be mindful when you are eating. Many people watch TV during mealtimes and often they will consume much more than they would otherwise. This regular type of overeating can lead to bloating, indigestion, and gas. Swap the television set for something less distracting so that you can pay attention to what you are eating.
During mealtimes, eat your food slowly and focus on your food rather than scrolling through your phone. Be aware of how much food you have on your plate and only eat until you are full. When you are distracted by TV or phones, it can be easy to eat more than you need and not be aware of how full you are. Consciously take each bite and stop once you feel full.
8. Learn How to Manage Stress
The release of stress hormones can affect your digestion. When you are in the state of fight-or-flight, your body thinks it does not have much time to digest and rest. During this time, your body diverts energy and blood away from the digestive system, which weakens its function and increases your chances of constipation or indigestion. To manage stress, you can perform meditation or enroll in yoga classes. This can help improve your physical and mental health by helping you relax and stay calm. You can also join stress management programs, so you know how to handle stress on your own.
Many people are not aware of how stress can affect your overall body health, including the speed of your digestive system. Stress has commonly been linked to health conditions such as:
- Stomach Ulcers
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
When you are experiencing periods of high stress, your body does not take time to properly digest its food. During episodes of high stress levels, your blood and energy are diverted to focus on other areas. This takes away your body’s energy that it would otherwise have spent on your digestive system.
To manage your stress, it may be beneficial to take part in meditation or relaxation techniques. You may even find it beneficial to look into relaxation training courses by a trained professional. Believe it or not, mediation has been linked to improving the signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Other relaxation techniques include:
- Yoga (Verizon Media)
- Music Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Deep Breathing
While you are boosting the speed of your slow digestion, you are also soaking up the benefits of stress management by changing your mindset.
9. Follow a Regular Eating Schedule
Eating at the same hour every day allows your digestive system to program its functions to digest what you eat and produce stool. Having a regular eating schedule also helps you have a regular schedule for releasing waste. You can create a meal schedule or calendar of your regular meals and snack time, so you can keep track of your diet. It’s best to place yourself in a comfortable position like sitting properly when you eat, so you can chew food correctly, and your body can process food appropriately.
If you have a busy schedule, you can help keep yourself on track with your healthy diet by batch cooking. Consider spending a day a week prepping your meals ahead of time, or even making your lunch the night before. You could even start making breakfasts such as ‘overnight oats’ before bedtime too!
10. Eat More Probiotics
Probiotic foods such as yogurt, sourdough bread, and soft cheeses contain live bacteria cultures. Live bacteria cultures help to promote healthy digestion and therefore can directly impact the speed of digestion.
It may also be beneficial to you to take some probiotic supplements if you are struggling to consume enough during mealtimes. Probiotics and fermented foods are great for boosting the good bacteria that your gut needs.
11. Reduce Meat Intake
Typically, the average person consumes far too much meat than what their body naturally needs. Consider reducing your intake of meat as well as milk, cheese, and white sugar. All of these food items take longer to pass through the digestive tract, resulting in a slow digestive process.
Here are 9 reasons to choose BIOHM Whole Probiotics from BIOHM Health:
Learning how to speed up digestion naturally can help you kickstart the changes you need to make in your diet and lifestyle. Follow a diet that’s rich in fiber, water, and nutrients that promote digestive health, ditch bad habits, and listen to your body to improve your digestion and prevent constipation or indigestion.
We have discussed how making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can boost the speed of your digestive system. By eating whole foods that are high in fiber and packed with nutrients is key to keeping your digestive system in good order.
It is also important to practice mindful eating, stress management, and increasing physical activity. Lastly, it is vital to your health to limit your intake of bad foods such as fatty, processed foods. Now is also a great time to start reducing your intake of alcohol and getting on the path of quitting smoking. All of these, and more, can help to reduce the symptoms associated with a slow digestive system.
How do you speed up your digestion? Do you take gut supplements?? Let’s exchange health tips in the comments section below!