Most people understand that proper digestion is critical to good health. However, they don’t always fully comprehend the digestive process or the types of foods that can help or harm it. At a basic level, digestion involves the breakdown of foods and beverages after consumption. When the substances people eat reach the stomach, they break apart to provide the body with the fats, minerals, and vitamins it needs.
The digestive process also involves eliminating harmful and excess substances through bodily waste. Waste products typically include the following:
- Excess water
- Minerals and vitamins beyond what the body needs
- Harmful bacteria
- Unprocessed fiber
The body completes the digestive process hundreds of thousands of times over the typical lifespan. Unfortunately, feeding the body unhealthy substances interferes with digestion and lower immunity to contagious illnesses and chronic disease. The immune system fulfills the important role of defending the body from invasive cells and viruses that make people sick.
Necessary Food Ingredients for Healthy Digestion
Fiber, fluids, and nutrients all play a big role in the process of digestion as well as regular exercise. Although essential for good digestion, fiber can confuse people trying to watch their diets due to misunderstanding about the two different types.
Insoluble fiber, typically found in bran, vegetables, and whole grains, does not break down within the body but rather helps add bulk to stools. Consuming enough insoluble fiber can help most people avoid constipation. Soluble fiber found in beans, barley, oats, apples, and oranges, size increases when it enters the watery environment of the stomach. This helps people feel satiated.
Soluble fiber also acts as a probiotic, a necessary nutrient to encourage the growth of good bacteria in a person’s digestive tract. The bacterial colony of the gut, referred to as the gut microbiome, promotes healthy digestion by pulling vitamins and other nutrients from food. Consuming a low-fiber diet consisting of mostly processed foods can wreak havoc on the gut microbiome. Common effects of a poor diet include increased body weight, unstable moods, and poor memory due to an imbalance of gut bacteria.
Steps to Improve the Digestive Process
Anyone can improve their digestion, even if they suffer from multiple issues such as constipation, diarrhea, or frequent gas. Following the tips below ensures a healthy diet, which in turn leads to healthy digestion.
- Aim for colorful fruits and vegetables with plenty of fiber.
- Include whole grain in the diet every day.
- Drink plenty of water each day to support the immune and digestive systems. Health experts recommend drinking 64 ounces of water daily. Tracking daily water consumption can help people who currently drink little water reach the daily recommended amount.
- Strive for 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week. Walking, swimming, and aerobic exercise all meet this definition. Engaging in a favorite activity at least five days a week can help prevent or delay chronic health conditions.
- Many fermented foods contain probiotics, a necessary nutrient for proper digestion. Examples include pickled vegetables, tempeh, and yogurt.
Herbalife Ingredients Can Help Improve Digestion
In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, specialized nutrition products by Herbalife Nutrition can improve the digestive process. Simply Probiotic, Active Fiber Complex and the complete Digestive Health Program are just three examples of nutrition products containing healthy Herbalife ingredients to encourage bowel regularity and overall healthy digestion. Another benefit of Herbalife Nutrition’s specialty digestion products is that they can help to prevent the occasional bout of indigestion when taken regularly.
Understanding the importance of digestion is key to better health. Both can improve when including Herbalife ingredients as part of a healthy diet and exercise regimen.