We’ve all felt it: that bloated, gassy, sluggish feeling of regret that inevitably comes after eating certain foods. Our bodies run like well-oiled machines when they are treated with the care they deserve. However, problems arise when we try to fuel them with things that nature never meant for humans to consume. Luckily, our bodies are relatively forgiving and can get back on track fairly quickly with a healthy dose of the right foods.
You and your gut microbiota (the bacteria, archaea, and eukarya present within your GI tract) have formed a mutually beneficial relationship that has been thousands of years in the making. There are around 10 times more bacteria living inside of your gut than there are human cells. As unappetizing as that sounds, your health depends on healthy gut microbiota. These bacteria protect you from pathogens, regulate your immune system, harvest energy, and even help to shape and strengthen your intestinal lining. However, it is easy for your microbiota to get out of balance and for harmful bacteria to take over. This happens when you eat a diet high in sugar and heavily processed foods. Thankfully, there are also foods that reinstate good bacteria into your gut. Called probiotic foods, they include kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
We all know that fiber is important for keeping us “regular.” Fiber can also help you avoid feeling bloated after a meal. But why? Let’s take a closer look at what fiber really is. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can dissolve in water, and it can be found in foods such as fruit and oats. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It is formed by the cell walls of plants and can be found in vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Both types of fiber aid in digestion by adding both bulk and water to your stool—allowing things to move through your system more quickly.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Many digestive issues are the result of inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the gut can even lead to digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for reducing inflammation, which can reduce the frequency and severity of digestive issues. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon, as well as chia seeds, flaxseed, and walnuts.
You don’t have to walk around looking and feeling 10 pounds heavier than you are. When you clear up your digestive issues, your body will be the slim, svelte machine it was meant to be. Eat the right foods and say goodbye to that gassy, bloated feeling of regret for good!
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