5 New Year’s Resolutions for Digestive Health

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Digestive Health

Happy New Year! Show your digestive system some love this year by making it the focus of your new year’s resolutions. See how many Digestive Health Habits (from the list below) you can check off because you are already implementing them. Are any left unchecked? Make them your new year’s resolutions for digestive health! This year, I will…

  1. Increase my daily water intake.
    • Whether you face constipation, diarrhea, or weight gain; drinking more water is key. Aim for at least 6-8, 8oz. cups or more of water a day.
    • Implement by having a water bottle with you at all times, at your desk and on the go. Not a big fan of drinking water? To change it up a bit, try adding a slice of fruit (lemon, orange, etc.), bottled fruit infused waters, or sparkling water.
  2. Drink less soda.
    • High fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, carbonation, caffeine in large amounts, calories with no nutritional value does not make for a very happy digestive system.
    • For caffeine, try drinking different varieties of tea instead. Have a plan for gradually decreasing your soda intake or go cold turkey.
  3. Start my day with a high fiber breakfast.

    • Including foods with fiber at breakfast can help regulate bowel movements, promote good bacteria in your digestive tract, and can affect your eating habits the rest of the day. Some high fiber foods are fresh fruits, oatmeal, ground flaxseeds, bran cereals, etc.
    • A high fiber breakfast can be quick and convenient. Check out these videos for ideas:
  4. Consume probiotic rich foods and beverages.
    • Increase those good bacteria in your gut for digestive health!
    • Eat yogurt (with live active cultures) for breakfast or a snack with fruit and whole grain cereal. Use kefir in place of milk or yogurt in a smoothie. Add sauerkraut or kimchi to your meal. Add tempeh, a fermented soybean product, to your stir fry.
    • Check out these videos for more probiotic information and recipes:
  5. Take more time to eat my meals.
    • How fast you eat, how well you chew your foods, how relaxed you are at meal times all affect your digestion.
    • The hormones in our digestive tract that tell us we are full and to “stop eating” are triggered by the presence of food and are located further down in our digestive tract. It takes at least 15-20 minutes for our gut to tell our brain we are full. This is why is it so important to enjoy a small meal over at least 20 minutes, to prevent overeating.
    • Some tips to eat slower include: set out at least 30minutes in your schedule to eat a meal; avoid other distractions such as TV; chew on your veggies first; drink water or set down your fork between bites; eat from a smaller plate.

We wish you and your digestive system a happy and healthy 2015!

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