Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet

Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet

Good digestion may require eating enough fat. Fat helps you feel satisfied after a meal and is often needed for proper nutrient absorption.

Additionally, studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may decrease your risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis (3Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

 

 

Foods high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts (especially walnuts), as well as fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Adequate fat intake improves the absorption of some fat-soluble nutrients. What’s more, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which may prevent inflammatory bowel diseases.
2. Stay Hydrated
Low fluid intake is a common cause of constipation (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

Experts recommend drinking 50–66 ounces (1.5–2 liters) of non-caffeinated fluids per day to prevent constipation. However, you may need more if you live in a warm climate or exercise strenuously (15Trusted Source).

In addition to water, you can also meet your fluid intake with herbal teas and other non-caffeinated beverages such as seltzer water.

Another way to help meet your fluid intake needs is to include fruits and vegetables that are high in water, such as cucumber, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, melons, strawberries, grapefruit and peaches (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Insufficient fluid intake is a common cause of constipation. Increase your water intake by drinking non-caffeinated beverages and eating fruits and vegetables that have a high water content.

3. Manage Your Stress
Stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system.

It has been associated with stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation and IBS (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

Stress hormones directly affect your digestion. When your body is in fight-or-flight mode, it thinks you don’t have time to rest and digest. During periods of stress, blood and energy are diverted away from your digestive system.

Additionally, your gut and brain are intricately connected — what affects your brain may also impact your digestion (20Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).

Stress management, meditation and relaxation training have all been shown to improve symptoms in people with IBS (24Trusted Source).

Other studies have found that cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture and yoga have improved digestive symptoms (25Trusted Source).

Therefore, incorporating stress management techniques, such as deep belly breathing, meditation or yoga, may improve not only your mindset but also your digestion.

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