Caring for Your Stomach and Preventing Disease
Your stomach is located in the center of your body, where many of your vital functions originate. It processes the food that you eat and even has a say in your mood, your energy levels, and your happiness. Do you want to know more about how to care for your stomach and prevent stomach disease? Read on in today’s article.
Aside from being an aesthetic issue, having a trim belly is actually good for your health. Also, if you keep your stomach in good shape you’ll feel better. As the saying goes, “good health starts in the stomach.” If, on the other hand, your stomach isn’t working properly, you’ll feel a change in your moods, becoming tired with dull skin, and you’ll probably start gaining weight too. All of this is because your body is having serious trouble getting rid of the toxins and wastes that have accumulated in your bloodstream.
How can you know if your stomach isn’t functioning properly?
As we implied above, your skin can be a warning sign that there’s something wrong with your stomach. It might look dull, greasy, or with blemishes.
Other signs that you need to make a change in how you treat your stomach include:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Pasty mouth
- White tongue
- Swollen belly
- Excessive gas
- Poor appetite
All of the above signs could indicate that you have a problem somewhere in your digestive system. If you suffer from one (or more) of these symptoms it’s important that you start the appropriate treatment to help your stomach recover.
What influences the health of your digestive system?
Once you’ve determined that something is wrong with your stomach per the symptoms listed above, the next step is to start watching what you eat.
Sometimes you might not realize that you’re eating foods that are harmful to your health, and you go right on eating them. In the majority of cases, these are the cause of most stomach problems, including pain, swelling and bloating, gas, and constipation.
Eating dairy products
The biggest culprits are whole or unpasteurized milk and strong cheeses. But all dairy products sit “heavy” in your stomach. Some people believe this is due to artificial ingredients that are added to them, while others argue that the reason is as mammals, we’re lactose intolerant after we finish breastfeeding. Regardless of the origin, the fact is that most people don’t feel well after eating dairy. This is because our bodies lack the enzyme that’s required to digest it, and it “sticks” to the lining of the intestines. This causes inflammation to occur in the stomach, along with gas, indigestion, and the accumulation of toxins and fat.
Poor eating habits
What do we mean by this? If you can only make it an hour or two without eating, you snack all the time, or you always have candy or gum on hand. This means that your stomach never gets a chance to rest because it’s working all the time, and it causes discomfort, indigestion, poor nutrient absorption, aches, and more.
Combining foods that shouldn’t go together
We’re not saying you can’t eat certain foods at the same time, but there are particular combinations to watch out for. Nutritionists say that it depends on the person, but in general eating carbohydrates and protein in the same meal isn’t recommended if you’re having stomach problems. To digest carbohydrates, your stomach requires an alkaline pH, while digesting protein requires acids. This means your stomach has to work extremely hard, so it’s best to consume them separately – one during lunch and the other at dinner, for example.
Not drinking enough water
No doubt you’ve read that you need to drink at least two liters of water a day. This isn’t an arbitrary amount. If you don’t consume enough water it causes heavier digestion and difficulty going to the bathroom (constipation). Still, try not to drink more than one glass of water during your meals to avoid diluting the stomach’s pH and making digestion more difficult.
Overcooking your food
Sure, some foods can’t be eaten raw, but sometimes people overcook their food. This strips it of its nutrients and can actually harm your stomach. Try to eat more raw foods (fruits and vegetables, please), no matter whether it’s summer or winter. Juices and smoothies can help satisfy your hunger, giving you nutrients while avoiding the perils of cooking.
Eating too much red meat
Red meat lacks the fiber that’s essential for healthy bowel movements. That’s why people who consume too much red meat experience colitis, hemorrhoids, constipation, and diverticulosis. Remember that your stomach has an oblong shape and a very long intestinal track that means food remains in the body for a long time before it’s eliminated. All this increases the toxins that accumulate in your bloodstream. If you must eat red meat, do so with a fresh salad that’s full of vegetables, and try not to eat it more than twice a week.
Tips for caring for your stomach
- Drink teas made with medicinal herbs like chamomile, anise, and mint
- Get more exercise to stimulate your intestines
- Eat more fiber from whole grain foods
- Avoid irritants like alcohol, coffee, and vinegar
- Chew slowly and enjoy each bite of food. Don’t eat in a hurry, and cut your food into small pieces
- Avoid eating when you’re angry, nervous, or anxious