Gut troubles are so prevalent these days that there are literally memes about them: “Hot girls have IBS.” OK, confirmed—we’re all hot girls. Now, how do we get rid of that IBS?
It all comes down to putting your gut health first. If digestive issues—whether that’s constipation or the total opposite—are controlling your life and dominating your thoughts and worries, it’s worth it to implement easy, energizing, and refreshing rituals into your daily routine. Here are some of our favorites.
Lemon or ACV and warm water
Before an indulgent meal, instead of ordering a cocktail or soda, sip on some warm water with lemon. The warm water helps your stomach stay relaxed, while the acids in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can help boost your gastric acid secretion to prep for your delicious meal.
Eat papaya in the morning or as an afternoon snack
Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that can increase digestive motility and aid in the proper assimilation of nutrients. It’s also really high in fiber and water, two major bonuses for constipation.
After your meal, instead of ordering another cocktail—which can upset the stomach, be high in sugar, or cause dehydration, leading to constipation—opt for a refreshing soda water and bitters. Bitters are an excellent digestive tonic to settle and prep the stomach for the proper assimilation and absorption of nutrients.
Sometimes a large, heavy meal happens. No need to run out the door immediately, but after 20-30 minutes or so, a brisk walk after that big lunch or dinner can utilize that huge glucose spike and help get digestion moving so that you don’t suffer gas, bloat, or indigestion later. It may be tempting to take a nap, but instead, lace up those sneakers and get in a little movement.
Duh, right? When we’re hungry, it can actually be very hard to concentrate on completely macerating our food before swallowing and scarfing the next bite. However, studies show that chewing our food for longer helps us intake less food and gives us more time to feel satiated. Plus, the more broken-down our food is by saliva and our chompers, the easier it is for our body to digest it.
Yoga is an incredible tool for our bodies—it’s an effective workout and a deep stretch, and it helps the body to detoxify. When we do certain poses, namely spinal twists, it’s like a massage for our gut organs and lymphatic glands along the mid-body and waistline, which can help with digestive issues like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and IBS.
Avoid starving yourself, then gorging
It may seem like a good plan to avoid any caloric intake when you know you’re going to have an indulgent or high-fat meal later, but it’s actually terrible for digestion. Eat regular, small meals throughout the day to keep your digestion and metabolism moving, and eat a healthy, regular portion of your indulgent meal later. Starvation and binging is too harsh on the digestive system all at once.
Eat three hours before bed, and get good sleep
The best way to allow our gut to totally reset is to give it the night off. Eating and digesting triggers a very natural inflammatory response as the gut kicks into action. Leaving at least three hours between meal time and lying down to sleep is ideal for the gut to clear out and properly cleanse itself for a new day. Deep, restful sleep also has an important role in digestion, and eating too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep.