It’s no secret that men and women have different bodies with different chemical makeups. According to Good Housekeeping, women are twice as likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because of nuances in hormones. Higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, for instance, increases the risk of digestive distress. There are ways to protect against IBS and other related digestive disorders, however, including the six tips listed here.
#1) Fiber Intake
Fiber intake and digestive health go hand in hand. If you don’t consume enough fiber in your diet, waste will build up in your digestive system, resulting in symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and constipation. Statistics show, however, that only 3% of Americans consume the recommended amount of fiber in their intake, making them susceptible to digestive disorders.
Of course, hydration also plays an important role in women’s digestive health. Water lubricates the digestive system while supporting healthy cellular function in the process. This is why most health professionals recommend drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Exercise is essential for proper digestive health, as it encourages food to pass through your digestive system. You don’t have to necessarily lift weights or engage in other vigorous forms of exercise. Even running or using an elliptical will benefit your digestive health.
You’ve probably heard of probiotics, but do you really know what they are or how they work? A probiotic is any indigestible food or supplement that contains beneficial microorganisms. When consumed, the good bacteria within probiotics works to eliminate the bad bacteria in your gut. If left unchecked, these bad bacteria can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing gas, bloating and even infection. Probiotics, such as yogurt or kimchi, protect your digestive system from such harm.
#5) Eat Small Meals
Rather than eating just one or two large meals a day, try eating three or even four smaller meals. Spacing your meals too far apart can stress your digestive system. But if you consume smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, you’ll encourage regularity, thus creating a healthy digestive system.
#6) Cut Back on Fatty Foods
Finally, try to limit your consumption of fatty foods. Whether it’s a burger, steak or fries, fatty foods are harder on the digestive system because they require more work to process. Choosing lean meats and other low-fat foods, on the other hand, will minimize digestive distress.