The Connection Between Diet and Gastrointestinal Health

Your gastrointestinal system helps digest the foods you eat and convert them into nutrients and substances to fuel your body. Your colon gets rid of the waste products from foods, to prevent the buildup of toxic substances so that you can stay healthy. To maintain a healthy digestive system, it’s important to eat good foods that will help your digestive system function.

Diet and Digestive Health

When you eat food, digestion begins in your mouth. Food is broken down by the enzymes and other substances in your saliva. You need to remember to:

  • Thoroughly chew your food to aid in digestion further down your digestive system
  • Chew slowly to prevent swallowing air, which can lead to bloating and gastrointestinal pain

After chewing and swallowing, the partially digested food travels down your digestive system and into your stomach, where it is fully digested. You need to remember to:

  • Eat healthy nutrient-rich foods which are easy to digest
  • Avoid high-fat foods which can cause fatty buildup in your arteries
  • Avoid high-sugar foods, which can lead to inflammation throughout your body
  • Avoid eating a large meal before you go to bed because the digestive process slows down at bedtime

After the food is digested in your stomach, the waste products travel down your intestines, into your colon, and out through your rectum. You want the waste products to travel smoothly through your lower digestive tract, so it's important to:

  • Include a good amount of fiber in your diet, to provide the bulk necessary to eliminate waste products
  • Eat foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans, to give you the fiber you need

Contact Our Gastroenterologist Today

If you have a chronic gastrointestinal condition like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or food allergies, you may not be able to eat certain foods. Your gastroenterologist can help you develop a diet that will be easy to follow and healthy for you and your digestive system. Talk with your gastroenterologist today to learn more about the connection between diet and gastrointestinal health.

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