Your digestive system is busy. When you eat something, your food takes a twisty trip that starts with being chewed up and ends with you going to the bathroom. A lot happens in between. The health of your gut plays a key role in your overall health and well-being. You can make choices to help your body stay on track.

  • Eat slower.Chew your food well before swallowing. It may help you swallow less air and better sense when you’re full.
  • Enjoy smaller meals. Eat in moderation to avoid overfilling your stomach and encourage digestion. A packed stomach may also cause reflux or your food to come back up.
  • Set a bedtime for your gut. Try to limit how much you eat after dark. Your GI tract is most active in the morning and daytime.
  • Manage stress. Learn healthy ways to reduce stress like relaxation breathing, mindfulness, and exercise. Stress makes it harder to digest your food well.
  • Create a routine.Try to eat at the same times each day. Your GI system may do best on a schedule.
  • Consider probiotics.Talk with your doctor about taking probiotics (supplemental healthful bacteria). They may ease constipation and IBS symptoms.

Please look at NIH News in Health for more information on gut health.