A Summer Diet to Help with My Digestion
Your digestive system is responsible for delivering and absorbing nutrients and ridding the body of its unwanted waste. But particularly during the summer, your digestion may have problems and you may be bloated, constipated, or have other issues. You may be traveling and eating more fatty foods while getting less exercise. Or like, many people, you may find yourself eating less in the summer.
These summer diet tips from the physicians and dietitians at Gotham Medical Associates in NYC can help your digestive system work as it should:
Staying properly hydrated is essential to keeping your digestive system working as it should. Especially during the summer, keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day, since it can help prevent constipation and the build-up of toxins in the body. Fruit juices, especially ones that are freshly squeezed, are good ways to hydrate while also replenishing electrolytes. And if you’re traveling, bring an empty water bottle in your carry-on, and once you pass security, fill it from the water fountain.
Get enough fiber
Fiber-rich foods help regulate stool consistency and move food easily through your gastrointestinal tract. They also can help prevent or treat digestive conditions including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis. You can get more fiber with foods such as whole grains, oatmeal, beans, fruits, and vegetables. One easy way to make sure you’re getting enough is to eat a fruit cup as the first part of your breakfast, and for lunch and dinner, eat a side salad at the beginning of the meal.
Eat lighter meals
Lighter meals are easier to digest than heavy, carb-laden feasts. Especially for evening meals, eating lighter is a better choice since you’ll feel full but not uncomfortably so, which could interfere with sleep. Choose juicy summer fruits like melons (which are also hydrating) and hydrating vegetables like cucumber and zucchini. When you eat protein, milk is a good, lighter choice.
Limit foods that are high in fat
Fatty foods can slow down your digestive process, increasing your risk of constipation. Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, fatty fish, and dark chocolate, are fine, but cut back on heavy fatty foods such as poultry skin, high-fat dairy foods like whole milk, and fatty cuts of beef, pork, or lamb. If you’re eating a meal with fatty foods, add some high-protein foods to your plate to make the fat easier on your digestive system.
Include probiotics in your diet
Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria that aid the digestive system, strengthen your immune system, and help you absorb nutrients. They occur naturally in your body, but it can help to increase the probiotics you’re getting through your diet. Soy milk, dark chocolate, sauerkraut, pickles, olive, kimchi, and yogurt with live, active cultures are good sources of probiotics.
Get enough exercise and reduce stress
Stress and anxiety have an adverse effect on your digestive system, causing an imbalance in bacteria and raising your risk of inflammation. Daily, moderate exercise can help combat stress and anxiety, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t get overheated in the summer. Exercise in the morning or late evening or go swimming (just avoid the afternoon sun).
If you’re having digestive issues, contact us today for a consultation with the physicians and dietitians at Gotham Medical Associates in NYC. We have three convenient locations and provide comprehensive gastrointestinal health and nutritional services. Fill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call 212.227.3688 to learn more.