The month of March is often associated with a number of noteworthy events: St. Patrick’s Day, the beginning of the NCAA basketball tournament and the flowers and trees ascending from their winter hibernation and blooming. While these all have the potential to be meaningful events, March should be recognized for an even more important designation: National Nutrition Month.
Eating and staying healthy is pivotal for many aspects of your wellbeing, from mental wellness and physical health, but one of our body’s most important systems is easily and often overlooked: the digestive system. Maintaining a proper diet can help fuel your body and increase the health and functionality of the digestive tract. And that’s why it’s important to know how to best nourish it.
At Methodist McKinney Hospital, we’re happy to help treat most gastrointestinal conditions you may encounter and help you along the road to recovery and health, yet small changes in diet can drastically change your digestive health and the need for medical intervention.
- Eat Those Fruits and Veggies
By consuming the recommended daily portion of fruits and vegetables, your body can help cleanse itself of dangerous toxins. Most are high in fiber and help fight varying disease-causing chemicals, so don’t skip on those plant foods.
- Limit Red and Processed Meats
Red and processed meats can often lead to bloating and uncomfortable digestion patterns. If you want to get your protein, choose white meats like chicken or fish and make sure the cuts are lean and not fatty.
- Cut Back on Foods High in Fat
Speaking of foods high in fat, try to cut back on them in general. Fatty foods aren’t as soluble, thus making them harder to digest. This will naturally slow the digestive process and causes more bloating and potential constipation. While fat is important to keep in your diet, make sure to pair them with foods that are high in fiber to aid your body in digesting them more easily.
- Try Different Cooking Methods
When cooking at home, varying methods for preparing meals can help with how your body reacts to them. Preparations like steaming, poaching and boiling can reduce carcinogens in the food you eat, thus making for an easier meal for your body to process.
- Don’t Forget to Exercise
Sure, you’ve heard this before. Healthy eating and exercise go hand-in-hand, but exercise is also great for your body and digestive tract. Exercise helps blood circulation, which allows for your digestion to go off without a hitch. So, once you’re done with dinner, a nice walk will help your body in numerous ways.
Remember, we only get one body, so make sure to treat it and fuel it properly. And if you do need GI or any other medical attention, our medical staff will be happy to help with any needs you may have.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (972) 569-2700.
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