World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is an annual global campaign organised by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO). The day is commemorated every year on May 29 and aims to raise awareness about digestive disorders, promote education and prevention, and advocate for better digestive health worldwide.
This year, 2023, the World Digestive Health Day theme given by the World Gastroenterology Organisation is "Your Digestive Health: A Healthy Gut From the Start," which advocates the necessity of a healthy diet in the promotion of optimal gastrointestinal function and microbiome health.
Each part of the digestive system plays a part in breaking down food into lower pieces and moving it through the body. The main corridor of the digestive system are the gastrointestinal tract( GI tract), liver, gallbladder and pancreas. The corridor of the GI tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine and the anus.
Improving digestion is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. Here are five tips that can help enhance your digestion on World Digestive Health Day 2023:
Eat a Balanced Diet
Include a variety of nutrient-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that support digestion. Avoid excessive intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and saturated fats, as they can disrupt the digestive process.
Drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial for digestion. It helps soften stool, prevents constipation, and promotes the smooth movement of food through the digestive tract. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and increase intake if you engage in intense physical activity or during hot weather.
Practice Mindful Eating
Slow down and pay attention to your food while eating. Chew your food thoroughly to aid in the digestion process and make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. Avoid distractions, such as TV or electronic devices, as they can lead to overeating and hinder proper digestion.
Regular Physical Activity
Engaging in regular exercise supports healthy digestion. Physical activity stimulates the muscles in your digestive tract, helping food move through smoothly. It can also help relieve constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
Chronic stress can negatively impact digestion by disrupting the normal functioning of the digestive system. Practice stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or engaging in activities you enjoy. Getting adequate sleep is also crucial, as lack of sleep can affect digestion.
It's important to note that if you have any specific digestive concerns or conditions, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice.