GI health — the health of your digestive system — can have a significant effect on your overall wellbeing. So if you’re still thinking about goals and changes for 2015, take a little time to think about what you can do this year to keep your digestive system healthy!
- Get the tests you need. If you’re over 50, you should have a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is easy and harmless, and has a 98% success rate in identifying colon cancer. Catching colon cancer early can save your life. Ask your healthcare provider for details and get a colonoscopy on your calendar.
- Eat more fiber. Are you getting 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day? You can’t count ketchup, juice boxes, or pasta salad. Eat 5 real servings of fresh produce every day to keep your digestion in great shape.
- Give your digestive system a rest. Just stop eating at 8:00 p.m. and let your stomach get some R&R. 12 hours of fasting every day lets your system clean up better than that kale juice detox you’ve been reading about.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water every day for your health in general, and be confident that getting enough water is one of the best things you can do for your digestive health, as well.
- Get moving! Use a pedometer and work your way toward 10,000 steps a day, walk your dog every evening, or join an exercise class you really enjoy. Regular exercise is good for your digestion as well as your mood, your bones, and your overall health.
These steps are good for everyone and will help with a little irregularity or to keep your stomach happy. If you’re not happy with your digestive system now, though — if you’re experiencing heartburn every day or suffering from other symptoms frequently — see your health care provider. Digestive problems can be a sign of many different health issues.