Stress & Digestive Health

Stress & Digestive Health

Tips for reducing the effects of stress

As you're well aware, stress can interfere with everything in our lives, so it's no surprise that it can affect your digestion too.

Here are some pointers that may help reduce the effects of stress on your digestive health.

Stick with a healthy diet
When experiencing stressful times, try to maintain a healthy diet – don't use food to deal with stress by splurging on junk food or overeating. The benefits of a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is good for digestion during stressful times.

Stay hydrated
The importance of water and hydration for overall health is well known. However, some may not realize water is an important part of healthy digestion. Adequate water in the digestive tract helps move waste through the digestive tract and supports overall intestinal health.

Exercise regularly
Exercise is important on many levels. When dealing with stress, exercise can be a good distraction and help change our focus from the item(s) causing the stress. In addition, exercise is good for digestion too. Aerobic exercise, or exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing, can benefit healthy digestion by helping to stimulate contractions of the intestinal muscles that help move food through the intestines.

Find time to relax
This can be the toughest thing to do when you're feeling stressed. However, increased stress can cause blood flow to shift away from the digestive tract. Because digestion requires an increased amount of blood flow due to intestinal muscle contractions and more, this reduction in blood flow to the intestines as a result of stress can cause slowed digestion as well as bloating.