Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could eat just about anything and not have to worry about it? But due to our ever strengthening love affair with fast food and our erratic eating habits, our nation is hurtling towards Indigestion! Longer working hours coupled with the stress, a lack of exercise, poor dietary habits and a changing lifestyle have been responsible for us developing problems in our digestion.
With our digestive systems becoming weaker, many of us are regularly falling prey to various digestive ailments such as constipation, loose motions, chronic indigestion, vomiting, acidity, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) etc.
Even though Indigestion is totally curable, there are plenty of ways in which it can be avoided! And the best way to do so is to know what causes Indigestion. Following is a list of some of the most common causes of Indigestion,
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main causes of urban India’s declining Health graph. While we are zooming towards success, we are doing so whilst sitting in the office for 8-9 hours daily! With a majority of our day spent sitting in our offices we are found guilty of not being active even in the remaining hours of the day.
A good digestion process requires physical activity or exercise to trigger the release of chemicals that will aid digestion. However, a lack of exercise coupled with the long hours of sitting or being immobile due to our sedentary lifestyles is also slowing down our metabolism making digestion a long and cumbersome process. Most often people with a sedentary lifestyle are found suffering from digestive problems such as constipation, heart burn and bloating.
How to avoid: Move it!
Keep on moving when in the office, take more breaks and walk around in the corridors or climb the stairs in your office building. Join a gym or take brisk walks and if you are upto it try jogging and running too, as not only will they help with the digestion but also help you lose weight in the process.
Who doesn’t like a clear bowel movement, first thing in the morning? But if you aren’t privy to a clear bowel movement it is probably due to a lack of fiber in your diet.
A diet lacking in fiber is the primary cause for digestive problems such as an obstructed bowel movement and constipation.
In fact the presence of fiber in our diet helps in the proper working of the digestion process, as it helps in decreasing the time required by food to pass through intestines. Fiber also helps in softening of one’s stool, making it an important inclusion in the diet of those who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
How to Avoid: Eat Fruits and Vegetables!
Fruits, vegetables along with nuts and seeds are an excellent natural source of Dietary fiber. Fruits such as Apples, Pears, Bananas and Raspberries are good options for fiber intake. Similarly vegetables such as Peas, Corn, Black beans, Lentils and SoyBeans are also good available options of dietary fibers.
Long working hours, erratic eating habits and excessively competitive scenarios at the workplace are all contributing to that burning feeling you get in your gut, better known as ‘Acidity’.
With stress levels sky rocketing amongst the working population these days, stress related digestive disorders are on the rise. In fact research has proven that IBS or irritable bowel syndrome often afflicts those who are found to be under constant stress!
When under stress our bodies retreat back to their primitive ‘flight or fight’ stance, wherein the blood gets diverted to other parts of the body to abet a quick response. This results in the stomach being starved of blood, which is required by our digestive system for a good digestion process.
How to Avoid: The best way to avoid stress at work is to stick to your deadlines, keep communications open with your superiors and colleagues, avoid procrastination and most importantly do a job that you love!
You might be surprised to know that hurried eating can also lend a helping hand to you developing a digestion disorder!
Most often we indulge in hurried eating because of the paucity of time on our hands or because there is something much more interesting than food or sometimes because we simply want to eat the dessert! But food that has not been chewed properly will cause digestion problems as it will take more time to break down completely. Moreover as there is more emphasis on breaking the food down, it will lead to poor absorption of nutrients, vitamins and essential minerals from the food. Hurried eating results in gas and bloating.
How to Avoid: Set meal times for yourself and stick to them!
- Coffee, Alcohol and Smoking:
Amongst other common causes of digestion problems are the excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol and smoking.
Over consumption of coffee results in the acidification of the ‘juices’ released during the digestion process, similarly excessive intake of alcohol creates disturbances in the acid secretion. Excessive smoking also leads to digestion problems such as gas, gastritis, heart burn, peptic ulcers, bloating etc.
How to Avoid: Moderation is the key if you cannot quit. A better option would be opting for healthier alternatives such as green tea instead of coffee, water and fruit juices instead of alcohol that will help in avoiding digestion related problems.
So now that we know about some of the common causes of digestion related problems, the next time you feel a bout of indigestion coming over just stop drinking the coffee and take a break!