ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Improving Your Digestion: A Key to Better Health

Updated on February 3, 2015
Lactobacillus.  A useful probiotic bacterium.
Lactobacillus. A useful probiotic bacterium. | Source

The Importance of Good Digestion

No matter where in life or location you are, you have quite frequently heard pitches about the importance of a good diet. Eating enough vegetables, drinking enough water, how much of this or that should you consume. There are even differing opinions on what constitutes a good diet, what should and should not be eaten. Most of them have some common things they agree upon, for example, not eating an abundance of sweets and refined sugar.

What gets far less attention than what goes into your mouth is what happens after that. What is often overlooked is the importance of good digestion. After all, what good does it do to eat the recommended amount of Vitamin K, for instance, if your body is only efficiently digesting enough for you to absorb 75% of that? Taking care to ensure proper digestion is just as important as the foods you are selecting to take in.


Probiotics are ingested microorganisms that are similar to beneficial microorganisms that naturally are found in your intestines. They are called "good bacteria", or "friendly bacteria".

They can be found in several sources. They are in fermented foods, such as cultured yogurt, kefir, some cheeses, and pickles. They can also be taken as a capsulized supplement. Start out with a mixture of cultures, they should include Lactobacillius. Blue algae is another very healthy source.

If you get them from food, be sure the food also has healthy properties in addition to having probiotics. It should not be too high in sugar.

Magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as Epsom salt.
Magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as Epsom salt. | Source

Get Enough Magnesium

Magnesium is the third most abundant element in sea water. Every single cell in the human body needs magnesium to survive. Your nervous system depends on it. Your bones and teeth depend on it, as well as the balance of your hormone levels. It also enables your body's natural detoxification methods to operate better, which will also help with digestion.

One easy way to get magnesium is to eat a couple of squares of dark chocolate with your meals. There are also magnesium supplements available. A third way, is to, as the ancient Greeks put it, "take the waters". Add Epsom salt to a warm bath, and you will absorb the magnesium through your skin pores. I would advise against drinking an Epsom salt solution under normal conditions, as magnesium sulfate can act as a laxative when taken orally. So unless you are suffering from constipation, use Epsom salt only topically.

Eat Smaller Meals Several Times Per Day

Many people experience bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal symptoms from minutes to hours after eating an exceptionally large meal. This is not a coincidence. Your body is better able to digest smaller quantities of food at a given time. This can be especially important if you are already having symptomatic digestive problems due to another cause. When you figure out the amount of meals and a schedule that works best for you, try to stick to it consistently, if you can.

Improve Your Posture

Regardless of whether you are sitting or standing, being consistently slouched over can partially compress your organs, and prevent them from working at optimal levels.

It goes to the saying, "form follows function", bad posture has been linked to many symptoms of bad digestion from acid reflux to constipation. It will even render you more susceptible to hernias.

Quit Smoking

Along with a whole host of other health hazards, smoking can contribute to poor and inhibited digestion. Some of the most harmful byproducts of burning tobacco are nitrosamines. These compounds are not only carcinogenic, but they can also affect the pH of the intestines, making it less hospitable to good bacteria that function as digestive aids.

Increase Your Intake of Fat

While many people are advised by their doctors to up their fiber intake to battle their indigestion, some people have difficulty digesting it. Fats can facilitate movement in the intestine, preventing compaction and constipation. Make sure you choose your fats from good, natural, unprocessed sources. For more information about the nutritional value of fats, see


Excessive emotional stress has been proven to have an impact on digestion. Stress can activate the "flight or fight" operation in your central nervous system. Good digestion is heavily dependent on adequate blood to those organs. Stress reconfigures the priorities of your central nervous system in body functions. This can affect the secretions needed for digestion. Warm baths, massage, meditation, and other relaxation techniques should not be underestimated when trying to combat this problem.


To reiterate, good blood flow is needed for good digestion. Both movement and the gravity of standing help food move along. Sitting all day long drastically slows both your metabolic rate and your blood flow. Get at least 30 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise per day, and move around as much as you can throughout the rest of the day.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)