The journey begins when your food goes from your mouth down your esophagus to the stomach, where the combination of stomach acid, digestive enzymes and muscular contractions begins to break it down.
It then moves into your small intestine, which is where most of the nutrients are absorbed. From there it moves into the large intestine, where eventually almost nothing but waste material is left.
The whole process normally takes between about eight and fifty hours, depending on what you’ve eaten and how efficiently your digestive system works.
What is digestive wellness?
In many ways, digestive wellness is the foundation of good health.
When your digestive system is working properly, it means your body is digesting the food you eat efficiently and it’s getting all the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Of course, digestive wellness and diet go hand-in-hand. You need a healthy diet to provide nutrients, and a healthy diet also helps keep your digestive system in good order.
There are many different signs and symptoms that you may notice if your digestive system isn’t working as well as it should. These may include:2
While these signs and symptoms can be very uncomfortable and worrying, they rarely mean that there’s a serious problem or that your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs.
Of course, there is a small chance that you have a problem that should be investigated further. If your symptoms are particularly severe or they have persisted for more than a few weeks, you should see your doctor.
It’s also important to remember that chest pain can be a sign of a serious heart problem. Even though chest pain is usually caused by indigestion, if you also have shortness of breath or pain in the arm or jaw, you should seek medical attention straight away.
Tips for digestive health
One of the best things you can do for your digestive wellness is to eat a healthy, varied diet.3 There are also some specific types of foods that it may be helpful to avoid or at least try and limit, including:
One food that appears to be particularly beneficial for people prone to digestive problems is rice.7 Rice is easy to digest and it’s unlikely to cause any allergic reactions.7
Foods and herbs that may improve digestion
In addition to making changes to what you eat and drink, you can help prevent indigestion by making lifestyle changes such as:8
Where to find out more
There’s no doubt a healthy digestive system is something we’d all like to have. Hopefully by following our tips, you’ll be on your way to better digestive health.
In the meantime, you can learn more about acidity problems here.
You might also like to learn about how ENO could help relieve your symptoms here.
Please remember to see your doctor if you have persistent or particularly severe symptoms, or if there’s anything you’re not sure about.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Your Digestive System & How It Works. US Department of Health and Human Services 2016, US Government. Retrieved from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works
- Mayo Clinic. Indigestion. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/indigestion/symptoms-causes/syc-20352211
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Eating, Diet & Nutrition for Indigestion. US Department of Health and Human Services 2016, US Government. Retrieved from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/eating-diet-nutrition
- Akhondi-Meybodi M, Aghaei MA, Hashemian Z. The role of diet in the management of non-ulcer dyspepsia. Mid East J Digestive Dis 2015; 7 (1): 19–24.
- Khodarahmi M, Azadbakht L. Dietary fat intake and functional dyspepsia. Adv Biomed Res 2016; 5: 76–79.
- Duncanson KR, Talley NJ, Walker MW, Burrows TL. Food and functional dyspepsia: a systematic review. J Human Nutr Dietet 2018; 31 (3): 390–407.
- Gonlachanvit S. Are rice and spicy diet good for functional gastrointestinal disorders? J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2010; 16: 131–138.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Treatment of Indigestion. US Department of Health and Human Services 2016, US Government. Retrieved from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/treatment
- Badgujar SB, Patel VV, Bandivdekar AH. Foeniculum vulgare Mill: a review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application and toxicology. BioMed Res Int 2014; Article ID 842674.
- Muss C, Mosgoeller W, Endler T. Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2013; 34 (1): 38–46.
- Johri JK. Cuminum cyminum and carum carvi: an update. Pharmacognosy Rev 2011; 5(9): 63–72.
- Boskabady MH, Alitaneh S, Alavinezhad A. Carum copticum L: a herbal medicine with various pharmacological effects. BioMed Res Internat 2014; 2014: 569087.
- A Comparison of the Effect of Regular ENO and Placebo on Intragastric pH in Healthy Fasted Subjects . Does not imply relief.