A healthy digestive system can be good for your physical and mental health. Digestive system is made up of digestive tract, liver, pancreas and gall bladder. There are many good bacteria in our digestive tract which helps in digesting food. These bacteria break down the food and turn nutrients into things our body can use. In addition, they keep a check on bad bacteria by multiplying themselves so often that the unhealthy kind do not have space to grow.

Digestion is an important process which provides your body with nutrients from foods and drinks to work properly and stay healthy. Digestive system breaks nutrients into parts which are small enough for your body to absorb and use for energy, growth and cell repair. However, we do not take enough care of our digestive system and ignore its health unknowingly. Here are a few major causes of an unhealthy digestive system:

Unhealthy diet: Eating processed food, junk food or a diet that comprises of high amount of carbohydrates, refined sugar, salt and fats can lead to unhealthy digestive system. This kind of food is low in nutrients, fibre and water content. Thus it slows down the digestion process making the stomach bloated. When food is absorbed by intestine, it requires fibre as well as water to excrete. But due to lack of these two contents, these foods lead to poor digestion and irritable bowel syndrome.

Overeating: Overeating slows down the digestive process. It means the food you eat will remain in the stomach for a longer period of time and be more likely to turn into fat. It can prevent your food from breaking down and digesting properly. Insufficient digestion will further result in various problems like heartburn and acid reflux, vomiting and nausea.

Insufficient water intake: Dehydration is one of the leading causes of unhealthy digestive system. It can lead to constipation, gastritis and acid reflux because the stomach does not have enough water to produce digestive acid. Studies have shown that drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day can help limit the serious symptoms of acid reflux.

Lack of physical activity: If you do not exercise in your daily routine, the risk of harming your digestive system increases. Encourage walking, cycling, working out at gym, exercising at home, doing yoga, or any dance activity etc. in your daily routine. A regular exercise regimen can help treat constipation and promote healthy digestion.

Not giving your body the proper time to digest food that you have eaten before exercising: It is because if you have just eaten before exercising, you may suffer from heartburn, abdominal pain, vomiting and tiredness.

Lack of vegetables and fruits intake: If you eat less fruits and vegetables, your risk of suffering from constipation and other digestive ailments increases. Being high in dietary fibre and cellulose, fruits and vegetables prevent constipation, stimulate the gastrointestinal tract muscle and strengthen digestive system.

Lack of sleep: Not sleeping enough and sound may lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. These all health issues are related to unhealthy digestive system. A poor sleep can negatively affect your gut microbiome, which can, in turn, lead to additional digestive and health issues.

Your overall health, including the health of your immune system depends upon good digestion. Neglecting your digestive system can cause major harm to your health. If your digestive system does not work properly, it will stress and overload your body. Incorporate a healthy regimen in your lifestyle to protect your digestive system.