The Basic Facts About Digestive Health
And why it’s important to incorporate fiber into your diet.
Everyone experiences issues with digestion at one time or another, but we may not realize just how crucial digestive health is to our well-being. When considering digestive health, it helps to understand why it's important, if it’s operating the right way, and what you can do to support good digestive health.
Why Is Digestive Health Important?
Food is fuel for the body. Digestion is how the body is able to use the energy stored in food and eliminate waste. The digestive system breaks down food into nutrients that are absorbed and distributed throughout your body.1 When the digestive system is healthy, that means the person is getting their daily supply of energy and other nutrients. When something goes wrong in the digestive system, the system of digesting, absorbing energy and nutrients, and elimination can be disrupted in some way—and that can cause discomfort.
What you eat is especially important. The body will convert what you consume into energy and nutrients to help your entire body. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is an important part of maintaining health—especially your digestive health.
The Small Intestine and Digestion
Fiber is an important part of a healthy balanced diet, and it plays an especially important role for the digestive system. While some people think the stomach is the star of the digestive system, it's actually the small intestine. The stomach breaks up food into smaller pieces using acid and churning, but the small intestine plays the lead role by digesting food and absorbing molecules of energy and nutrients that are circulated and disseminated to the rest of the body.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Foods that are rich in fiber tend to be more nutritious and have fewer calories. This means that eating a fiber-rich diet helps the body get its proper fill of energy and nutrients—which is good for your digestive system. Fiber helps the digestive system run smoothly.2
Your digestive health isn't something that should be neglected. The best way to maintain a healthy digestive system is to consider the foods you're eating on a daily basis and make sure you're getting enough fiber. Not only is fiber good for your overall health, but your digestive system will run more smoothly. Be good to your body—and make sure you're meeting your daily fiber requirements.
Show ReferencesHide References
- "Your Digestive System and How It Works." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Sept. 2013. Web. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/Anatomy/your-digestive-system/Pages/anatomy.aspx.
- "Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet." Mayo Clinic. 22 Sept. 2015. Web. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983.