20 Best Tips to Improve Digestive Health

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The most effective ways to improve digestive health include eating regularly, staying hydrated, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, lowering stress, and meditating. Also adding fiber supplements, exercising more, and altering your diet to include high-fiber foods, probiotics, tea, fruits, and vegetables is important.

Importance of Digestive Health

In our fast-paced modern world, it can be difficult to ensure that we take care of all aspects of our health. Unfortunately, diet is often the first thing that suffers when we are busy, stressed or just lazy. Our digestive health is inevitably affected by this common oversight, which can lead to a wide variety of symptoms and conditions. If you’ve ever felt bloated or constipated, suffered from excessive gas and intestinal distress, experienced the pain of hemorrhoids or have been diagnosed with a serious gastrointestinal disorder, then paying close attention to your digestive health is crucial.

There are many ways to improve digestion and like many other parts of the body, the health of your digestive system is affected by physical, emotional, behavioral, dietary, and physiological factors. To ensure a healthy stomach, you must consider all of these factors in your daily life.

Tips to Improve Digestive Health

Let’s take a closer look at 20 helpful tips to improve digestive health;


If you are trying to improve the health and efficiency of your stomach, probiotics (good bacteria) are a great place to start with. By replenishing healthy bacteria in your stomach, you improve nutrient uptake and generally protect the stomach from bad bacteria and other pathogens that can compromise your digestive system.


As with any health issue, it can be improved through exercise. Boosting your heart rate and getting a good sweat on will not only increase blood flow and stimulate the metabolism, but will also help regulate your hunger, burn good calories, improve muscle tone, and reduce obesity.


Bananas are well known for their potassium content, which is a vasodilator and an anti-inflammatory, both of which are good for digestive health. It is also a good source of fiber, which is essential for digestion. Fiber helps to bulk up the stool and move it through the colon, thereby reducing constipation.

Quit Smoking

Smoking seems to be bad for every part of the body and our digestive system is no different. It has an astringent effect on the body by narrowing the blood vessels and increasing the likelihood of inflammation; this sort of effect can be very harmful and can lead to heartburn, ulcers, and other intestinal complications.


As another fiber-rich substance, avocados are a cheap and nutrient-packed way to protect our stomach. Aside from fiber, which stimulates peristaltic motion and reduces inflammation in the gut, avocados are full of antioxidants that protect the digestive system.

A basket of healthy vegetables and fruits (red bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, pineapple, beetroots, banana, lettuce, spinach, broccoli) on a wooden table

Ease off Alcohol

There’s nothing wrong with going out for a night of relaxation and some pints, but alcohol, particularly in excess, can do massive harm to your stomach. Excessive alcohol intake not only promotes vomiting, but also causes inflammation in the stomach, heartburn, and general intestinal distress.


Spinach contains some insoluble fiber, which is the less optimal of the two fibers (the other being soluble), but it can still act as a bulking agent if you are suffering from diarrhea. Also, the high lutein content is broken down during digestion and helps protect the rest of the body thanks to its high antioxidant capacity.

Cut Down Caffeine

There are plenty of benefits to coffee, namely providing an energetic kick in the butt every morning when you gulp down your first brew. However, coffee is highly acidic, and can seriously mess with the acidity of your stomach, particularly when you haven’t eaten anything else the whole day! If you regularly drink down a pot of coffee and have chronic stomach issues, consider cutting back on the coffee to keep your stomach from revolting!


You might not think of this delicious spice as a digestive aid, but it is! Cinnamon has been shown to be carminative, which means that it can relieve excess gas, and it also helps to inhibit the overgrowth of yeast, which many women suffer from if their diet is improper.

Reduce Stress

Although most people think of intestinal distress as a physical problem, don’t forget that our body and mind are closely linked, especially through the release of stress hormones. Stress and anxiety can literally “tie your stomach into knots” and we’ve all felt that before. If you actively reduce your stress levels, your bowel movements will become regular and that knot in your stomach will get untied too.


This herb has been used for hundreds of years as a digestive aid and can help to reduce heartburn in many patients. Heartburn is often a result of something highly acidic or spicy that you ate, and since cumin is often included in such dishes, your solution can often be right in the recipe!


Many people have mixed opinions about meditation, but the benefits are undeniable. By clearing your mind and releasing the tension you are improving the flow of energy and blood in the body, which can help to regulate your digestive system.

Black Pepper

One of the active ingredients of black pepper, piperine, has been shown to increase the amount of digestive juices, which can help to stimulate digestion, prevent constipation, and increase the efficiency of nutrient uptake.


Doesn’t it feel good to start every morning with a big, healthy stretch? Well, when you think about your intestines all twisted up; processing the big meals you had the day before, maybe they could use a bit of room to breathe. If you want to move things along and keep yourself regular, stretching once or twice a day can reduce flatulence and bloating.


This herb has long been used to soothe stomach upset and reduce inflammation in the gut. Furthermore, when taken in larger quantities, ginger can act as a laxative to flush out your system and eliminate constipation.

Foods to boost digestion - infographic

Stay Hydrated

One of the most important tips for improving digestive health is drinking water. This is the basis for digestion and is essential for excretion. Particularly, if you suffer from constipation or painful bowel movements, increasing your water intake can immediately help get your bowels moving and rejuvenate the body in countless other ways.


Studies have shown that this delicious nut is able to function as a probiotic in certain people, meaning that it stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. The high level of fiber also helps to improve digestion and reduce constipation.


Bran has one of the highest concentrations of dietary fiber (about 24 grams per cup), so it is recommended to eliminate constipation and stimulate healthy bowel movements by bulking up the stool and promoting peristaltic motion.


Berries are not only high in fiber but are also high in water content. Furthermore, berries are also called “superfoods” and their high antioxidant content can reduce inflammation and promote functionality within the gut.


Rather than after-dinner coffee, try tea instead to ease digestion and soothe the stomach. Different teas contain different active compounds, such as the polyphenols and catechins are present in green tea. They protect the gut and increase pepsin production, which is an enzyme that increases the speed of protein digestion.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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