Your digestive tract is contained within the digestive system and is also called the gastrointestinal tract or GI for short. The GI tract is a tightly wound muscular tube that is about 30 feet in length if it was to be stretched from end to end. The digestive tract starts at the mouth and ends in the anus. Food is eaten, digested, nutrients are absorbed, what's left ends up in the colon and then finally eliminated. This is a long and complicated process which is quite hard on the body. A number of things can go wrong so it's no wonder many of us can have a slow digestive tract.
A slow digestive tract can cause quite a few problems:
- nausea and vomiting
- upper abdominal pain
- spasms in the stomach
- weight loss due to low calorie intake
- high and low blood glucose levels
- lack of appetite
- acid reflux
A more severe form of slow digestion is called gastroparesis. This is when the natural muscle movements of the stomach and intestines contract to push food along the tract, in the case of gastroparsesis this motion called peristalsis is not able to work because the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not function properly, therefor leaving the food inside the stomach much longer.
Help your slow digestive tract with the right foods
Gastroparsesis aside, you can help that slow digestive tract out by avoiding some foods and adding easily digestible ones to your diet. The general rule to follow is that the high processed, junk, deep rid type foods will take much longer to digest than foods from nature in their pure form.
Actually, a diet like this will help much more than your slow digestive tract! Foods your system will thank you for are ones such as raw fruits and vegetables, grains, yogurt and kefir, nuts and seeds, fatty fish and chicken, but only backed or roasted not deep fried chicken.
Foods that will slow down your digestive tract
Red meat, tofu, most dairy products. Following the natural food rule from earlier, we should stay clear of highly processed foods, especially deep fried ones that are full of hard to digest and unhealthy animal fats
Eliminate these, or at the very least cut way back and see what happens. Adding more dietary fiber will also help your digestive system. Doctors usually recommend starting with with a small amount and gradually building up so your system is not shocked by too much fiber all at once.