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Improved Digestion in Healthcare Helps Maintain Overall Health

Katie Wulkow
Katie Wulkow | March 8, 2017

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As we age, many bodily functions slow down and don’t work as efficiently as they used to. This includes the digestive tract, resulting in a host of problems in healthcare, including diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis and reflux just to name a few. But you don’t have to let the digestive tract become a victim of age. Here are a few ways to protect it and improve digestion to maintain health.

Keep Hydrated
- Drink plenty of fluids – water, juice, milk, coffee, tea
- Don’t forget foods with higher water content – gelatin, sherbet, ice cream, fruits, vegetables
- Enhance water – consider infusing with fruits, vegetables and/or herbs to add a variety of flavors

Focus on Fiber
- Increase fiber slowly and be sure to drink adequate fluids
- Include whole grain cereals and breads
- Make half the plate fruits and vegetables
- Try higher-fiber snacks – popcorn, whole grain crackers, peanut butter on whole grain bread

Protect with Probiotics
- Include yogurt and fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut and sourdough bread

Stay Active
- Activity can help decrease risk of constipation
- Aim for 30-60 minutes of activity a day
- Keep it fun
- Exercise buddies can go on walks together
- Do chair exercises with resistance bands
- Try pool workouts – many communities have programs designed specifically for older adults

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