The Beginner’s Guide To Fixing Digestion For Good

Cindy Wilson Thumbby Cindy Wilson
BS, Dietetics and Nutrition

Throughout the world, various cultures have identified the importance that the gut and its digestive properties have on mood, mental performance, and more.

In fact, the gut is commonly referred to as “the second brain”, with some Asian cultures referring to it as “the seat of the mind and soul”.

Despite this however, we tend to easily take this “seat of the mind and soul” for granted… Or we take it less seriously than we do our actual brains.

the beginners guide to fixing digestion for good

Minor negligence of gut health can lead to decreases in mood, performance, and overall cognitive capabilities. [R]

But in more extreme cases that we often see nowadays, it can lead to everything previously mentioned as well as some of the most common and easy to identify symptoms such as constipation, heartburn, nausea, etc.

In this beginner’s guide to fixing digestion, we’ll look at some of the most common culprits leading to sub-optimal gut health, as well as the best ways to move forward and be rid of this subtle affliction.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

The Second Brain

the second brain

We may have heard the saying tossed around of how the gut is “the second brain” but it’s important to know why, it’s named so.

For starters, the gut plays SEVERAL key roles when it comes to regulating your mood, and overall cognition.

Sub-optimal gut health can lead to certain mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, irritability and more:

“The epidemiological, experimental, and clinical studies have revealed that many kinds of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics, dairy products, spices, fruits, vegetables, and medicinal herbs could prevent and manage the mental disorders by modulating intestinal microbiota, including increasing beneficial gut microbiota and reducing harmful gut microbiota.” [R]

This means that if you’re someone who tends to struggle with these issues, one of the fastest and simplest ways to see a noticeable improvement is to improve your gut health.

This can easily be done through dieting, taking certain biohacking supplements, and implementing beneficial habits that we’ll discuss later.

There is new and influential research being done into the effect of just how MUCH gut health plays a role in not only mental health but cognitive performance as well.

It’s not quite clear yet how much this role plays, but most studies have concluded that at least in some form, it most certainly DOES play a role in brain health.

To be clear, if you are someone who suffers from extreme mental health disorders, it is important to seek professional help.

That said, there have been many anecdotal reports of people who suffered mental health disorders due to a gut-damaging diet, becoming seemingly “miraculously cured” by implementing some of the changes we’ll talk about shortly.

Digestive Function: Your Gut At Work

Before we get into how to improve the function of the gut, let’s take a quick look at what EXACTLY that function is…

Your gut AKA stomach has a plethora of key roles in not only maintaining balance throughout the body but in helping it thrive as well.

Here are some of the key roles YOUR gut plays every single day:

  • Breaks down food into useable materials & energy
  • Helps absorb good things, whilst filtering out bad/toxic things as well
  • Helps make various vitamins & molecules needed to thrive
  • Makes up around 60% of your total immune system
  • And more…

As you can see, from making up a majority of your immune system to creating certain materials that your body uses to be at its BEST, the gut is an often overlooked yet key aspect of health.

Another thing of note is that when your digestive function is out of balance, it can oftentimes lead to your brain being out of balance as the brain experiences what your stomach is feeling through feedback from the nervous system.

This means that if your stomach is feeling slow and sluggish due to bad food, then you can expect your brain to start feeling this way too…

However, the bright side is that the reverse of this is true too! This means that if your stomach is happy and active, then you too will start to feel happier, more effective, mentally sharp, and so on.

The gut has been a component that is often neglected when looking at a person’s overall health, especially mental health up until recently as more and more evidence points towards the gut as a legitimate area of concern.

Whilst more and more research comes out however, they all tend to point to this conclusion: The gut is akin to a “second brain” and improving digestion can have life-changing effects.

How To Improve Digestion In 3 Easy Steps

So we’ve explored how your gut works and why it’s so key to get it under control and working FOR you rather than against you.

Now we’ll get into 3 easy steps that you can take to start improving your digestion starting TODAY.

I’ll briefly list these steps, but then together we’ll break each one down to make sure you get the most out of each step.

Improve your digestion in 3 easy steps:

  • Consume a personalized stomach-supportive diet
  • Follow certain lifestyle/eating habits
  • Consume gut-healing and repairing supplements

Just following these three tips can and will do wonders for not just your gut health but your health as a whole by accomplishing other goals like reducing inflammation throughout the body.

However, while they are easy to list out, we’re going to break down each as some key nuances in each can make a HUGE difference!

Consume A Personalized Gut-Healing Diet

The reason why it’s key that it’s a personalized diet, rather than some black-and-white type idea, is that everyone is different, and while there are some great general guidelines, there is no “one shoe fits all” diet.

Nearly everyone has certain food allergies, and not all these allergies are as noticeable as say someone with a peanut allergy.

Some of these hidden allergies you may not even be aware of, but can cause issues such as inflammation within the body, bloating, and more!

Some good general guidelines for getting rid of most of the issues involved with digestion would be to eliminate the following:

  • Sugars
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy
  • Gluten

Just getting rid of these few foods, will do most of the work when it comes to improving digestion… But it’s not everything.

Whilst these are good guidelines to follow, it’s important to get tested and find out what you specifically may have “hidden” allergies to.

Lifestyle & Eating Habits

Implementing certain lifestyle and eating habits is one of the quickest and easiest ways you can improve your digestion.

Really what it comes down to, is making sure you’re mindfully eating your food, as opposed to binge eating.

What this means is that you are chewing each mouthful of food ideally twenty-five to fifty times each.

Not only will this make your stomach’s job of digesting MUCH easier, but it will also release a certain chemical called epithelial growth factor (EGF) which assists in repair and healing of the gut lining.

Among other things you can do, is to make sure you’re not doing anything else while you’re eating, as it takes up to twenty minutes before the brain receives the signal that the stomach is full.

While these eating habits are simple and easy, they are not tiny and ineffective!

Gut-Healing Supplements

Whilst the previous two steps should serve as the foundation of your goal to improve digestion, supplements can certainly be beneficial as well.

It’s important to have the foundation however as supplements are meant to SUPPLEMENT an already great diet and lifestyle.

That said, some great supplements can improve digestion by way of helping your stomach break down food, reducing symptoms of hidden allergies, heal the gut lining, etc.

Without further ado, here are 3 great supplements for overall digestive health:

  • Probiotics
  • Enzymes
  • Hydrochloric acid

Probiotics are one of the main supplements you can take to help maintain homeostasis within your stomach, as they help the stomach to replace “good bacteria” and also help manage and balance the “bad”.

Enzymes on the other hand, help to break down the proteins, carbs and fat from foods, whilst also helping the digestion of those nasty little “hidden allergies”.

Lastly, hydrochloric acid is for people who’s stomach acid could use some support. Often times we think of stomach acid being too strong, but this isn’t the case for everyone, and for those people hydrochloric acid could be beneficial.

One more thing of note, is that as with all of these supplements, it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any sort of supplement regime, especially out of the blue.

Doing so can help ward off any potential side effects, and help make sure you get the most and BEST out of whatever supplements you and your doctor agree upon.

Gut Repair & Moving Forward

More often than not, you can seriously do a complete one-eighty in terms of improving your digestion and healing your gut simply by making a few lifestyle changes…

Keep in mind there are some other supplements that you can take to help improve the process of digestion and help to heal the gut.

These supplements are:

  • Glutamine (type of amino acid)
  • Quercetin (powerful gut anti-inflammatory)

Once more however, remember that supplements are meant to supplement an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.

You cannot eat a bunch of food that poisons you, with bad eating habits but then expect a few supplements to completely cure your problems, although they will help.

Lastly, if we’re talking about long-term gut health and even healing the gut whilst improving the digestion process moving forward, the aforementioned tips in this article will be of IMMENSE benefit moving forward.

So, to recap, here’s the 4 step process to fixing digestion for good:

  • Remove any toxic offenders or “hidden allergies”
  • Replenish & replace missing or weakened enzymes, prebiotics, etc.
  • Resupply with probiotics for beneficial gut bacteria
  • Utilize supplements to repair the gut

The last thing to remember is that it’s not only possible to improve your digestion, but it’s more than possible to help HEAL the gut after years and years of damage.

These will not be insignificant changes either, as we talked about earlier the gut is quite literally the “second brain” and by improving/healing this powerful nerve center, you can expect drastic positive changes to mood, brain performance, and overall quality of life!


Overall, these tips have the potential to make a powerful and long-lasting impact on your overall quality of life. 

Even if you don’t have any extreme digestion and/or gut issues, these tips can still provide immense benefit to those who follow.

Lastly, if you enjoyed this article and found the information presented useful, then make sure to check out the rest of Nutri Inspector for even MORE great articles on improving your health!

And until next time!

About Author

Cindy Wilson Thumb
BS, Nutrition & Food Science | Connect with on LinkedIn
Cindy Wilson

Hello, I am Cindy, and this a website where I inspect everything related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I have a BS in Dietetics and Nutrition (Kansas State University) and have completed a dozen specialty courses related to nutrition, biochemistry, and food science. I am open to learning more, but foremost I would like to share all my knowledge with you.

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