6 Easy Ways to Improve Digestion and gut health
Tired of feeling sluggish and overly full? Are things feeling a bit “backed-up” down there? If you are experiencing any frustrating symptoms related to digestion, it’s time for you to have a gut makeover! Digestion is truly the foundation for health. It is responsible for the way that we think, act, and feel. If you think about it, it makes sense. It doesn’t matter what types of healthy food we are putting into our bodies if we aren’t digesting it properly! Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to help improve your digestion and overall gut health.
1. Chew your Food – Do you remember when your mum told you to “chew your food?” Turns out, she was right! Digestion begins in our mouth, not in our stomachs. By chewing our food thoroughly, we are allowing saliva to work its magic, not only in moistening our food (and making it easier to swallow) but helping to break down the starches. The simple process of chewing also mechanically breaks down the foods that we are eating and aids in the digestion process as well. Try to chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing it down into your gut. This will really give your body the leg-up when it comes to digestion!
2. Slow Down – Even though that plate full of dinner looks super delicious, try not to inhale it! By slowing down, we are more than likely to chew our food properly and really break it down prior to swallowing. We are also less likely to overeat, something that is exceptionally important for those of us looking to manage our weight. Think of it this way; you spent all of that time preparing your meal. Why not slow down and enjoy the delicious flavors? There is no hurry! Your food isn’t going anywhere expect into your belly. Slow down and really focus on staying in the moment.
3. Minimize Distractions – We live in a busy world full of things that can easily distract us from the task at hand. When it comes to eating your food, don’t get pulled into different directions! Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and close up your laptop. It is time to allow your body to focus on chewing and digesting your meal. Distractions will keep our mind focused on other things instead of enjoying the eating process. It may make us swallow food that is only partially chewed, making it difficult to digest. It can also make us speed up the eating process. When it comes to mealtime, minimize the distractions. Your gut will thank you for it!
4. Relax – Make mealtime a form of meditation! When your body is stressed, it will prioritize managing your anxiety instead of the process of digestion. This can lead to a variety of digestive issues including gas, bloating, and constipation. Get in zen mode and really focus on the flavors of the food in your mouth. Take time to appreciate all of the time and effort that went in to making your meal. Focus on your breathing with each bite you take. After all, eating should be a pleasurable experience!
5. Don’t Flood your Food – Many people tend to flood their food with liquid when eating a meal. Whether it be water, juice, or even alcohol, too much liquid in our gut can potentially inhibit the digestion process. It can also create a false sense of fullness and reduce the amount of nourishing foods we could be eating. When it comes to mealtime, sip your beverage. Don’t wash down your food in a big gulp without properly chewing it.
6. One of the most important things you can do to promote proper digestion is to feed your body with gut-friendly foods. Try incorporating fiber-filled foods into your diet including pears, apples, mangoes, and pineapple. Leafy greens have also been shown to promote a healthy digestive system. A study in the ‘Journal of Nature Immunology’ showed that green produce plays an important role in controlling immune cells vital to keeping our digestive system healthy. Try eating kale, broccoli, spinach, and even Swiss chard! and don’t forget the all important Green Superfoods GREEN NUTRITIONALS has you covered. Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina and Yaeyama Pacifica Chlorella are both considered prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in your gut and help with great digestion and elimination. Both Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina and Yaeyama Pacifica Chlorella are loaded with an abundance of nutrients, to not only promote proper digestion, but to help keep your gut alkaline as well. Take a few tablets every day or add a scoop of these nutrient-dense green powders to your favorite smoothie. It’s that easy! There are also many wonderful herbs that have been shown to aid in digestion including Senna leaf, marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, and psyllium seed. You can find these at most natural health food stores.
Written by Margaux J Rathbun, B.S., N.T.P.