5 Simple Steps To Improve Digestion

The key to our health starts with our digestive system. The digestive system has 3 critical function in maintaining overall health: 1. digestion of food 2. absorption of nutrients and 3. excretion of waste. We are only as healthy as the nutrients we are capable of absorbing and the toxic waste we are able to remove from our body. Some researchers suggest that digestive disorders are the principle cause underlying many unexplained symptoms and diseases.

 

Do you experience any of these symptoms:

 

Excessive gas, belching or burping after meals? Stomach bloated after eating? Tired after eating? Acne? Burning sensation in the stomach? Heartburn, indigestion? Strong cravings for sweets, starches, coffee or alcohol?

 

If you are mentally answering yes to any of the above then I strongly urge you to try some of these steps. Often it’s a simple case of faulty eating habits that contributes to poor digestion.

 

1. CHEW! Remember to chew your food to a paste. Digestion starts in the mouth and believe it or not your stomach does not have teeth! This step seems very simplistic but most of us really don’t take the time to do this. We often eat on the go or rushed and hurried.

2. Limit beverages at meal time. Drinking too much with meals, especially ice cold drinks, will shut down the digestion process. It’s ok to take small sips of water at room temperature but avoid drinking liberally. Too much liquid dilutes stomach juices and interferes with adequate digestion.

3. Eat fruit alone. Fruit right after a meal is to be avoided. When sugars are digested in the intestine they are processed very quickly but proteins and fats remain in the stomach for several hours. When sugars mix with the proteins and fats, fermentation occurs causing gas and bloating.

4. Slow down! Believe it or not our state of mind at mealtime affects digestion. If we’re stressed, rushed or upset we should avoid eating. Keeping mealtime peaceful and happy has a beneficial effect on our digestion and rate of absorption. Make meals an event, set the table, put on some uplifting music, enjoy some company (or your own!) and put an hour aside to eat.

5. Try some soothing peppermint herbal tea to assist the digestive process after eating and/or incorporate cinnamon into your meal as it also aids in digestion.

 

These are just a few very simplistic steps to help improve digestion. There are many factors that could be involved in digestive disorders such as food allergies/sensitivities, poor diet, regular use of aspirin/over the counter medication etc. Working one-on-one with a holistic nutritionist will help determine the root cause and get your digestive system running smoothly!

-Valerie, RHN

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