5 Tips to Help Digestion
More and more I am hearing of people with IBS, bloating, general discomfort or worse. It can be hard to struggle with digestive issues, so I thought I’d put together five tips to help digestion and to help you figure out any digestive problems you may have.
I think a lot of these ailments have been made worse by the Frankenfood Culture we have been duped into over the last few years, chemical-laden and full of artificial ingredients. Our bodies were built to grow and survive on natural foods from God’s earth – hence the backlash.
But either way, digestive problems are no fun. Here are some ways you can aid healthy digestion.
Many people do not drink enough water. I don’t suggest drinking water or any other fluids during meals as the liquid dilutes the digestive enzymes that the body secretes. However, drinking enough water throughout the day hydrates the body helping all the organs to perform at optimal capacity, including the organs of elimination. If you typically experience constipation, this could be the missing factor to help move things along. Find out how much water you should be drinking and what other benefits keeping hydrated has here.
Take digestive enzymes
Did you know that cooking food destroys many of the precious digestive enzymes that were once present? Our bodies only have a certain amount of food-digesting enzymes. When we eat plenty of raw foods or plenty of raw foods alongside our cooked meals, we are providing our bodies with enzymes to help break down the food.
When we do NOT have enough enzymes, the foods are left to rot in our bellies and the digestive tract, leading to issues like flatulence, bloating and indigestion. I suggest taking a high-quality digestive enzyme with any cooked meal or with foods that you have trouble with digestion.
There are over 100 trillion good bacteria in our bodies that play a vital role in our overall health and well-being, particularly to immune function and digestion. Consuming probiotic-rich foods is part of the tradition in many cultures. Many clinical studies have shown that probiotics can soothe a variety of gastrointestinal ills such as IBS, diarrhoea, Crohn’s and more!
I’ve worked with a client who reported becoming regular in his bowel movements after only three days of taking probiotics and digestive enzymes. This was after 20+ years of only two bowel movements a week! I’m sure you can imagine the relief he felt. I suggest adding probiotic supplements to your diet and/or probiotic-rich foods and drinks such as green tea, yoghurt, and miso soup.
Practice proper food combining
Our bodies are amazing and complex machines. Sometimes we forget that. To eat simply will help your digestion tremendously. There are a couple of easy rules to remember in order to get the best digestion possible out of your foods. Sugar (both table sugar and fructose in sugar) also hinders digestion. If you’re going to eat fruit, eat it 30 minutes before a meal. And desserts really shouldn’t be eaten after a meal, as they are digestive bombs! If you want to eat dessert..best to eat it alone. (That’s not so bad, is it?)
Many of us eat way too fast! the next mouthful of food is on its way before the first one has even been chewed! Your stomach doesn’t have teeth, in case you didn’t know. You want your food to be as close to a liquid state as possible by the time it reaches your belly. Not only that, the more you slow down, the more you enjoy your food. The more you enjoy your food, the less likely you are to overeat. It’s a practice in mindfulness. Allowing time for proper digestion and signalling when your body is done.
Try these you take these 5 tips into practice, you will notice a dramatic shift in your digestion. I’ve seen it time and time again.
But most importantly, remember to slow down and enjoy the meal. The same can be said about life.
Eat real food. There are no tricks and no magic pills.
Mark B runs Inspired Personal Training and you can find his website here.