4 Simple Mealtime Habits To Improve Digestion
Relieve digestive issues and improve digestion and overall health with these simple tips…
Digestive issues can be a real pain. Heartburn, bloating, gas, indigestion, headaches, food cravings, depression, irritability, and an inability to recognize true hunger are all symptoms of a digestive system that isn’t working properly. However, you can get your digestive system back on track by practicing a few simple healthy habits. Try the 4 tips below to improve digestion and enjoy better overall health.
1.) Slow Down, This Is Not a Race
Where’s the fire? What’s the hurry? Why are you eating so fast? Slow down and chew your food properly. Proper digestion means giving your gastrointestinal system the time it needs to do its job. Not only does it signal your body to release digestive enzymes, but it also begins the digestion process before the food even reaches your stomach. A good rule of thumb is to chew all solid foods at least 30 or 40 times. This is not necessary in all cases, but practicing this habit will ensure you chew all of your foods thoroughly and give your stomach the time it needs to signal whether you are full or need to keep eating.
2.) Eat More of These
Eating the right types of food is a simple mealtime habit that can dramatically reduce your risk of developing digestive tract issues. Fresh fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and legumes are wonderfully healthy foods that deliver plenty of nutrition, minerals and vitamins. Chia seeds, coconut oil, wild Alaskan salmon, zucchini, kimchee, and sauerkraut (and other fermented foods) are especially effective at promoting digestive system health.
3.) Eat Fewer of These
Baked goods like doughnuts, pastries, and pies are tough on your digestive system. So are processed foods, fast foods, and foods with high levels of sugar and salt.
Rule of thumb: when your food comes sealed in a bag, box, or wrapper, it has been processed. Highly processed food, like store-bought french fries, pizza, and other fast food, has lost much if not all of its nutritional value.
These empty calories and carbohydrates are absorbed into your bloodstream quickly, before your digestive tract has a chance to process them properly. This can lead to issues like heartburn, gas, bloating, and indigestion, and may even contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes over time.
4.) Stop Drinking During Your Meal
Yes, you read that right. You have probably heard that drinking aids in the digestive process. It actually does and doesn’t, depending on when you drink liquids with food. When you drink cold beverages with your meals, you are diverting energy that should be used for digestion. This can lead to a poor digestive process.
The problem is that water, tea, and other beverages are processed by the body extremely quickly. This means that if you drink liquid after chewing and swallowing solid food, a build-up effect can happen in your gut. When you drink liquids you also naturally dilute the stomach acid and digestive enzymes which break down your food. This means your stomach isn’t able to efficiently digest your food, which then can lead to issues like bloating or indigestion as mentioned above.
To improve digestion and avoid these issues, drink water or other beverages 20 minutes before you eat, and wait for at least an hour after your meal before drinking again.
By implementing these 4 simple habits, you may significantly improve your digestive health over time, and may also relieve common digestive issues that you already suffer from.