5 Tips to Improve Digestion Naturally
You’re at a family gathering. Everyone is eating, conversing and having fun. You love being there but you’re in so much pain. You can’t enjoy it. You feel bloated, full, and cramped. You’d rather go home, take off those jeans and sit in your pajamas.
If you have been suffering from digestive problems long enough, you might choose to accept this and live with it. I am here today to tell you don’t! It’s not normal. You should not live like that. There are things you can do to improve your digestion.
1. Take 3 deep breaths before each meal
Breathing deeply will switch your nervous system to digestion mode. It will signal the brain that everything is OK and that there’s no danger around you. You are now ready to rest and digest.
2. Eat mindfully
When you’re watching TV or using your phone and eating at the same time, you might be eating quicker than you should.
Eating mindfully and focusing on enjoying your meal, eating with family, and plating your food in an appealing way affects your digestion in a positive way.
Try counting how many times you chew the bite before you swallow. Aim for 30 bites. I bet you’re not there yet!
3. Try intermittent fasting
The idea of intermittent fasting is to stop eating for at least 12 hours, including hours of sleep. You can increase the fasting hours to 14,16 and even 18.
You are allowed to drink water and other non-caloric beverages as much as you want in the fasting window. The trick here is to avoid snacking when you break the fast.
Some people start eating when they break the fast and don’t stop until it’s time to fast again! That’s totally against what the intermittent fasting technique is trying to achieve.
You will need to eat a late breakfast that includes good fats, proteins, fibers and good carbs then avoid grazing until the next meal.
Giving your digestive system at least 4 hours in between meals will allow it to properly digest the food and be prepared for the next meal.
This will also allow for “migrating motor complex”, or the strong bowel movement that happens after a big meal that is powerful enough to push and avoid constipation.
4. Identify any food intolerances and avoid them
Food sensitivities are tricky because they are difficult to identify. Unless you work with a qualified practitioner and try an elimination diet or do an IgG food intolerance test, you might not be able to identify them.
When you eat food that you’re sensitive to, your body is in a constant state of inflammation.
Your immune system will not work properly and your digestive system will never rest.
5. Don’t drink water during meals
The most famous health advice is to drink more water. Of course water is vital for our health, the health of our skin, and even to avoid overeating.
However, drinking water during the meal will dilute the stomach acid that is necessary for digestion. The smart thing to do is to start drinking 30 minutes after a meal in sips and stop at least 30 minutes before the next meal.
This will ensure proper hydration for a good bowel movement and avoid dilution of stomach acid.
Finally, eating real food will definitely make a big difference! Chemicals, trans fat, and food additives are linked to digestive disorders, gut inflammation and disturbance of gut bacteria.
You are an expert on your own body. No doctor, nutritionist, or health coach can know your body more than you do. It’s just a matter of awareness and the willingness to be kind to your body and start listening to it.