Most of us learn about nutrition from the media, feeding our minds with colorful meals and delicious tastes designed to satisfy convenience and craving. Because of this, it isn’t surprising that we forgot the relationship between the quality of food and the quality of our digestion. It may seem like an easy equation on the surface, but it is much more complex than you’d think. Your digestive tract holds more solutions for your health that you could imagine and plays an important part in delivering the elements from the food you eat into your body.
I get so many clients that don’t understand the importance of keeping their digestion in top shape, until its too late. Here are the four simple habits you can incorporate into your routine to reset your digestion.
- Concentrate on your meal
Eating while driving, walking, watching TV or when stressed or angry can be a powerful distraction that disrupts your ability to process the effect of eating on your hunger. When we don’t concentrate on our meals, we fall into the trap of unconscious eating where we don’t recognize or track the food we have just consumed.
Stress or eating on the run activates the flight-or-fight system which can considerably inhibit proper digestion while enjoying a meal and relaxing supports parasympathetic activity and in turn encourages effective digestion.
- Chew your food thoroughly
Digestion of carbohydrates begins in your mouth with saliva and enzymes. These chemicals not only help break your food, they also destroy bacteria. Most people don’t chew their food thoroughly, which makes food digestion even harder when it goes into your stomach. Always remember, chewing is the first stage of proper digestion.
- Take a walk after each meal
There is a belief that walking after eating can cause stomach ache, fatigue and other forms of discomfort. That is a big fat lie! Walking actually suppresses the increase of glucose after eating and helps to increase the absorption of your food. A brief 15 minute walk can mean faster evacuation.
Most people start their day with a cup of coffee or soda. Changing this habit can lead to positive changes in your digestive health. Soda and coffee can dehydrate the body, which in turn drain your energy. Drink water, probiotic liquids or herbal teas instead. According to Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, cold drinks can slow your Chi (life energy) or Agni (digestive fire). Because healing requires energy, concentrate on warm tea and room temperature water.
Starting today, practice these 4 very simple digestive habits and let me know how it goes in the comments below!