Tips to help your digestive system
Optimal digestion is key to Energy, Vitality, Clear Skin, and Good Poops!
Tired, Gasy, Bloaty, Burpy…
Do you experience?
Heartburn, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, Low Energy, Skin Conditions, Allergies, Sluggishness After Eating…
Eat well but Feel Unwell
You may not be digesting food properly which means you not absorbing the nutrients needed to fuel the body or the nutrients to help mend the body.
Digestion (Chewing + Food Breakdown + Absorption + Assimilation of food nutrients, thoughts & emotions) = Body Fuel Energy “Qi”
Eating well is one thing, if we cannot digest and get the nutrients out of those foods, or if there are consistent negative thought patterns, the body suffers leading to many health conditions, including impaired digestion.
8 Steps to Better Digestion
1. Chew Chew Chew Food and Drink (yes, chew your liquids!)
- Digestion starts in the mouth with the enzyme in saliva. Have you ever noticed when you feel hungry you start to salivate? That is the body getting ready for food.
- Chewing stimulates jaw activity and strengthens the mouth muscles.
- Chewing allows the brain time to realize satiation.
- Eating too much too fast leads to inflammation.
- Typically, one mouth full of pasta needs 34 chews!
- Tip: Enzymes are known as “the sparks of life”, they are divided into two groups; one group to break down food and the other group that runs all of the body’s organs, tissues, and cells. Digestive enzymes taken with meals help to break down food into useable parts. Consider adding a good quality plant enzyme blend to assist digestion and energy, and especially with issues of gas, bloating, burping
Note: Those without a Gallbladder require an enzyme blend with Bile Salts. Digestive Enzymes with bile salts
2. Avoid Drinking with Meals
- Drinking with meals dilutes the digestive juices, tricking the stomach into thinking it has secreted enough digestive enzymes.
- Drink a glass of water ½ hour before meals and approximately 1-2 hours after.
- The exception is a bit of water to take supplements with food.
3. Drink Room Temperature Water
- Cold temperature by nature constricts. Drinking cold liquids temporarily stops digestion.
- In Traditional Chinese Medicine cold drinks slow the Digestive Fire or the Qi energy.
- Consume water at room temperature.
4. Eat Within Capacity
- Remember to chew and eat slowly, the brain needs 20 minutes to realize satiety.
- It is better to eat too little than too much.
- Think of the stomach like a washing machine, if it is filled to the rim it can’t churn properly.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
- Stop eating three hours before bed. During sleep the body is in repair and rebuild mode, late night eating interferes with these functions.
- If you have cravings: increase protein intake, eat every 3-4 hours, that could mean 5-6 small meals a day. Choose wisely; high fiber, goods fats, quality protein.
- Tip: always have snacks on hand, such as, nuts, apple, clean ingredients protein bars; such as Sunwarrior plant-based protein bars, Good Fats Bars, Perfect Keto bars.
5. Routine and Warmth
- In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the digestive system thrives on routine. If possible, eat at the same times each day.
- Avoid too many cold raw foods. In TCM the organs in charge of digestion need warmth to transform food and transport nutrition to the cells, thereby keeping the body strong and active.
- In the cold weather months, warm up fruits.
- Consume nutrient-dense unprocessed foods, ‘if it’s not in the soil it’s not in the carrot’.
- Increase fiber intake, it is recommended to have 25-33 grams of fiber daily. Fiber rich foods: Hempseeds, ground chia seed and flaxseed, beans, lentils, fruits, whole grains.
Tip: warm fresh or frozen berries in a pan with coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter). Top with cinnamon, and nuts. Or warm a pear or apple and mash it, top with cinnamon.
Note: In Chinese Medicine Dietary Therapy, it is recommended to Avoid Cinnamon during menstruation if you have a heavier period because cinnamon increases blood flow. It is fine to consume when not menstruating and ok if the period is too light.
6. Eat Lightly when Stressed
- The digestive system shuts down when under stress.
- Stress causes the colon to tighten causing constipation, diarrhea, tunnel elimination.
- Stress puts a tremendous amount of strain on all body systems.
- In Traditional Chinese Medicine all organs are associated with different emotions. Over-worry, over-thinking, over-stress, constant anxiety deplete the digestive energy.
- Relax your mind, reduce or eliminate stressors, learn to say no, take up a practice, such as, meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, walking.
- B vitamins are critical for maintaining healthy functioning of the nervous system. Foods rich in vitamin B complex: leafy greens, beans, lentils, eggs, fish, whole grains, broccoli, asparagus, avocado, sweet potato, nuts.
- Tip: if you are not getting enough B complex vitamins in your diet or under a lot of stress or at times of heavy stress, consider supplementing with a high-quality Stress Formula Vitamin B-complex.
7. Food Combining
- Food combining basics, search google for food combining charts like the one in the link below.
- Combining certain food groups together puts a lot of pressure on the digestive system.
- Vegetarians/ vegans: be sure to make complete proteins from the plant foods.
- General guidelines food combining chart:
8. Food Focus
- Doing anything else while eating will take energy away from properly digesting.
- Enjoy the experience, smell, chew, taste. Intention assists digestion and goes a long way to overall health.
The Doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air, and exercise. Thomas Edison
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Disclaimer: This is for educational purposed only and is not medical advice and does not replace any medical advice. Please consult your health care provider for health concerns.