When we think of digestion, we think of the gut, but digestion really starts in the brain! These 5 tips for better digestion will help you absorb more nutrients from your food as well as feel less bloated.
5 Tips for Better Digestion
Chew Your Food Completely
The process of digestion begins as soon as we start thinking about food. The enzymes in our mouth start to be released to help process proteins and carbohydrates. Once food enters the mouth, the job of the teeth is to break the food down into small pieces so there is as much surface area as possible for the digestive enzymes to get to.
When we get busy and eat quickly or on the run, we are less likely to chew our food completely. So the first tip is to slow down and chew your food well…that probably means a lot more than you’re doing now.
Try it for week, see if you notice any benefits.
Drink 2 Glasses of Water Before Each Meal
I’ve found sites that say you should NOT drink water with meals and some that say you should.
While looking into the research, I found one study that showed that drinking 2 cups of water prior to a meal (on a low calorie diet) led to greater weight loss than did just the diet alone.
Another study showed that by just switching out one drink per day with water, the participants showed less weight gain over a four year period.
So whether you are drinking water before, during or after your meal, drinking at least 64 oz of water daily can help your digestion by staying hydrated and it may even help you maintain/lose weight.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindfulness is quite the buzzword these days and I think I know why. We have found ourselves in such a fast paced, demanding environment that we have to actually remind ourselves to slow down and be present.
Food has become a chore that must be checked off a list, instead of a community experience to be savored and enjoyed with family and friends.
OK so how do we help our digestion by practicing mindful eating?
Eat sitting down so you can be calm and enjoy each bite.
Focus on your food and enjoy the company of your companions.
Do not eat in front of the tv.
Stop when you are full.
Don’t eat on the run or standing up.
Mindfulness just means being present with what you are currently doing instead of thinking about what’s to come.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
I talk to people all the time that have no idea what is wrong with their digestion. They know they’re having trouble, but can’t pinpoint which food is causing the problem.
But the general rule of thumb is…if a food gives you “trouble”, don’t eat it.
Pay attention to the signals your body is giving you.
Most of the time the issues come from one (or a combination) of these six foods: wheat, corn, soy, nuts, eggs and dairy. But other foods can cause issues too, it just depends on the health of your gut.
Your Eating Crap Food
By choosing to put highly processed, high sugar and fried foods into your mouth, you are setting yourself up for digestive problems.
Focus on eating real foods – mostly above ground vegetables, moderate intake of well sourced proteins and healthy fats to satiety.
You can sprinkle in a few berries in there too for fun. (If you need help getting started I have a free one page download, Keto Food List, that can help.)
As you can see, healthy digestion may have nothing to do with your gut…but sometimes with the choices you’re making before you even get to the table.
Let me know what works for you!