We all know how important it is to eat well – after all the saying goes ‘you are what you eat’. And although there are probably some days where if that’s true, you actually are a giant chocolate bar, if you eat well 80% of the time, you are doing pretty well and your digestive system will thank you for it. But how can we help ourselves to do that?
Our lovely kinesiologist, Liza, shares her five easy steps to a happy digestive system:
Managing a happy, healthy and well balanced digestive system is by far the most beneficial first step to achieving your health goals. There is no denying that food is our best medicine however taking a closer look at improving your digestive health will enhance your bodies ability to digest, absorb and utilize the goodness you are fuelling it with.
1. Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is essentially being present and aware when we eat. This is a very simple concept, but in our often very busy lives, it’s fair to say that many of us end up eating on the run. Its all too easy to save breakfast for the drive into work or to work through your once well planned lunch break to make sure you get something finished, but ultimately this is setting your digestion up with a recipe for disaster! Your digestion is compromised when your body is in a stressed state of any description.
Top tips for mindful eating:
- Mindful preparation: did you know that paying attention to the smell, sight and sound of food being prepared helps your body get ready for the digestive process and enables your digestion to work more effectively.
- Mindful eating: before you tuck in, take a moment to have a good look at your meal, observe the colours, shapes and smells. When you eat, observe the flavours, textures and how the food feels in your mouth, and enjoy every moment!
Research shows that mindful eating allows your body to fully engage in the digestive process, helping to regulate appetite, improve digestion and most importantly your overall enjoyment of food.
2. Chew, chew and chew your food properly
Chewing your food thoroughly will come very naturally as you adopt a more mindful eating practice. The process of chopping and chewing our food is the first step of physical digestion. Vital digestive enzymes are produced while your food is being broken down into more manageable sizes and the process of chewing also alerts the rest of your digestive system to get ready for action as food is on its way! Making the most of this vital stage of digestion really helps your body’s ability to digest your meal effectively.
3. Keep well hydrated
Keeping well hydrated will support your health in every way! One of the many consequences of being dehydrated is constipation. This is because a role of the large intestine is to remove water from the waste which is on its way out of the body. If that waste is already dehydrated, this function will only make it dryer, harder and could result in great discomfort while trying to pass a stool.
4. Identify food sensitivities/intolerances
Gaining a better understanding of your bodies individual dietary requirements can be life changing, especially when you are unknowingly eating foods which are having a detrimental effect on your health. Food sensitivities come with a very wide range of symptoms, ranging from:
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Feeling tired all the time
- Achy joints
- Blocked sinuses or excess phlegm in your throat
- IBS type symptoms/ fluctuating between constipation and diarrhoea
- Feeling down, anxious or stressed for no apparent reason
Food sensitivities generally improve over time. Here are some tips to help:
- Identify problematic foods (food sensitivity testing through kinesiology is a non-evasive and effective way of identifying problematic foods)
- The most helpful dietary advice to follow when a food sensitivity is identified is to exclude the food from your diet for a period of approximately 90 days. This gives your body a good chance to re-establish tolerance to the food while offering a good amount of time to work on improving overall digestive health
5. Engage in daily exercise to stimulate lymph flow and encourage the bowel
Daily exercise has countless benefits to your overall health. For your digestion in particular, movement stimulates the flow of lymph and the peristaltic action of the bowel which enables the healthy transition of food through various phases of digestion. Additional benefits include improved mental vitality and circulation! Think about activities you enjoy, whether it be a brisk walk, ballroom dancing, yoga or swimming, and then think of how you can incorporate these into your daily life.
If you find that you are struggling with any of these, think you may have a digestive imbalance or wold like to know more, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01242 227752 and we’ll always be happy to help.