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Doing These 4 Simple Things Can Hugely Improve Your Digestion

Doing These 4 Simple Things Can Hugely Improve Your Digestion

When we have poor digestion, our bodies come under great strain because the nutrients in our food aren’t getting to our every point of our body efficiently and our health can start to suffer. The most common problems are tiredness and chronic fatigue, nutrient deficiency that leads to all sorts of nuanced ailments and even premature ageing.

If you want to take action towards knowing how to improve digestion, we need to be more mindful of what we are eating and drinking. Creating optimal eating habits is the key to our overall well-being and will allow our digestion to work at peak performance.

How Can We Improve Our Digestion?

While the conscious choice of the types of food we put into our body is a major influence on our digestion, there are other habits that can help facilitate our digestion and give it a bit of support:

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1. Good Posture

People who practice yoga are much less likely to suffer from digestive problems and this is down to posture. When we have bad posture (slouched shoulders, hunched back), we are effectively squashing down our digestive area and not providing it with optimal space to function properly. By opening up our shoulders and straightening our back, especially during and right after we eat, we are creating enough space for our digestive organs and not adding extra pressure which will improve overall digestion.

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    2. Avoid Drinking Fluids While Eating

    While it’s great to drink plenty of water throughout the day, drinking during meals and straight afterwards can be detrimental to our digestion. The digestive enzymes in our saliva are crucial for helping to break down the foods that go into our digestive system while also preparing the food by killing natural bacteria. When we drink water, our mouths automatically produce less saliva and so not as much is produced leading to a less efficient digestion process.

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    Drinking water during meals and right after, also dilutes the much-needed stomach acid that breaks down the food and pulling out all the lovely nutrients our body needs. We don’t want our digestion to work under more pressure and not being as efficient as it can be, so step away from the water until at least an hour after you’ve had your meal.

    3. Mindful Eating

    Our body and mind are intrinsically connected and this has gone towards a rise in popularity for mindfulness. How we think and feel directly affects our bodies and this also goes for our digestive system. When was the last time you really thought about what you were eating? Really felt the textures and tasted all the flavours? Our busy, modern lives have given us a plethora of choice together with fast, convenient ways of eating which takes away the importance of appreciating and being grateful for the food in front of us.

    Using all our senses while eating puts us in a state of slowing down and really allows us to take in the amazing varieties of flavours and even how we feel. Together with taste and smell, really feel the food in your mouth, be mindful of chewing well, think about the body’s amazing ability to convert your food into energy and health while all you do is sit there! This connection between the mind and the body can promote a more healthy digestive process.

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      4. Relax When You Eat

      Continuing on from the mind-body connection, creating a relaxed environment and being in a calm state will also cause your whole body to relax; creating an optimal digestive process. Many people are calling the digestive tract the “second brain” because it’s so sensitive to emotional states.

      Never underestimate the mind’s role in how physically healthy you can be. Having a great mindset and attitude towards your eating habits and having full appreciation for the magical way our bodies are able to work will create a much healthy and happy life. Understanding how to improve digestion is all down to creating good and healthy eating habits!

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        Infographic from: Bimuno.com

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        Jenny Marchal

        Freelance Writer

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        Last Updated on October 15, 2018

        Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

        Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

        “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

        While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

        1. Dehydration

        If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

        If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

        You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

        2. Lack Of Exercise

        A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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        Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

        3. A Poor Diet

        The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

        An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

        Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

        4. Skipping Breakfast

        Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

        Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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        Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

        Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

        5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

        We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

        TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

        Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

        Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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        6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

        Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

        Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

        If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

        7. Depression

        Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

        Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

        Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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        8. Hypothyroidism

        If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

        Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

        9. Anemia

        People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

        However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

        While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

        10. Cancer

        While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

        Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

        Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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