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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
Infographic from: Bimuno.com