Top 10 Tips for Good Digestion
1. Eat in order of digestibility.
You should eat the easiest to digest foods first in each meal and slowly move towards the more complex. Think of a highway, if the slowest cars are in front they'll hold up the faster cars behind them, causing a traffic jam. The same goes for your food. Eat those fastest to digest first and save the tougher to digest foods for the second half of your meal.
Here are the time sequences for different food groups:
Water & Juices: 20-30 minutes
Fruits, Smoothies, Soups: 30-45 minutes
Vegetables: 30-45 minutes
Beans, Grains, Starches: 2-3 hours
Meat, Fish, Poultry: 3 or more hours
2. Drink warm or hot liquids with your meal.
Ice cold drinks can slow down the digestive process, think of it as putting ice on a muscle. The muscle stiffens and does not function as well. Warm or room temperature water, juice, or decaf tea will encourage proper digestion. (Just remember the traffic jam – drink liquids prior to meals)
3. Eat at regular meals times.
It is important to be regular with what you eat and the times of day you eat. Eating similar food groups and at similar times each day has a regulating effect on your digestive system. Regular in means regular out.
4. Be conscious of what you eat and your portion sizes.
Over consumption is the number one cause of indigestion. Our brain signals the feeling of fullness about ten minutes after we're actually full. So stop eating before you are full. Odds are you'll feel full ten minutes later!
5. Chew your food completely and don't talk while eating.
Incomplete chewing and talking while eating can cause premature swallowing. Our digestive systems are not designed to digest large pieces of food, when we put large pieces in our stomachs it can lead to incomplete digestion (aka: digestive discomfort).
6. Relax while eating your meal.
Eating when you are rushed increases your stress and slows down the digestive process. Create a nice calming atmosphere when eating and make sure you can devote time to eating.
7. Practice good posture.
When you slouch or hunch over extra pressure is put on the digestive organs in your abdomen. This extra pressure can cause poor digestion. You should practice sitting with your shoulders back and your chin tucked in. This will allow more room for the digestive organs and will help improve digestion.
8. Don't eat late at night.
Our bodies, including our digestive system, slow down in the evening hours as it gets ready to rest and rejuvenate. When we put food into our stomachs at these late hours there are not enough digestive enzymes to properly digest it. This undigested food sits in your stomach and will often disturb your sleep.
9. Take a brisk walk after eating.
Forget about not be active for 30 minutes after each meal. Increased physical activity actually helps jumpstart your digestive system and increases the production of digestive enzymes. This will lead to more complete digestion of your food and less digestive discomfort!
10. Try a spinal twist.
Spinal twists allow excess toxins in the digestive system to be released, which has a calming effect. While in a cross legged sitting position, slowly turn to the right and hold while taking 5 deep breathes then repeat this process on the left side.