Digestive concerns are very common issue that we see here at Annex Naturopathic Clinic.
The following are some important tips to consider if you currently are experiencing or do experience digestive problems.
1. Chew your food.
A wise man once said, “your stomach doesn’t have teeth” and that’s one of the reasons we must thoroughly chew our food.
An integral part of the digestive process starts in our mouths.
Chewing, alongside the digestive enzymes in our saliva, starts the process of breaking down food so that the stomach acid and other enzymes released further down the gastrointestinal tract are better able to function.
Not chewing your food leads to symptoms of indigestion and decreases nutrient absorption.
2. Stop multi-tasking.
Our brain and our gut are connected.
When our brain is focused on tasks other than eating (replying to emails, driving, Instagram, ect.) our body is not is an ideal position to digest food.
Not to mention we often we faster and larger quantities when we are multi-tasking.
3. Slow down and relax.
To build of the last point, when you stop multi-tasking and slow down before you eat you allow the body to settle into its “parasympathetic” nervous system, also know as our “rest and digest” nervous system.
When we are on-the-go, working or multi-tasking our “sympathetic” nervous system is predominant.
When we are in this state, we are primed to be on alert, with blood flow moving towards our brain and periphery- away from on digestive tract.
Taking a few deep breaths and relaxing while you eat (eating with others helps) you will digest your meal better.
4. Avoid excess liquids around meals.
A common misconception regarding diet is that we should drink a lot of water with our meals.
This is problematic as excess liquid intake around meals will actually dilute our gastric juices- like stomach acid and other digestive enzymes- making it harder to break down food.
It is best to avoid drinking large quantities of water or other liquids 30 minutes before and after meals.
Sipping beverages with your meal will not cause an issues.
5. Eat when you are hungry.
Often people are eating for other reasons than hunger.
People eat because it is lunchtime- even though they may have ate a late breakfast.
People eat because they are tired, stressed, bored or sad.
Making sure you are actually hungry when you eat will improve digestion as your body is primed to receive food.
You’ll notice when you are hungry and you see your food and can sense you saliva production begin to increase.
At this point, you should implement the above 4 points and have significantly improved digestion.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D