A Simple Guide for Optimal Digestion

We all know the feeling of when our gut doesn’t feel “right” and there are a range of symptoms that are associated with an unhealthy gut and there are a number of things that can be done to improve the health of our entire gastrointestinal system and it starts with nutrition. It is true that the right nutrition will leave you feeling satisfied, balanced and 

Proper digestion plays a central role in our physical and emotional well-being. We are not what we eat, but “we are what we digest.” Without proper digestion - it can be near impossible to feel our best. 


COMMON DIGESTION ISSUES & CAUSES

  1. Dehydration- Simple water intake (and the right amount) is critical for bowel & digestive health. We also need water for physiological function - ie. we need it for normal bowel function and to eliminate waste effectively. 

  2. Toxic Bowel - The main cause of toxic bowel is constipation – often due to a diet rich in processed food. Toxicity from constipation occurs when the intestines become chronically backed up.

  3. Too much processed food in the diet - because our bodies at heart do not want processed food in the body, the antibodies of the immune system see food like cheese burgers as invaders and reject it as poison.  There is no way you can be healthy eating processed food. They are loaded with chemicals, which are recognized as toxic invaders. 

  4. Stress - Stress disrupts our digestion by activating what’s called the sympathetic nervous system or what we know as the fight-or-flight response. In order to digest food, we need to lower stress and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest mechanism. Only when we are relaxed can we secrete adequate digestive fluids.

TOP TIPS FOR OPTIMAL DIGESTION


1. Don’t eat when stressed.

Eating when stressed results in the digestion system struggling to break down food adequately. 


2. Chew your food until it is liquid

Chewing food right down until it is fully liquid will help significantly in prioritising digestion away from the other systems in the body after a meal. 


3. Hydrate 

Mentioned above hydration is everything to the body functioning at its best. Even 2% dehydration can result in a range of issues throughout the body such as headaches, tiredness and dizziness. 


4. Practice food combining

Food combining is a term for a nutritional approach that advocates specific combinations of foods. Some combinations are promoted as central to good health and weight loss, such as not mixing carbohydrate-rich foods and protein-rich foods in the same meal.


5. Try fermented foods


Some examples below

Kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk product (cow, goat or sheep milk) that tastes like a drinkable yogurt

Kombucha

Sauerkraut

Pickles

Miso

Tempeh

Natto

Kimchi


6. Follow the 80/20 rule 

Eating till 80% full - to give the digestive system 20% more room to digest the food correctly and completely. 

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