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Your Guide to Better Digestion

Your Guide to Better Digestion

Are you one of the 70 million Americans suffering from digestive diseases, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, constipation and peptic ulcers? Unfortunately, good digestive health appears to be on the decline and what’s worse is that poor digestive health affects your overall well-being. In fact, poor digestive health means your body cannot get the nutrients it needs for strong immunity and brain health. This means you may experience more symptoms of fatigue, illness, memory issues or depression. While mainstream medicine would have us rushing off to get prescription drugs, Body Ecology has an alternative solution: healing your digestion. Recovering good digestive health is possible! There are some simple steps you can take each time you sit down for a meal that will go a long way to making you feel your best.

Body Ecology’s Step-by-Step Guide to Better Digestion

Changing your diet can feel challenging at first, so this step-by-step guide is not about changing the food you eat. For now, we recommend that you simply start where you are and change a few habits around mealtime.

1. Take your time. We’re all in a rush aren’t we? Work, kids, groceries, errands…it never seems to end. But the truth is, we have more choice about our calendars than we may think.

The simple fact is that slowing down helps you digest better because to digest well, your body needs to be in parasympathetic (also called “rest and digest”) nervous system mode. This means you have to feel rested and calm. Unfortunately, if you rush around in an over-busy life, your body tends to stay in sympathetic (also called “fight or flight”) nervous system mode. This means that your ability to digest is shut down. If you eat on the run or when you are stressed, your body is simply unable to digest. Do this too often and you begin to damage your digestive health and overall well-being.

2. Follow the principle of food combining. Food combining creates less stress on your digestive tract, giving you more energy for other things. Another benefit of food combining is that it helps your body fully digest and assimilate. Different foods use different enzymes for digestion, so when you combine your foods properly, these enzymes are more effective.

3. Chew your food thoroughly. You may have rolled your eyes as a kid, when mom asked you to chew your food well, but she was on to something many people don’t realize. Digestion begins in your mouth. In fact, improperly chewed food can set the stage for a poorly digested meal throughout your entire digestive tract. That means hours of potential abdominal pain or low energy. Chew your food as much as possible before swallowing and the rest of your digestive tract will thank you.

4. Embrace silence. Do you multi-task when you eat? Talking can be considered a form of multi-tasking while eating because it takes your attention away from your meal. Giving your food your full attention can literally change your whole experience with eating. You may find that you feel satisfied earlier and eat less, that you enjoy your food more and that you are able to focus on chewing your food thoroughly. Each of these benefits lead to better digestion.

5. Assist your body. Most of us could use a little boost to help our digestion along. Whether from the natural aging process or from poor digestive health, your body can benefit from digestive aids, such as:

• Digestive Enzymes–Stress, aging, antibiotics and other drugs, improper food combining or a diet high in processed foods, can diminish the enzymes in your stomach necessary for proper digestion. You can help boost your digestion easily by taking digestive enzymes for dairy and protein meals.

• Fermented foods and drinks, prized in just about every culture worldwide, fermented foods and drinks are our ancestor’s secrete for digestive health and immunity.
Whether you choose to add ½ cup of cultured vegetables or 2 oz. of your favorite probiotic liquid, this simple act can help your body digest the food you are eating.

6. Rest up. Getting plenty of rest is another way to help your body learn to be in parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system mode more often. Consider doing something relaxing after each meal, maybe a gentle walk, reading a book or listening to soft music. In the evening, turn the lights down low and have a delicious wind-down routine that gets you ready for a good night’s sleep. A refreshing sleep helps your body heal and energize for the next day’s activities and meals. These days, most of us tend to push sleep aside in the name of crossing things off our “to do” lists. This only adds to stress and gives you less of the precious healing time that sleep provides.

7. Detoxify. Detoxification is essential in today’s toxic world. Toxins are in everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink and the food we eat. You can reduce your exposure to toxins by choosing organic food and toxin-free personal care products. Detoxification does not have to be mysterious and yet these days, so many people are not sure what steps to take.

If you’re not yet ready to change your diet, that’s okay–you can start with these simple steps and as your energy improves, begin making some new decisions about nutrition. You deserve to feel your best and it can be challenging to feel good when you experience the pain of poor digestive health. Your body is designed to heal and there is no greater act of self-care than taking the time to nourish and support your best health.

Intent.com provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.

Read more: Colitis, Crohn's & IBS, Diet & Nutrition, General Health, Health, , , , ,

By Donna Gates, Intent.com

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35 comments

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12:44PM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Reading the above article, i dread to think what my stomach will tell me, if it could talk !!

7:07AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Techcrunch's reporting implies konteyner that all business process patents are now likely
to be invalid which is clearly not the case. If your read the article,
it states that protecting broad concepts is not likely to be patentable.
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9:10AM PST on Jan 24, 2011

Soon after moving to the US, I adopted the "BUSY means HAPPY" attitude.
It took me a long battle with an auto-immune disease to rethink this.

Although our daily lives are full, quite a lot of BUSY-NESS and stress can be avoided if we are willing to prioritize.

Taking the time to eat, especially as a family, is beneficial on so many levels...

2:02PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

Possible me have one...

6:51PM PDT on Sep 3, 2010

Good advice.

6:47AM PDT on Apr 5, 2010

I'd like to see an article on food combining! Most of the rest I understand and try to follow already, but this sounds potentially like the last piece of the puzzle for me!

11:30PM PDT on Jun 14, 2009

thanks...
Kabin
Konteyner

9:52AM PDT on Apr 2, 2009

Ever notice everything designated as a "disease" has some kind of "pill" to treat it? It's not the right way to go with addressing the actual cause of the condition.

9:33AM PDT on Apr 1, 2009

Indigestion now knowen as a disease put money in the pockets of the drug companies and doctors. I watch a report on 20/20 about a man needing a kidney transplant. What happen to his kidney? The medication he was taking for indigestion damages his kidney. Now the drug companies, doctors, and hospital made more $$$$ of this poor guy. Question is..the man now has a new kidney...is he going to continue to take prescription drugs for his indigestion??

What do I take for indigestion? A teaspoon of apple cider vineger in my hot tea. In fact I drank apple cider vineger in black or herb tea three times a day. Not only does the apple cider vinger take care of indigestion but I no longer wake up each morning and have to work the stiffness out of my fingers and hands.

It is better not to eat on the run but take time to eat.

And.....I love my beans!!! My favorit is black beans over rice or red beans over rice.

I have just collected four bowls of spinach out of my garden. Had a salad last night but am looking for a bake spinach dish recipe. Please let me know if any one has a good recipe for bake spinach.

1:12AM PDT on Mar 27, 2009

I have recently been diagnosed with a Hiatus Hernia and Divertulitis. I have been looking for a healthy eating plan to help with my problems. My dr. doesn't seem to have any information for me. Can anyone help me with this..
Thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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