Five tips to improve digestion!

Our digestive system breaks nutrients into small parts for your body to absorb and use energy, growth, and cell repair. Our body systems function efficiently thanks to the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.

Our body needs nutrients from food and drink to function and stay healthy. So why is digestion so important? Because none of the things mentioned before will happen without digestion.

This article will discover five easy tips to keep your digestion system happy!

Let’s get started!

1. Chew your food

Digestion starts in the mouth; chewing food is the first step to achieving optimal digestion. 

This may sound obvious to you because we all chew when we put food into our mouth, right? But very often, we only chew once or twice we swallow, and fast enough, we take another bite, and the body may not produce enough of the enzymes needed to break down the food thoroughly.

Chewing food in your mouth helps:

  • Break down larger particles of food into smaller particles. When food is not broken down properly, it can cause bacterial overgrowth in the colon, which leads to indigestion, bloating and constipation.
  • Triggers hydrochloric acid production helping food move through the digestive tract.
  • Helps relax the stomach by releasing saliva, which contains digestive enzymes released when chewing to assist digestion.
  • Eating slowly contributes to a lower risk of obesity.
  • Prolonged chewing reduces meal intakes, but snacking two hours later can be reduced as well.

2. Reduce stress 

Eating mindfully, smelling the food, and enjoying each bite, instead of doing a million tasks simultaneously while chewing your lunch at the office, is the best for your overall health.

Avoid eating while standing, on the run or working on your computer; it is crucial for healthy digestion.

Chill and sit down to eat!

Stress will:

  • Shuts down digestion because when you are under stress, blood and energy are diverted away from your digestive system because you don’t want to be digestion your food when you are running from a tiger.
  • Increase the acid in your stomach, which results in indigestion giving you diarrhoea or constipation.

3. Add fibre 

Soluble fibre (oat bran, legumes, nuts and seeds) stimulates the bowels to hold on to water, bulking up the stool. Insoluble fibre (vegetables, whole grains and wheat bran) moves through your gastrointestinal tract, helping push material and increase stool bulk.

You need to drink enough water to help the fibre absorb water and move through the digestive system. It’s important to consume both types of fibre since they help your digestive system in different ways, and you should aim for 25g of fibre if you are a woman and 38g if you are a for men.

Take a look at the link below to check the chart of high-fibre foods. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948

Eating fibre helps:

  • Keep food moving through your digestive tract, making you less likely to get constipated. But don’t go too crazy because too much fibre can cause bloating or even diarrhoea.
  • Colonic lubrication and transit. 
  • High-fibre foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
  • A healthy diet that includes insoluble fibre may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

4. Drink enough water 

Our intestines use water to push the digested waste through the system and convert it into an easily eliminated form. Therefore, it is essential to stay hydrated throughout the day so that your body can adequately transport nutrients through your digestive tract!

Limit liquids at mealtime to avoid diluting the gastric juices. Instead, drink 30 minutes before or after you eat, which increases your digestion.

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) of fluids for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) of fluids a day for women

These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 per cent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks. Be aware that exercise, pregnancy and overall health will influence water needs!

Not drinking enough will:

  • Lead to constipation and the build-up of toxins in the body; this can result in kidney problems.
  • If you don’t have enough liquids in your body, you won’t produce enough saliva. That can result in a lot of bacteria growing in your mouth, causing bad breath.

5. Eat real food

None of the tips mentioned before will help you mainly eat junk foods, refined sugars, and carbs.

Eating organic, locally grown, and seasonal foods will be ideal, now in reality, this is not always possible. It is expensive and, many times, not easy to access. The key is to do your best to reduce the junk and eat natural, live and wholesome foods made by nature!. 

Not all food must be organic, and “The Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen List of Foods” is an excellent guide for buying organic you can find the link of the EWG’s 2020 list on this link – https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php check out their app!

Eating junk food will:

  • Slow down the digestion process making the stomach bloated.
  • Fast foods are also high in fat, sugar and salt, causing water retention, making you feel puffy or bloated.
  • Fast foods stress the digestive tract, so it has to work longer to break down these foods. When food remains in your digestive tract for such a long time, it affects nutrient absorption and leads to many nutrient deficiencies.

Bottom line:

Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so that the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy. When our digestive system is not working correctly, our overall health is compromised. From our mood to our strength, all these processes are happening thanks to our digestive system. So keeping healthy digestion is vital for a healthy life.

Healthy digestion=heathy body!

References:

https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/should-we-really-chew-each-mouthful-food-32-times/

https://www.theactivetimes.com/fitness/15-ways-dehydration-making-you-sick

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24215801/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

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