How Can I Improve My Digestion?
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Foods To Support And Boost Your Digestive Processes
Black Pepper: Stimulates the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. It’s also a carminitive that helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas.
Avoid water before meals: Do not drink water, half an hour before eating food. If needed sip some water in between meals.
Bitters: Often called ‘Swedish bitters’ is a traditional digestive tonic consisting of an alcohol base and the extracts of bitters herbs and spices. Bitters stimulate the digestive system to produce digestive enzymes, secrete bile, and balance acid levels in the stomach. You can make your own bitters by using herbs like dandelion, burdock root, fennel, yellow dock, angelica and gentian.
Exercise: Aids in proper digestion. Even frequent low-level activity like walking is an excellent aid to digestion,
Good fats: Include good fats like coconut oil, grass fed butter, ghee, fermented cod liver oil and unheated olive oil in your diet.
Eat probiotics like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, coconut water and miso. These foods are filled with similar bacteria to your body’s own microorganisms that are needed for digestion such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.
Eat soluble fiber foods like carrots, psyllium, cucumbers, lentils and oats, strawberries, pears and oranges. They attract water and form a gel that increases satiety.
Eat Insoluble fiber foods which includes nuts, seeds, chia, whole wheat, other whole grains, brown rice, celery, bulgar, onions, vegetable skins and dark, leafy vegetables. These types of fiber do not absorb water and improve movement of food through the GI tract.
Hydrate: The combination of high-fiber and water will increase efficiency of digestion and waste disposal.
Ginger can treat many digestive issues as it relaxes the smooth muscle of the intestines, relieving symptoms of gas and cramping. You can sip ginger tea throughout the day and with meals to reduce digestive issues.
Smaller meals: If 3 large meals a day give you acid reflux or heart burn, try eating several small meals per day. Your body is better at digesting smaller quantities at a time.
Eat at regular intervals and keep a schedule. Abrupt timings cause disturbance in the body’s functioning in addition to disrupting the digestive cycle.
Eat lean proteins (fish and lean cuts in meat) as they are less likely to cause heartburn and quicker to digest than high fat food.
Avoid cigarettes and alcohol as these substances can cause nausea and disrupt digestive cycles.
Avoid caffeine as it increases acidity in the stomach which can lead to high levels of heart burn and acid reflux.
Lower Stress levels: Stress causes weight gain, constipation, diarrhea and a lowered immune system. It will leave you prone to the h.pylori bacteria that causes ulcers.
Magnesium has been found to improve digestion. Eat Magnesium rich foods or take a supplement like Magnesium skin oil.
Control your intake: According to Ayurveda, one-third to one-quarter of our stomach must be left empty to allow space for our body to easily digest our meal. A simple way to gauge an ideal portion of food for a meal based on your body size is to cup your hands together with your fingertips touching, forming the shape of a bowl. The recommended amount of food for a meal is the equivalent of two of these handfuls of food.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Add a tsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink them before meals.
Try a gluten free diet for a few weeks and see if symptoms improve. You can follow the same elimination diet with other foods like pasteurized dairy or nightshades, if you feel those could be a problem for your digestive system.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.