8 Tips For Better Digestion
Digestive disturbances can be irritating and uninvited, like your in-laws. Symptoms like bloating, flatulence, constipation and acid reflux can be your body’s intelligent way of trying to to let you know when something isn’t peachy.
Proper digestive function is essential to optimal health and vitality, energy and prevention of disease. It is intimately connected to weight loss (or weight gain), your mood and how you feel overall on a regular basis- which should be fantastic for the most part.
Here are 8 simple and effective tips to help promote digestion.
** If you do experience these symptoms frequently on a regular basis, it’s always important to first consult your healthcare practitioner as they may be indicative of a more serious underlying problem.
1. Sleep + Digestion = BFF
Sleeping gives your body a chance to “rest and digest”. When you’re carrying out your day to day routine, you are mostly in “fight or flight” mode, meaning your body isn’t using your precious energy to digest what you eat. And at the end of the day when you sit back to check your Instagram feed, you may think you’re relaxing but your body is still using the energy elsewhere. 7-8 hours of sleep per night is ideal for your body to properly digest and assimilate nutrients from the food you’re eating, among it’s many other tasks.
2. Drink water between meals.
It’s important to stay hydrated and water helps to keep food moving through the digestive tract. Too much water during meals can slow things down and so can ice cold water. Small sips of room temperature water during meals is best.
3. Get a healthy dose of friendly bacteria.
Your digestive systems best friend is probiotics. They help fight off unwanted bacteria that can cause uninvited digestive disturbances. Plain organic yogurt is a great way to get probiotics and taking a probiotic supplement for a little extra friendly bacteria is never a bad idea.
4. Dandelion Tea
Dandelion tea aids in liver and gallbladder function which stimulates digestion. This can be helpful in promoting detoxification too. If you find it too bitter, add in a squeeze of lemon for an extra digestive boost and flavour.
5. Drink veggie based green smoothies
What is more fun than throwing a bunch of things in a blender, watching it turn a yucky green color and have people ask you why you’re drinking mud? This is a great way to get extra fiber into your day, which is key for digestive function. Smoothies can be prepared ahead of time and require less energy to digest, leaving you feeling energized and refreshed. One of my favorite green smoothies has romaine lettuce, swiss chard, organic berries, pear, 2 stalks of celery and a carrot.
6. Move after meals
Sitting down or napping after a heavy meal may seem appealing but this can slow digestion down. Intense cardio is not recommended, but a light walk after meals is great for digestion and keeping things moving correctly.
7. Digestion + Stress = Nemesis
Your digestive system is very sensitive to stress whether it be physical, mental or emotional. It is your second brain after all! Properly dealing with emotion and taking time to relax each day (even if it’s 10 minutes) is important for digestive function. Take some deep breathes throughout the day, write in your journal regularly. Meditation and yoga are also effective stress relievers for digestion. It’s also important to make time for doing the things you enjoy – schedule it in your day planner if you have to.
8. Try going gluten free.
For some, gluten can be a hidden food sensitivity that creates digestive symptoms with the body’s inability to properly break it down. If you experience digestive problems, it may be worth it to try cutting gluten out of your diet for a few weeks to take note of how you feel. This link will tell you more information on gluten sensitivity and digestion.