Do you feel like you are doing everything right and yet your digestion is still off? You are probably thinking, “I eat healthy and I exercise, so what’s the deal?!” Here are 4 tips we often recommend to further support digestion during meals. Some may seem obvious, but they can be easy to forget!
- Avoid drinking large amounts of liquid with meals: this can actually dilute your digestive fire (stomach acid and enzymes that break down food) – if you do need some liquid with your meal practice taking small sips and drink more 30 minutes before or after your meal. Keeping hydrated supports digestion, but drinking too much water with food can hinder digestion.
- Chew your food: Just as we learned as kids making sure we chew our food enough is still really important! Remember digestion begins in the mouth so the more we chew the easier it is for our body to break down food and have quicker access to nutrients. Practice counting how many times you chew and then double it!
- Slow down at meal time: So often as adults we are in a hurry and meal time just seems to get in the way. However rushing to get down some food puts the body in a state of stress and digestion is unable to work properly. This can lead to gas, bloating and stomach aches. So make space in your day to have a relaxed meal. Try taking time between bites to have a breathe, put down your fork and if you’re enjoying a meal with someone, talk to them J
- Stop eating when you’re full: Another benefit of eating slowly is that your body has time to digest and signal when it is full. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our brain we are full? Many of us are guilty of over eating because of how quickly we consume our meals. By slowing down and listening to your body when it is telling you “please no more” you are less likely to have abdominal pain, gas or discomfort. This is also a great natural weight loss trick!