Happy Monday after Thanksgiving! How are you feeling? Overstuffed? Digestion not working efficiently? Check out my top tips to improve digestive wellness.
Solid digestion is the cornerstone of good health. You could be eating the cleanest, organic nutrient-rich diet in the world, but if you’re not digesting well, you won’t be absorbing all the nutrients from your food. After you eat, do you feel pleasantly energized and focused? Or are you belching and farting your way through the rest of the day? Feel tired and sluggish after meals? These are signs your digestive tract needs a tune-up. Or if you have bad bacteria overgrowth in your intestinal tract, your digestion can suffer, and inflammation results, throwing your whole system off balance. Here are my top tips to maximize digestive function.
1. Start off the day drinking a glass of room temp water with about 1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This stimulates hydrochorlic acid production to help you break down food.
2. Eat slowly, and relax during meals! A stressed body diverts energy away from digestive function, so you won’t digest well.
3. Eat probiotic and enzyme-rich foods with meals to enhance digestion. An example is 1/4 cup of raw kraut. Drink fermented beverages like kombucha, kvass and kefir if you tolerate dairy. Consider taking a probiotic to balance gut flora.
4. Drink ginger tea between or after meals. Grate ginger root into a mug, then pour hot water over it and let steep for about 5 minutes.
5. Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet. Main culprits are gluten, pasteurized dairy, and conventionally raised (not pastured, grass fed) meat. These foods contribute to the intestinal inflammation that can disrupt gut flora and digestion.
6. If you suffer from heartburn, eliminate gluten, dairy and soy. Heartburn is exacerbated by food sensitivities, and gluten, dairy, and soy are the most common hidden food sensitivities.
7. Don’t drink more than 6oz of water with meals. It dilutes your natural digestive juices.
8. Consider taking a digestive enzyme with hydrochorlic acid (HCl) with meals to improve digestion.
These tips will enhance digestion, but if you suffer chronically with poor digestion (lots of burping, farting, indigestion, heartburn, undigested food in stool, constipation/diarrhea), you’ll want to uncover the underlying cause. Is it dysbiosis (bad bacteria overgrowth)? If so, what caused that? Digestive infection (parasites?), too much sugar, poor diet, eating inflammatory foods? Work with a practitioner (like me) to help you get to the bottom of the problem. Happy eating!