Nothing ruins a good meal like uncomfortable indigestion, but before you go popping your next antacid, please let us explain the dire nature of this situation. Digestion is among the most important bodily functions. It is the way your body turns the food you eat into fuel and nutrition.
Indigestion is the first sign of poor digestive health. Experts agree that poor digestive health can lead to any number of health issues ranging from light fatigue and indigestion to a wide range of devastating diseases.
It isn’t simply what we eat that affects our health, but also how we eat. More often than not, poor digestion can be avoided by understanding how your stomach works and eating within your digestive system’s “rules.” The process of digestion is much more complex than simply chewing food and swallowing it. Minerals, probiotics and enzymes all work together to prepare the food and your body for digestion and absorption.
Digestion begins with your first bite: as you chew, the enzymes in your saliva begin to break each morsel down so that your stomach can properly digest them. For example, the enzyme alpha amylase is responsible for reducing starches into smaller, more manageable molecules, and lingual lipase, which is secreted by glands underneath your tongue, digests fats. These are important steps, which occur while food is still in your mouth. Swallowing your food without chewing thoroughly will hinder these enzymes and as a result, place a greater strain on your stomach, resulting in poor digestion.
Chewing your food well is only one of the many actions you can take to prevent poor digestion and protect your health. Check out the list below for more…
- Avoid Antacids. These over the counter tablets absorb and neutralize natural acids that your body produces to aid in the digestion process. They are vital to healthy digestion and as many would argue, a healthy life. There are many alternatives to taking antacids as well as their prescription counterparts.
- Get Enzymes. Enzymes play a key role in the digestion process. The problem is that many processed foods lack the enzymes necessary to keep this process functioning optimally. It is absolutely vital that you are getting enough enzymes either from your food or through supplementation. Many also use various enzyme formulas such as our Formula #12. (for more info, contact us.)
- Balance Your Bowel Flora. Research suggests that bowel flora is responsible for a host of functions including fermenting unused nutrients, building the immune system, preventing growth of harmful bacteria, regulating the gut and producing vitamins. Eating additive free yogurt and taking acidophilus supplements are two great ways to balance your bowel flora.
- Drink fluids between meals, and don’t have more than 4 oz. of fluids with a meal. That said, thirst can be perceived as hunger so drinking ample amounts of water between meals is always a good practice.
- Avoid coffee at meals. Instead, drink it an hour before you eat or an hour and a half to two hours after you eat.
- Consume fruits by themselves, not with other foods. As with coffee, eat fruit an hour before your meal or an hour and a half to two hours after a meal. This is especially important with melons.
- Pay attention to your body more. Some people’s body’s will respond better to frequent small meals while others will feel much better only eating 3 main meals per day. No matter what your body’s preference is, overeating is always ill-advised.
- Take your time. Savor the food, enjoy your meal, and make sure that you chew thoroughly before swallowing.
- Rest after eating, allow your body 30 to 45 minutes for digestion and wait a little longer before engaging in strenuous physical activity.
- Practice moderation with foods that are known triggers for indigestion, particularly carbonated beverages, alcohol, coffee, acidic foods, spicy foods, fried foods and greasy foods.
- Try not to microwave your food, as doing so destroys natural enzymes, making it more difficult for you to digest. Instead, re-heat food in the oven or on your stovetop.
- Eat when you’re hungry. This seems like common sense, but it is easy to misinterpret boredom for actual hunger.
- Wait to sleep until three hours after eating. The body doesn’t require as much energy to sleep, and calories from a bedtime snack will be stored as fat. Sleeping with your head elevated on a pillow will also prevent indigestion while you sleep, since acids from the stomach will be less likely to move upwards into the esophagus.
- Avoid enzyme-less foods, many foods meant to last for long periods of time do so because of a lack or enzymes. Make sure the majority of your diet consists of fresh foods.
- A healthy lifestyle can also benefit digestion. Frequent exercise, not smoking and avoiding processed foods are habits that your entire body will thank you for.
E-book –Journey To A New You