Many people experience digestive problems that they don’t to talk about because, let’s face it, digestive problems are embarrassing. However, you digestion is a window into your health. Things like bloating, gas, nausea, and acid reflux are signs that your digestive system function isn’t working as it should. To top it off, a poorly functioning digestive system is very uncomfortable. Rather than gritting your teeth and bearing with a poor digestive system, why not work to optimize your digestive health?
Here are several ways to optimize your digestion:
1. Use apple cider vinegar
Do you experience bloating and constipation regularly? Try apple cider vinegar, either mixing some into a drink of water before you have or meal, or add it more regularly to salads and other foods. Apple cider vinegar works to restore digestive health by killing harmful bacteria, like e.coli, and can even help you lose some weight (according to several studies).
2. Sit down and be mindful
Sometimes, trying to multitask and eat can be the very reason your stomach is upset. Instead of trying to eat on the run or in between chores, really take a moment to sit down and relax while you eat. This helps soothe the body allow for the parasympathetic nervous system to do what it’s meant to do—send blood to the stomach to help with digestion and absorption.
3. Chew your food well
Inhaling your food means jumping over the first step in the digestive process. Instead of trying to shovel everything down, take your time to chew. Breaking down the food and allowing for the enzyme in saliva to breakdown the starches and other carbohydrates will allow for the stomach to process food better.
4. Help your colon
The entire GI tract, particularly the colon, right at the end, is filled with bacteria, also known as probiotics. These bacteria are essential to a happy belly and less discomfort. If you think that your intestinal flora needs some rejuvenation, try eating more fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich whole grains instead of processed foods. These foods, as well as yogurt, have probiotics to help restore the gut bacteria to optimal levels.
5. Do yoga or exercise
Both yoga and other light exercise after having a meal is going to help the body by aiding in peristalsis, otherwise known as the involuntary contracts pushing food through the esophagus and, later, the intestine. Moving around while digesting also helps balance blood glucose.
The digestive system is what fuels your body and keeps you feeling energized and strong. Without proper digestion, you will experience effects like constipation, gas, and bloating. No one wants to have to deal with those issues, so follow the above listed step. Doing so will optimize digestion and help with absorption and other digestive system functions.