My Best Kept Secret for Better Digestion
Coming from a girl who has ALWAYS had an untamed tummy, I know the importance of simple practices to include into your meal time to help make the hours to follow be pain and panic free!
But first, why am I talking about having better digestion in the first place?
That’s a great question and the answer is simple….because SO SO SO many of us suffer from having poor digestion. I used to think that I was the only one who had horrific stomach aches but it turns out, the more people I talk to the more I realize that there are loads of us that have issues one way or another with our guts.
I know you know that suffering from digestive problems such as gas, bloating, reflux, stomach cramps, diarrhea and constipation can seriously put a damper on how you function every day. Yes, these processes are natural and all, but honestly….it’s embarrassing too! No one likes to be the one who has to leave a party because “they have a headache”, code word for “I need a toilet, NOW!”
Your gastrointestinal tract (GI) tract acts as your body’s food processor and if it’s blocked, overloaded, polluted with toxins such as food additives, pesticides and preservatives, or otherwise irritated, it is going to let you know how it feels by having one of the reactions listed above.
Your GI tract first breaks down your food by the mechanical process of chewing and then by a multitude of complex chemical processes that extracts nutrients to feed your system and expel toxins.
The best way to ensure that you are helping make it easy for your body to digest your food is to chew….A LOT….so that our food mixes with our digestive juices so it can be easily digested and better absorbed and assimilated for optimal nutrition.
So what is my best kept secret to start your digestion off on the right foot?
I know, simple right?! Believe it or not chewing is one of the most important aids to our digestion and it’s also one we often take for granted. You know what I’m talking about. Sparks flying off your fork you’re eating so fast, then basically just swallowing your food whole….great white shark style! Maybe that’s just me, haha. Now be honest, how much do you really think about chewing when you’re eating?
If you thought, “bah, never!!”, well my friend, I’m here to tell you it’s time you did!
Learning how to chew your food properly (up to 30 times per bite) will help you extract the maximum nutrients from your food and get your digestive juices flowing right AND help keep your weight down and your tummy flat.
How? Because if you eat healthy food packed with nutrients that you chew properly with each bite, you will be able to recognize once you feel full and you will therefore eat less!
Learning how-to chew helps to:
Sense intuitively when you are full
Gain way more satisfaction from eating
Develop a healthier relationship with food
How to chew better for optimal digestion:
To get in the habit of chewing, try chewing each bite of food at the beginning of your next meal 30 times.
Put your fork down between bites and take some deep breaths.
Even if you only have 5 minutes for a meal, let the chewing relax you and use it almost as a meditation. That way you’ll enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal.
Right about now you may be thinking….yah right, when I get home from work or exercising, I’m so hungry there’s no way I’m going to be able to chew each bite 30 times! Well, preventing ourselves from getting to the point of starving, or what I like to call “HANGRY” is also part of good digestion. This is a whole other post and I’ll be writing about that in the near future, so stay tuned!
For now, make note of how many times you typically chew when you eat. You will be surprised at how little it is! I would guess anywhere from 3-7 times. So, if chewing 30 times seems like too much, try starting with 15 times, and go from there.