Day-to-day digestive distress can wreak havoc on our health and well-being, and we all know how bloating and gas can cramp our style – literally. Our high-stress lifestyles, soaring consumption of processed foods and sugary drinks, and overuse of antibiotics are just a few of the factors that can impair our digestive health. Determined to stop such issues in their tracks, Goodness turned to holistic health coach and personal trainer Kritika Datt to get her top ten tips on better digestion.
Chew Your Food
Chewing your food is the first step in the digestive process and can significantly impact your digestive health. When you chew your food properly, instead of speedily gulping it down, you absorb its nutrients and energy more effectively. This makes the digestive process easier for your stomach and small intestines.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics are critical for both breaking down your food and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Supplementing with a high-quality probiotic can greatly help with digesting your food and boosting your immunity levels.
Water is essential for digestion. Try having a tall glass of water 15 minutes before meals to get the digestive juices flowing as this aids the digestion and assimilation of food. Dehydration can also lead to poor bowel movements, which is a common problem related to defective digestion of food. Drinking up to ten glasses of water per day can greatly relieve this.
When foods are combined properly, they do not sit in the stomach and rot. Rotting food feeds the bad bacteria and yeast that everyone has residing in their digestive tracts. The best food combinations include protein with vegetables or grains with vegetables. Protein with grains can cause gas and bloating and should therefore be avoided. Also, fruits should be eaten on their own and on an empty stomach.
Try Fermented Foods
Naturally fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, live yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, miso, pickles, and kombucha will feed the good bacteria in your gut and balance your inner ecology.
Turn to Bone Broth
Bone broth is not a recent invention, but it has been getting a lot of attention lately, mostly because of its soothing properties and ability to heal digestive distress and gut-related issues. It contains minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulphur. A homemade version is optimal.
Up Your Fiber Intake
Your body needs fiber to eliminate toxins, excess hormones, and junk. Adding more plant foods like vegetables, beans, fruit, whole grains, and nuts is a great way to up your fiber intake.
Reduce Sugar and Processed Foods
Sugar and processed foods such as cookies, chips, and candy bars feed the bad bacteria in your gut, inhibiting the proper digestion of food. Opt for healthier snacks like carrot sticks with hummus or a piece of fruit.
Gluten intolerance is a common occurrence and can really impair your digestion, leading to more serious issues. “Leaky gut syndrome” is one such issue, which is often responsible for the plethora of autoimmune conditions floating around. Buckwheat, brown rice, and quinoa are great replacements for glutinous grains.