Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Improving Digestion

Eating when stressed can cause your stomach to tighten up, leading to digestion problems. Over an extended period of time, stress can cause chronic digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and stomach ulcers. Often stress comes from an overactive schedule and a lack of positive and accepting community. Below are some helpful tips for improving your digestion!

1) Chew Thoroughly and Eat Slowly - "Eating slowly and chewing every bite will almost certainly help your digestion, even if it doesn't do anything for your stress. Treat eating like a breathing exercise, concentrate on every texture in your mouth, make sure it's all well chewed before swallowing. If you're having trouble eating anything at all, chewing for a long time can help relax you enough to swallow." Link

2) Digestive Enzymes (Link).Digestive enzymes help ease digestion by naturally breaking down the molecules of our foods. This also helps increase overall energy. Price? About $4 per month

3) Probiotics (Link). Probiotics are "good bacteria" that also help with digestion as well as immune system health. Price? About $4 per month
4) Simplify Your Meals - Generally speaking, a meal with a dozen ingredients will be harder to digest than a meal with 1-5 ingredients. A lower-ingredient meal means your stomach doesn't have to "change gears" while digesting.

5) Eat When Hungry - Eating when you aren't hungry causes food to sit in your stomach for extended periods of time. Conversely, if you eat when hungry, your body is more ready to digest and absorb the calories and nutrients from your food.

6) Exercise - "Exercise is the best cure for a nervous stomach." Link

7) Drink Green Juice and Green Smoothies - Green smoothies are both super healthy and easily digested because they are already broken down for your stomach. Also, for people with serious digestive problems, drinking a fresh green juice or carrot juice can help provide needed enzymes without the difficulty of digesting fiber. For serious stomach issues such as ulcers, raw cabbage juice is known as a natural remedy

8) Eat well - Foods such as rice, avocados, oatmeal, yogurt and spinach are known to be gentle on the stomach. "Natural, whole foods are the best choice for digestion. Processed, unnatural foods will only cause stress in the body." Link

9) Bless your food - Instead of just digging right in, say a quick blessing for your food. This helps set the pace for a more relaxed mealtime.

10) Try to Reduce Overall Stress - For some tips on natural stress reduction check out my other post HERE

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