Do you suffer from digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, or diarrhea? If so, then you need to read this article!
There are several reasons why your digestion could be affected. Some of these include stress, lack of sleep, eating too much processed food, consuming alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and gluten.
I’m going to share my top 10 tips for good digestion. These tips will help you improve your overall health and wellbeing.
1. Eat in order of digestibility
Eat the simplest things first in each meal and then gradually move on to the more complex foods.
Imagine driving on a highway. When the slowest cars are out in front, they’ll block the faster cars that are behind them, leading to a traffic jam. The same with your food.
First, eat the easiest to digest foods like fruits and soups, then move on to the harder ones like meat and poultry.
Here are the general digestion time sequences/emptying from the stomach times for different food groups:
- Water & Juices: 20-30 minutes
- Fruits, Smoothies, Soups: 30-45 minutes
- Vegetables: 30-45 minutes
- Beans, Grains, Starches: 2-3 hours
- Meat, Fish, Poultry: 3 or more hours
2. Drink warm or hot liquids with your meal
Cold drinks can slow down digestion by cooling off the stomach lining. Think of it like icing an injured muscle. If muscles become stiff, they don’t perform their functions as effectively.
Drinking warm or room temperature beverages such as water, juice, or even decaffeinated teas before eating may help promote better digestion.
3. Eat at regular meal times
Eating regularly and at specific times of day is important for maintaining good digestive health. Consuming foods from the same group (e.g., protein) and eating them at roughly the same time every day helps regulate digestion. Regular in means regular out.
4. Be conscious of what you eat and your portion sizes
It’s important to eat enough but not too much at once. Eating too much is the number one cause of indigestion.
Our brain tells our body its full ten minutes after the body is actually full. Stop eating when you feel satisfied. Odds are you’ll actually feel full ten minutes later!
5. Chew your food completely and don’t talk while eating
If you chew slowly enough so that every bite has been chewed completely before moving onto the next one, then there won’t be any swallowed and ingested air.
Digestive discomfort occurs when there isn’t enough time for nutrients from foods to be absorbed into the bloodstream before they’re digested by enzymes in the small intestine. If you chew food into smaller pieces, they’ll be easier to digest fully.
6. Relax while eating your meal
When you’re under time pressure, eating quickly makes things worse by increasing your stress levels and slowing digestion. When eating, create a calm environment by making yourself comfortable. Make sure you can spend some quality time enjoying your meal.
7. Practice good posture
If you slump or hunch over when sitting down, extra pressure is placed on your abdominal organs. Poor digestion may be caused by too much pressure.
Practice sitting up straight with your shoulders back and tucking your chin in when you’re eating. It will give you more space for your digestive system so that it has enough room to digest food properly.
8. Don’t eat late at night
As we get closer to bedtime, our body and digestive system slow down so that it has time to prepare for sleep. Late at night when we eat too much food, there aren’t enough digestive enzymes to break down the food for us.
The undigested food will then sit in your stomach for a longer period of time and most likely disturb your sleep.
- Related article: Best Digestive Enzymes for FODMAPs
9. Take a brisk walk after eating
The “don’t exercise for 30 minutes after meals” rule is a myth.
In addition to helping jumpstart your digestion, increased physical activity also boosts the production of digestive enzymes which help break down foods into nutrients for easy absorption by the body. It’ll help you get better results from your meals by making them easier for your body to completely digest.
10. Try a spinal twist
Excess toxins in the digestive tract can cause stress, so spinal twists help release them from the body.
Sit in a cross-legged position. Slowly turn to the right and hold the position while taking 5 deep breaths. Repeat the process while turned to the left side.
Good Digestion Tips Final Thoughts
All in all, good digestion is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Try these tips first as they’re simple ways to improve your digestive health and make life more comfortable.
Check out these other articles to read more about good digestion:
- Best Foods to Relieve Gas and Bloating
- Reasons for a Tight Feeling in Stomach
- Activating the Vagus Nerve for Better Gut Health
- Food in Stool Undigested