A healthy digestion and metabolism is key to good health. If these don’t function properly, our health is going to suffer, and that is not just the body, as research shows us also the mind. Most people’s digestion nowadays is not working at its best. One reason is that stress also hampers and affects your metabolism. There is some more info for you below. And you will find some tips on how to improve your digestion and metabolism in this video.
A Healthy Digestion
Digestion is the process by which foods and liquids are broken down into their smallest parts so that the body can absorb them and nourish the cells in your body to provide us with energy. Being healthy doesn’t just depend on what you eat or how you eat it; it also depends on whether your digestive system can process the food properly and eliminate the waste.
We are not what we eat, but WE ARE WHAT WE CAN DIGEST. If our digestion is not working at its best, then it is likely that you are not absorbing all the essential nutrients from the food you eat. This can lead to your body going into starvation mode even though when you are eating the right amount of food, which might cause weight gain, weight loss, inflammation, and other health concerns.
Our digestion starts in the mouth and ends in the bowels. Your digestive system may not be as healthy as you think because there is more to healthy digestion than just having a bowel movement every day.
In Ayurveda, we say that healthy digestion is the cornerstone of good health. All imbalances and acute or chronic diseases start from the digestive system.
If your digestive system is healthy – you are healthy!
Poor digestion is affecting millions of people, and the problem is made more complicated because of all the human-made food that have become available in the last 50 years.
Usually, the digestive system is stronger in colder weather. This is important for a healthy immune system of which the digestive system is a part of.
So how do you know if your digestion isn’t doing so well? Here are some indicators:
- irregular bowel movements
- stomach pain
- stomach cramping
- not feeling hungry at mealtimes
- post-eating lethargy
- bad breath
Unfortunately, these indicators are nowadays so common that they are considered normal. Such symptoms are clues from your body that something is out of balance.
So how can you improve your digestion? Here are some simple tips:
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly – It’s best not to eat on the run (which means your body is in stressed mode and not focusing on digesting food). Chewing your food releases valuable enzymes in your mouth and lubricates the food. The enzymes that are released while you chew food will help to break down your food.
- Using Spices – In Ayurveda, we add spices like ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, fennel, rosemary, oregano, and other warming spices to our food to make them more easily digestible.
- Lemon juice and warm water – Starting your day with one big glass of warm water and lemon juice (half a lemon) will do wonders for your health. The benefits of warm water and lemon juice are amazing and include: a boost in your immune system, pH balance, aid in weight loss, natural diuretic, helps clear up the skin, and it can hydrate your lymph system. Warm water and lemon improve your digestion by cleansing your stomach and intestines and moving leftover debris and excess acid away.
- Apple cider vinegar – Adding one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to 1/4 glass of water can help stimulate hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. It’s good to drink this 30 minutes before your meals. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) breaks down the protein in food. If you don’t produce enough HCL than you have an underactive stomach or hypochlorhydria. Symptoms of this include: bloating, belching after meals, cramping, and abdominal pain.
- Avoid drinking with your meal – Drinking shortly before or after food can dilute HCL and digestive enzymes. Especially, drinking cold beverages during a meal can slow down digestion as food is broken down and digested more effectively at body temperature. If you need to drink while eating, try sipping a small amount of warm water or herbal teas.
- Avoid modern farmed vegetables and food – Pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria inside your body, leading to overgrowth of harmful yeasts and funguses.
- Avoid processed foods – Digestive enzymes are found naturally in all uncooked and unprocessed whole food, but they get destroyed by heat and commercial processing. Your body produces enzymes too, but when it needs to provide all the required enzymes (because there is less or none in the food you eat), it puts a significant strain on your digestive system.
- Ad fermented food and drinks to your diet – These are full of beneficial gut bacteria (probiotics). They will help your digestion and gut in numerous ways. You will find more info on this topic here.
- Avoid antibiotics and medications – Antibiotics can be a lifesaver, but unfortunately, they get prescribed far too often. Antibiotics don’t just kill the harmful bacteria in your body but also the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Most medications may negatively affect our digestion.
These are some simple ways of improving your digestion. Sometimes that is not enough, and then taking herbs, supplements, probiotic beneficial bacteria supplements, and digestive enzymes can help. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need some help.
Check out this video here.