How to Eat for Better Digestion

Your digestion is not just about what you eat, but also how you eat.

If you’re struggling with digestive issues, then there are quite a few things that you can improve upon when it comes to mealtimes to help make the process a whole lot easier on your body.

1. Don’t eat in front of a screen

Whether it’s the TV, computer, or cell phone, eating in front of a screen can seriously upset your digestive process. For one, you’ll be distracted from eating and your brain won’t necessarily be able to pick up on your hunger & satiation signals as effectively – meaning you’re more likely to over eat. Another reason is that across all these devices is the possibility of our stress response getting trigger; messages coming in, work to do, or a dramatic scene on your favourite show. If we are in a stress state then our body isn’t going to be in the right state to properly digest our meal.

2. Don’t talk shop at the table

Similarly to staying away from screens during a meal, you also want to try and stay away from stressful conversation topics while eating. If you’re at work, leave the meeting debrief for after lunch. If you’re at home, wait until another time to talk about your finances or complain about the rough day you had. Your digestion will thank you!

3. Slow down!

When we eat quickly, we are again disrupting our system from efficiently being able to send us hungry and satiated signals, increasing your chance of overeating. On top of that, the first stage of physical digestion is in the mouth – chewing your food to break it down and mix it with enzymes in your saliva. Properly chewing your food takes a huge burden off the rest of your system, so aim for 20-30 chews for every single mouthful!

4. Take care not to over eat

We all have those foods that we could just keep eating and eating! But when we over eat we are putting a higher demand on our digestive system. Over eating is when you know you should stop – you’re clearly getting the satiated signals from your body, but you keep going, resulting in that uncomfortably full feeling. Your stomach feels full and heavy, you’re probably burping, and maybe even experience acid reflux. If you’re taking the previous three steps into account you’re going to be less likely to end up at this point.

5. Skip beverages during a meal

If you’re struggling with digestive issues, you could try skipping drinks during a meal. Even water can throw off the acidity level of your stomach and if you often feel overly full, it would also be contributing to this, especially if you’re drinking carbonated beverages. Try skipping drinks 15 minutes before until 15 minutes after a meal and see how you feel. If you need some liquid to help keep your mouth moist try and keep it to small sips as needed.

6. Play detective

If you’re struggling with digestive issues you might be getting triggered by a certain food, or type of food. Keep a food journal where you also note down how you’re feeling throughout the day. This way you might be able to see specific patterns in how your food is making you feel. It might also be a question of quantity – sometimes we can do OK with a small amount, but can have issues once a certain threshold is passed.

 

Digestive struggles?

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