How often do you consider how your food is being digested? Chances are when you think about food, your grocery list or dinner plans come to mind. But do you ever think about how efficient your digestion is? Digestion is very important, so it's imperative to give it your attention. You can eat healthy foods but still have poor digestion, which will not reap you the greatest benefits of the healthy foods that you’re eating. Luckily, there are some simple ways to optimize your digestion that will make your eating experience an advantageous one health-wise and far more gratifying overall. Here are three of my favorite tips for optimizing digestion:
Eat without distraction. Eating in front of the television or computer yields mindless eating which can cause you to overindulge. Distracted eating can lead to bloating, discomfort, and ultimately, weight gain. Try to eat without distraction as much as possible. Eat sitting down with a plate and a fork to enjoy the experience – avoid eating in the car, at your desk, or on the go. Tune into your eating experience – concentrate on tasting all the flavors in each bite, notice the textures, and use these moments of time each day to unplug and focus on your health.
Chew your food well. Have you ever considered that chewing your food well is related to your digestion? It’s true! Chewing breaks down food in your mouth before swallowing and helps take that burden off of your body. Giving your body a good jumpstart on digestion by chewing well helps your body digest it more efficiently and more quickly, which leaves you less bloated and tired. Chewing your food thoroughly takes practice. Try this: consciously chew each bite 15-20 times before swallowing. It will take time to become second nature, but the benefits are vast.
Digestion helpers. Use herbs and spices in your food that help you with digestion. The first two steps are actions you can take that you’ll have to make a habit of doing, and this one is a simple tip to allow these tasty additions to your food to do the work for you. There are many herbs and spices to assist with digestion that you probably already enjoy. Some of these include black pepper, garlic, ginger, and cumin, to name a few. Adding these to your meals often will give you an extra boost of support for your digestion.
Using just these three easy-to-implement tips, you can make your digestion more effective and efficient without changing too much of your routine. Take action today by starting with one or two steps for lasting changes! Your body will thank you.
Need some helpful tips for your New Year? CLICK HERE to download your free eGuide: 5 Simple Healthy Habits to Kick Off the New Year!
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.