Have you ever experienced digestive challenges?
If so, you’re not alone.
Digestive problems can impact every area of life and can include gas, IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, bleeding, pain, reflux, sensitivity to foods, chronic and serious digestive illness, and more.
Underestimating the more simple and smaller steps is not uncommon, however, if you do have digestive challenges give these 3 easy ways to help digestion a go.
These simple tips can help you to reconnect with your food and body in simple and effective ways that will assist with providing a healthier state of digestion and a more enjoyable eating experience.
3 Easy Ways To Help Digestion
1. Be Present
Being present and eating mindfully is the first of the 3 easy ways to help digestion
Have you ever said “I just don’t have time to eat?” or ” I’ve got deadlines to meet, I’ll just eat while I work”.
It’s not uncommon to feel rushed and out of time nowadays, however, the impacts of our rushed lifestyle eventually take their toll.
When you eat at your desk while working or looking at emails, sitting on the couch in a very dimmed light while watching a show, driving from appointment to appointment, or rushing around the house, you have already missed the start of the digestive process.
Digestion starts in the mind, so when you fail to even fully notice your food before you eat you miss the first part of the digestive process.
If you’ve ever seen an ad on TV of a food you like and wanted that food soon after, you’ll know what I mean.
Being present with your food allows your body to go through the full eating experience, which in turn helps to feel more satisfied and nourished.
Being present with your food is a game-changer.
It helps with portion control, knowing when you have had enough, connecting with your body, energy, digestion and more.
Even 5 minutes makes a difference.
Take 5 minutes to sit and be completely present with your food.
Notice how it looks, smells, tastes and how you feel as you eat and after.
Becoming fully present with your food often leads to a greater realisation of which food you really enjoy and which you may be eating because it’s readily available or more of a habit. Once you become fully present, it’s not uncommon to realise one of your regular foods or drinks isn’t actually that enjoyable after all, and to find new meals that are more aligned with what you really enjoy.
When you are completely present with your food, your food can take on a different taste, texture and intensity in flavours and you can become fully involved in how you feel, both during and after your meal, enjoying the eating experience, so often missed.
2. Slow Down
Slowing down is the second of the 3 easy ways to help digestion.
Do you know how quickly you eat your main meal?
Taking the time to eat slowly gives you a chance to digest your food fully.
Rushing your food is yet another low-level stress state that doesn’t support health or healthy digestion in any way.
Eating quickly, gulping food and not chewing fully can contribute to reflux, bloating, an upset stomach and irregular bowel habits.
At your next main meal, without changing anything, time how long it takes you to finish.
You may be surprised at just how quickly you can eat.
Once you have your time, increase it until you reach 10 minutes.
If you are finishing your meal in around 3 minutes, increase the time it takes you by 30 seconds to 1 minute each week.
You can increase your time by breathing, being completely present enjoying food with loved ones or by yourself, and listening to music that makes you feel good while you eat.
Breathing deeply and slowly is the last of the 3 easy ways to help digestion.
Taking the time to breathe fully while eating allows us to slow down and helps to create a more relaxed state.
Feeling rushed or stressed can cause an increase in stress chemicals, leading the body to think it needs to focus on a possible stress response.
To digest and absorb the food fully the body needs to be in as relaxed a state as possible.
- Breathe in for between 2 and 4 counts. Whichever is more comfortable for you.
- Relax, roll your shoulders back and down gently, and hold that breath for 2 to 4 counts
- Exhale for a count of 2 -4 and focus on feeling relaxed
- As you start to eat, keep breathing in a relaxed and comfortable way.
- Stop and repeat during and after your meal
Being in a relaxed state will help you to not only digest your food, but to appreciate your food more.
Combining all 3 easy ways to help digestion is easier than you may think.
- Make a meal that looks appetising, one that you really enjoy.
- Create an atmosphere in your immediate surroundings, where you will eat.
- Sit down, breathe and relax while taking notice of your food.
- Be fully in the moment, either with your loved one or by yourself
- Listen to some music you enjoy and be present for 10 -15 minutes or around 3 songs.
- Notice how enjoyable eating mindfully and being fully present with your food actually is.
You may notice that you feel light, have more energy and feel more content after this.
One of the many benefits of the 3 easy ways to help digestion!