How often do you consider how your food is being digested? Before I became a nutritionist I did not consider it much unless I was having GI issues.
Chances are when you think about food, you think about what's on your grocery list and what you plan to cook for dinner, but you probably rarely think about how efficient your digestion is.
Digestion is unbelievably important, so it's imperative to lend some attention to it. 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 the digestion of your foods that will make your eating experience an advantageous one health-wise and far more gratifying overall.
A few of my favorite ways to optimize digestion are...
Eating without distraction.
Eating in front of the television or computer yields mindless eating which can cause you to overeat. Distracted eating can lead to bloating, discomfort, and ultimately, weight gain. As much as possible, try to eat without distraction. Eat sitting down with a plate and a fork to enjoy the experience – try to avoid eating in the car, on the subway, or on the go. Tune into your eating experience -- think about the flavors you are tasting, the textures, and use these pockets of time each day to focus on your health and to unplug.
Chewing your food well.
Have you ever considered that chewing your food well is related to your digestion? Breaking down your food in your mouth before swallowing 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. Practicing chewing your food thoroughly takes practice – until you get the hang of it, consciously chew each bite 15-20 times before swallowing. It will take time to become second nature, but the benefits are vast.
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 that you probably already enjoy often that assist you with digestion. 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 steps, you can consciously work on making your digestion more effective and efficient without changing too much of your routine. Start with one or two steps this week and start implementing them over time to make lasting changes!
functional nutritionist, transformation coach, and lighter of paths.