Digestion 101

digestion

Digestion 101

Digestion is the key to your health.

 

Your digestive system is where you break down food into usable nutrients. This is pretty important because your body is made of nutrients and runs on nutrients.

 

70-80% of your immune system also resides along your gut. This means that a healthy digestive system is critical to a healthy immune system.

 

Common digestive body talk signs are:

  • Bloating
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Hanger
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Acid Reflux
  • Ulcers
  • Incontinence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss

Digestive tips

  • Hydration
    • Water makes up the majority of your saliva and gut mucosa. Two crucial elements when it comes to proper digestion. Water is also needed for proper bowel movements, toxin elimination, and to dissolve fats as well as soluble fiber.
    • To find out how much water you should be drinking. Click here.
  •  Movement
    • Moving your body helps move your food through your digestive system. This is due to exercise engaging your muscles in the gut and stimulating blood flow to your digestive organs.
  • Ferments
    • Fermented foods keep your gut microbiome happy and healthy. The friendly bacteria are needed for optimal digestive functioning.
  • Portion control
    • Overeating can quickly overwhelm your digestive system leading to a whole slew of digestive issues like bloating and weight gain.
    • Eating too frequently can also impair digestion. Eating 6 or more times a day doesn’t allow much or any time for your digestive system to take a break. It becomes overworked and as a result under functions.
  • Add in digestive healing foods
    • These foods are good for healing and maintaining good digestive function. See the list below for more details.
  • Chew your food
    • You should chew your food 20-30 times before swallowing. When you chew, you coat your food in saliva. Some of the enzymes found in saliva help breakdown carbohydrates. These enzymes are not found anywhere else. In order to properly breakdown and utilize the nutrients in food you need to chew adequately before swallowing.
    • Food should feel like mush before you swallow.
  • Fiber
    • Fiber keeps your food moving through your intestines and contributes to regular bowel movements.
  • Reduce stress
    • Stress and anxiety can cause you to be in a sympathetic state. Which is a state of your nervous system. In order to properly digest your food, you need to be in a parasympathetic state.
  • Take a deep breath before you eat
    • Your exhale should be twice as long as your inhale. This can help trigger your nervous system into a parasympathetic state.
    • Practicing mindful eating is also helpful to getting your body in a parasympathetic state.

 

Foods for healthy digestion

  • Bone Broth
    • Full of nutrients that keeps you gut happy and healthy.
  • Fermented Foods
    • Sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and kimchi.
  • Foods High in Omega-3s
    • Wild-caught salmon, walnuts, pastured eggs, sardines, grass-fed beef, mackerel, and herring.
    • These fats reduce inflammation. Inflammation is at the root cause of most, if not all digestive issues.
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Helps break down food into usable nutrients.
    • Helps with nutrient absorption.
  • Beet Juice or Beet Kvass
    • Helps break down fats.
  • High Fiber Foods
    • Avocados, berries, coconut, artichokes, figs, peas, okra, acorn squash, brussels sprouts, turnips, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, chia seeds, and quinoa.

 

Pick one bullet from the Digestion Tips or one bullet from the Foods for Healthy Digestion that you feel you can implement over the next week. Once you have made it a habit pick another bullet point to implement. Keep doing this and watch your digestive issues disappear.

 

Happy Eating!

For a free healthy swap handout click here!

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