Get Better Results by Improving Your Digestion
Regardless of how nutritious what you put in your mouth is (biodynamic, organic, fresh, raw), it still comes down to what you actually assimilate and are able to a) turn into new cells, b) use to repair damaged cells or c) use for energy.
Here are a few tips you can do with slight modifications to your current routine:
1) Chew your food thoroughly!
- this may seem too simple but we often forget to chew our food
- how many times should you chew your food before you swallow it? ….. the answer is: until it’s liquid!
- chew your drink and drink your food – Mahatma Gandhi
- since digestion begins in your mouth, that’s where you get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to improving your digestion and assimilation
2) Drink 250ml to 500ml (1-2 cups) of filtered water 15 – 30 minutes before eating a meal
- for added benefits, add a half teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to each 250ml of water you drink
- you can also add freshly squeezed lemon juice (half lemon per 500ml)
- start with only 1 cup (250ml) of water and half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice
- this process will help increase your body’s hydrochloric production before meals
3) Start your meals with something raw (salad or vegetables)
- this will increase the enzymes in your stomach, further enhancing digestion
4) If you can find, natural, organic and low sodium pickled vegetables, eat them with your meals
- home made pickles, sauerkraut, pickled peppers would be ideal but more effort
5) Avoid drinking water or any other liquid while you eat (soups are an exception, they’re already food)
- this helps minimize the dilution of the stomach acids while you eat
6) Avoid drinking water or other liquids for 90 minutes (hour and a half) after you finish your meal
- this also ensures maximal digestion and absorption of your meal
- start with 30 minutes and work your way up to 90 minutes
7) Eat when calm and set uninterrupted time aside for eating
- our mental and emotional state affect our digestion so make sure you have time to enjoy your meal
8) Pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods and avoid eating things to which you maybe sensitive
- the main culprits of food sensitivities are: grains, pasteurized dairy, nuts and sometimes eggs
Follow this protocol before each of your 3 main meals.
For long term digestive system health, I suggest increasing friendly bacteria in the gut through food. If you can tolerate them, high quality yoghurt and kefir are excellent at replenishing your gut flora (a MUST during/after taking antibiotics in any quantities).
Ideally you’d ferment your own (using cultures that are available in stores or better yet, from friends who already do their own fermenting) otherwise you want to get the plain (non-flavoured) variety. Once manufacturers add flavour to anything, the quality of the product goes down. You can add your own flavour by mixing in your favourite berries or jam.
The two brands of apple cider vinegar I recommend are:
- Filsinger’s (my first choice): http://filsingersorganic.com/prdd_ap_cidervinegar.php
- Bragg (my second choice): http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html
The yoghurt/kefir brand that I would recommend is:
- Pine Hedge Farms: http://pinehedge.com/products.htm
What tips do you have to share with others to improve digestion even further?