6 Ways to Improve Digestion That Have Nothing To Do With Food
Digestion should be smooth and straightforward (sorry, digestion puns), but it can be a complicated issue for some. Taking a holistic approach to your eating will help you find foods that naturally aid digestion, but it also offers some ways to help digestion that have nothing to do with food. Check it out.
Eat at the same times every day
Your body loves regularity. It’s with regularity and consistency that your body knows what to do and when to do it. The cyclical nature of the body becomes more efficient when it knows what’s expected of it and when it’s allowed to rest. Eating at the same time every day allows for digestion to work effectively and efficiently since it knows food is coming. For some, you may even see a boost in your metabolism with this regularity.
Be present at meal time
We all know what happens when you’re watching tv, texting and/or reading while eating. Even if you just do one of these activities while having a meal, you’re distracting yourself from your food and overeating is a given. Being present with you food allows for mindfulness, so you’ll prevent imminent self-stuffing, allow yourself to truly taste and savor your food and most likely have more gratitude for how it got to be on your plate in the first place.
Avoid eating in stressful situations
We all know the saying “you are what you eat.” Well, there should also be one that says “you are the environment you eat in.” We ingest things–food, information, vibes–all day long, and our interaction with a stressful environment causes a stress-induced chemical reaction in the body. When you stress your body produces cortisol and cortisol, besides helping us survive fight or flight situations, generally wreaks havoc in the body. Because it engages your sympathetic nervous system (that fight or flight response) your parasympathetic nervous system which controls digestion can’t function. Not to mention high levels of cortisol only make you hold on to fat. Gasp! Enjoy any food in a calm and positive environment so your parasympathetic nervous system can work, allowing digestion to be the focus.
Eat guilt free
For the exact same reason you should avoid eating in stressful situations. Guilt is an emotion that sparks cortisol production as well. So the whole scenario described above also applies with feeling guilty about what you’re eating. If you feel guilty about eating something, it’s probably because it’s so good that it’s bad, amiright? Allow yourself to fully enjoy all the good that makes it so “bad.”
Eat with good company
You’ll feel full in body and heart when you eat with people who allow you to feel at ease. When you’re able to approach your meal the same way as your approach a comfortable relationship, you will hopefully have just as much ease with your digestion.
Set an intention for you food
Ever go to a holiday party and aghast at the food options? Whether it’s unhealthy food, a bad cook or less than appetizing presentation, we can’t always find or eat the meal we’d most prefer. While some people would rather starve than eat something that’s knowingly bad for them (knowledge, you’ve got me in a corner), you can set an intention for your food. Acknowledge that the food is not your first choice, but also acknowledge that it will serve your healthy body the best way it knows how. And after what seems like a witch doctor blessing, take a bite and let it go.