1. Sit down and give your food your full attention.
So often we eat on the go which doesn’t allow the digestive juices to flow. Eat mindfully and savour your food with your eyes, and your senses of smell and taste.
2. Be calm
If you’re at all stressed or anxious your gut won’t function properly. Peristalsis and the movement of the gut (to pass your food through) needs you to be in the ‘rest and digest’ state, which needs you to be relaxed.
3. Be hydrated
Without downing pints and pints of water before you eat, ensure you are adequately hydrated (a small glass is fine) as stomach acid can’t be produced and released otherwise.
(ALL THIS BEFORE YOU’VE EVEN OPENED YOUR MOUTH!)
4. Chew well
Yes, it can be rather tedious, but your stomach has no chance of breaking down a big chunk of meat or half a brazil nut if you swallow it without chewing it properly. The larger surface area that food has, the best chance of getting all its nutrients. And, did you know that the digestion of carbohydrates starts in the mouth with the enzyme amylase which is in saliva? This is why rice starts to taste sweet if you chew it long enough (the enzyme breaks the starch down into simpler sugars).
5. Check your posture
Give your digestion the best chance of functioning by allowing it space to do its job. Look at the picture above, there’s a lot going on. There’s going to be a struggle if you’re slumped down or hunched over.
If you’re suffering from digestive symptoms, maybe give some attention to all these areas before reaching for the Rennie / Gaviscon / Omaprazole.
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