Eating food should be a no brainer, right? Put it in your mouth, chew and swallow. With todays busy lifestyle, sitting down to a home cooked meal with the family seems like something of the past. However, if you have symptoms such as undigested food in your stool, gas, bloating, or diarrhea, you may want to rethink the way you’re eating your food.
1. Sit Down- In the past, I would rarely every sit down to have a meal. After I prepared the food, I would stand up and eat it as I cleaned up the mess I made in the kitchen. Even now, I have to consciously remind myself to sit down and eat. Standing up and eating allows air into your system and produces gas and bloating. I noticed that when I stand and eat I am usually eating my food faster than I should. This leads me to my next point…
2. Chew your Food! I recently read the book. Natural Solutions for Digestive Health, by Dr. Jillian Sarno Teta & Jeannette Bessinger. In the book they mention that,
“When you don’t chew your food well, more pressure is put on the stomach to break down the food into tiny particles. This delays gastric emptying (the rate at which food leaves the stomach), which then in turn can cause gas, bloating, and fermentation of food.”
They go on to talk about how unbroken down food can cause leaky gut. A good rule of thumb if you don’t want to count 35 chews/bite is to put down your fork and wait until the food is soft in your mouth.
3.Stay away from raw veggies- When my colon was inflamed from a bad flare before my wedding my doctor instructed me to only eat steamed/cooked veggies. Vegetables contain insoluble fiber, which can be hard on an inflamed gut. Steaming or cooking the veggies breaks down this fiber so that your body can digest the nutrients much more efficiently. In addition, if you chop or mash the veggies up they become even easier to digest.
4.Try a digestive enzyme-Not everyone needs a digestive enzyme to break down the food they are eating, but many (myself included) can benefit from their effects. I found that I only need to use enzymes when my body is under a lot of stress and I am not able to properly make the enzymes on my own. If you are unsure whether you need these enzymes, your doctor can preform various test to see if you are properly making these enzymes. Another clue would be if you are seeing undigested food in your stool (not corn, that never gets digested ;)).
My brother-in-law suffered for years from debilitating acid-reflux and the traditional methods would only suppress the symptoms for a small amount of time. Upon consultation with his “natural” Doctor, he began taking the enzymes before meals. The acid-reflux symptoms began to subside and he was able to eat without fear of pain.
These are my top 4 tips for getting your digestive track back in shape! I hope you enjoyed!
Teta, Jillian Sarno, and Jeannette Bessinger. Natural Solutions for Digestive Health: Relief from the Most Common Problems Including: Acid Reflux, IBS, Gas, Constipation, Diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcers, Children’s Digestive Issues, and More. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.