You have 10 trillion cells in your body and all of them need to “eat” or be fueled in order to function. Add to that, your gut is host to your microbiome, 30 trillion (estimated) organisms that assist your digestion, brain health, immunity and hormonal balance. It is not an overstatement to say that without proper digestion it is impossible to be healthy.
Now that we’re returning back to working in the office, this likely means a return to picking up lunches at the drive-thru and our favorite carbonated drink at the vending machine down the hall. But after over a year of home-cooked meals and drinking cold water from the fridge, let’s not throw away all that hard work!
Here are 5 tips to boost digestion naturally:
Tip #1: Hydrate Regularly
Most Americans are dehydrated. Getting about 8 glasses of purified water per day (not more than 1 glass or 8 oz per hour) is truly critical to optimize your digestion. It allows for better absorption of nutrients as well as better elimination of toxins. Drinking enough water can help you feel better in ways you probably wouldn’t realize.
Tip #2: Stay Away From Processed Foods
Processed foods should not even be called “food”, as they provide more toxic exposure and body burden than they do nutrition. The non-food, bad oils and chemicals contained in processed foods will “feed” the bad bacteria in your gut and introduce chemicals that literally burden your body’s ability to digest and absorb good nutrients.
Tip #3: Eat More Vegetables & More Fiber
Fiber is a critical component that drives good nutrients down into your lower colon, feeding your healthy bacteria. Fiber helps with elimination and therefore buildup of toxins and is also important for blood sugar regulation. Natural fiber, contained in vegetables and fruits, is loaded with Phyto (plant) -nutrients and antioxidants that help prevent disease due to their high nutrient content.
Tip #4: Get Up and Move
Moving your body helps you to digest better. While you don’t want to go for a run or hit the weights with a full stomach, waiting a good hour after a meal or enjoying a nice stroll after dinner are good ways to enhance nutrient absorption and keep your weight under control.
Tip #5: Chew Your Food
It is a fact that digestion begins in your mouth. The enzymes in your saliva begin the digestion process and chewing your food well facilitates your stomach’s digestive process. Try to avoid eating quickly and not chewing adequately to enhance your digestion, especially if you have sluggish digestion.
Dr. Vikki Petersen, certified clinical nutritionist, chiropractor and certified functional medicine practitioner