The health of your digestive tract plays a pivotal role in your well-being, and when it is not optimal can lead to nutritional deficiencies, microbial imbalances, fatigue, anxiety, and so much more. As such, improving your digestion can make drastic improvements in your overall health, and ultimately, it comes down to optimizing what you do (and don’t) eat, digest, absorb, and eliminate. Here are 5 ways that you can take control of your digestive health every day:
- Smell your food! This jump starts the digestive process. You’ve probably noticed that when you see, smell, or think about food, you start to salivate, and maybe even get a stomach growl too, as your body prepares for the incoming food.
- Chew your food, throughly! Your stomach relies on your teeth to break down your food into more manageable mush. Not chewing enough can lead to indigestion or even heartburn after meals. Putting your fork down between bites helps ensure that you slow down and chew more.
- Space your meals at least 3 hours apart! This is because the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) exists— and it’s basically your digestive tract’s natural dishwashing system. It starts 90 minutes after fasting, and takes 90 minutes for one round to complete– totaling 3 hours, from start to finish. The MMC only turns on when you are in a fasting state, so as soon as you consume calories, it stops dead in its tracts until you are again fasting. Allowing the MMC to turn on throughout the day can make profound changes for those experiencing gas, bloating, and constipation, to name a few.
- Poop daily! Regular bowel movements are crucial for your health, because it is a main outlet for your body to take out its trash. Without regular bowel movements, you can over absorb cholesterol, hormones, and toxins. Ensure regular bowel movements by staying properly hydrated and getting enough fiber in everyday.
- Support your microbiome! The key is variety (many different strains) and quantity of probiotics (the more the better). Eat plenty of probiotic-rich foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and 24 hour yogurt.
If you are looking to partner with a healthcare provider to improve your digestion and overall health to achieve a higher quality of life, I would be honored to guide you in your health journey.