Two Tricks to Better Digestion!

How many times have you wolfed down a meal in 5 minutes?

Have you eaten lunch leaning against the kitchen counter?

How about eating in your car while driving?

It’s almost normal now isn’t it? Americans are strapped for time, rushing from one thing to the next. We survive on caffeine and antacids.

It seems that everyone these days struggles with some digestive dysfunction. Over-the-counter remedies are a multi-million dollar market.

There are two “tricks” that you can practice that will help your digestive system function properly.

The first trick is to remember digestion starts in your head.

What happens when you smell the burgers sizzling on the grill or you see the perfectly shaped bright red strawberry? Mmmmmmm. Your brain recognizes them and recalls all the pleasurable memories associated with these foods. You may begin salivating and psychologically become hungry.  You begin to seek this pleasure and in doing so you relax. Your body needs to be in a relaxed state for all of your digestive enzymes and acids to be present and ready to receive the food.

When we eat in a stressful state we are greatly lacking in these elements and left with a system ill prepared to digest. This results in upset stomach, gas, cramping and poor nutrient absorption. So, your first “trick” is to sit down and relax your mind and body because digestion starts in your head. Many people do this automatically with a mealtime prayer, talking about their day or other pre-meal traditions.

The second “trick” is all about chewing your food thoroughly. The next time you eat with someone, secretly count how many times they chew a bite of food before swallowing. It is amazing that some people can chew as few as 2-3 times and then swallow.

Chewing is vital to healthy digestion. Saliva is an important enzyme that breaks down all of the carbohydrates in your mouth. When we chew we are mixing the saliva with the food while the teeth are mechanically breaking down the fibers. We really need to chew each bite at least 20 times or until it is pretty much liquified. Only then are we ready to swallow and send the food to the stomach to let the acids work on the proteins. Properly chewed food will digest smoothly and eliminate much of the belching, upset and pain associated with rushed eating. You will also more satisfied with your meal.

Are you ready to drastically improve your digestion with these simple tricks?

Your challenge this week is to first remember “Digestion starts in your head!” Be mindful and calm as you prepare to eat. And second “Chew each bite at least 20 times!” Try it for a week then push it to two weeks. Before you know it, you will have formed a new super healthy habit and your digestive system will thank you!

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