Tips for Improving Your Digestion & Gut Health
CHEW – Believe it or not how much you chew your food has a huge impact on your digestion. Chewing food not only breaks it down mechanically so that further down the line the stomach and small intestines can do their jobs efficiently but it also mixes it with powerful enzymes that are only found in our saliva. Try to chew your food a minimum of 20 times each bite! Chewing thoroughly also slows down how quickly you eat – research shows that the slower you eat the less you eat and the more satisfied with your meal you are.
HYDRATE – Your body needs water! Not getting enough water can cause all sorts of problems such as fatigue, increased hunger, cravings, inefficient detoxification, muscle and joint pain – every aspect of our health is improved when we are adequately hydrated. Aim for half of your weight in ounces – if you weigh 150 lbs then aim for 75 ounces of water, if you weigh 120 lbs aim for 60 ounces of water spread throughout the day.
FERMENT – Adding in fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir can provide your system with needed healthy probiotics. These probiotics influence digestion, nutrient absorption, hunger and weight management, mental health, stress management and so much more.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES – Vegetables are loaded with all of the best stuff for our guts – water, nutrients and fiber. Getting in enough of these is essential for gut health. Its good to mix it up – green leafy vegetables are great for roughage, cruciferous (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc) are loaded with liver supportive nutrients to help our bodies detoxification process, try different color vegetables to ensure you are getting a wide variety of nutrients. See my website for tips on how to get more vegetables in!
BE CONSISTENT – When we stay ahead of our hunger by feeding our body every 3-4 hours we are able to make better food choices, avoid cravings and prevent over-eating. Try to have 3 meals a day along with 2 small snacks in between. Our bodies love consistency – waking, eating and sleeping on a schedule helps our body to function optimally.
Camilla Lee, Nutritionist