5 SureFire Ways to Support Digestion is a guest post.
Eating and digestion are an imperative part of life. Many of us are so frequently on auto-pilot when it comes to food consumption, that it’s common to overlook what we can do to optimize the process. Natural ways to support digestion can easily be added to your daily routine, so that you can enjoy a smooth & happy system.
1. Start at ‘Go’.
Digestion doesn’t begin in the stomach, the process actually starts in the brain first. Have you ever noticed that when you think about something delicious – a warm piece of bread, right out of the oven or a rich, hearty bowl of soup, your mouth literally begins to water? That’s the body getting ready to consume nutrients; stimulating your gastric juices in the stomach and secreting saliva in the mouth to help break down the incoming food, so that you can assimilate and absorb the various properties. Take note of this automatic response, initiate a few deep belly breaths, and offer a moment of gratitude for the nourishment you are about to partake in.
We also “eat” with our eyes. Taking a little extra time to plate the meal, so that it is visually appealing creates a scene to truly enjoy and receive nourishment.
2. Put your “attention” where your mouth is.
Chew, chew, chew. This tip requires some mindfulness and coming from a fast eater, it can be challenging to accomplish right off the bat. Chewing your food thoroughly before swallowing, allows the mouth to do a lot of the “heavy lifting” in the digestive process. Our teeth, coupled with naturally secreted digestive enzymes, have an opportunity to breakdown the food upon entry. This minimizes possible painful digestive issues like indigestion, bloating, headaches, and other gastrointestinal discomforts. Slowing down, being present and not “multi-tasking” are all helpful contributing factors to better digestion.
3. Move IT!
Regular movement increases circulation, and keeps the body organs toned up & in good working order to assist with digestive functions. 30 minutes per day of a brisk walk and/or yoga poses (twists and ones that target the core are good choices) can make a big difference not only in your overall health and well-being, but with digestion and elimination as well. Also, jumping on a mini-rebounder (you can find one on Amazon) is an awesome way to increase circulation of lymphatic fluid (the body’s waste disposal mechanism). Even 10 minutes per day in the morning, before eating can have great results.
4. Spice it up, Baby!
Nature provides us with a wonderful collection of natural digestive aids. It’s not only uber easy to enhance your food with fresh herbs & spices, it’s fun and tastes great too!
Parsley and cilantro are both full of natural enzymes that help improve digestion, as well as being known to stimulate digestion and eliminate toxins from the body. These green powerhouses are way more than a garnish, so feel free to be generous when topping your favorite dish. Salsa fresca anyone?
Also, coriander, ginger and fennel are excellent spices to stimulate gastric juices needed for digestion, as well as soothe GI issues, like gas or bloating. Try adding a few slices (1/4 inch or so total) of organic ginger, 1/2 tsp of coriander power and 1/4 tsp of fennel seeds to 2 cups of boiling water . Steep for 5-10 minutes, strain and sip.
Note: Drinking beverages with your meal dilutes the digestive enzymes needed. For ultimate digestion, try consuming liquids either before the meal or at least 30 minutes after.
5. Plant Power to the Rescue.
Aromatherapy has a long history of digestion supporting essential oils. Sweet Orange, Peppermint and Black Pepper are just a few that help stimulate and aid digestion. Here is a recipe that you can try for a DIY Digestion Support Blend.
1 oz. Jojoba
4 drops of Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil
4 drops of Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil
3 drops of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil
Mix well and shake before using. Pour a small amount (around 1 tsp) in the palm of hands, rub together, and apply over the abdomen in a clock-wise motion. May be applied before or after eating to aid digestion. For external use only.
I know sometimes when tips sound super simple or we’ve heard them before, it’s easy to gloss over them and proceed as usual. However, putting them into practice, with steady dedication really has beneficial and lasting effects.
Remember, when adding anything new to your routine, go easy on yourself, make it fun, and take note of how you feel after implementing it. Start by trying 1 or 2 new ideas and go from there.
Best of luck and enjoy!
To continue learning, consider the following Meridian Massage lesson OR check-out the Proactive Health Bundle (which includes three lessons).