How many of us out there would you say are suffering from some sort of digestive dis-ease?
70 Million people!!!
It was shocking to me to learn that 70 million people are suffering from some sort of digestive dis-ease! DID you also know that 70% of all Americans are currently experiencing or WILL experience digestive dis-ease or dysfunction in their lifetime? Many of us have heard of the common digestive dis-eases, such as heartburn and constipation, but there are others, including (but not limited to):
GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease
Reflux in general!
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Did you also know there are steps that you can take to in order to prevent or reverse - yes, #reverse - these digestive dis-eases? And I am not talking about taking antacids.
Having a healthy gut and eating the way your body needs will prevent you from having these problems in the future.
What can you do about? Well I am glad you asked!
These are a few tips that will help you in your journey in preventing digestive dis-ease.
Why do these tips help with digestive dis-ease??
Well, #digestion is the single most stressful thing your body does. And it has to do it at least 3 times a day!!
You begin digestion in your mouth with your saliva (chemical digestion) and your teeth (mechanical digestion). You food, when swallowed, should be liquid, not full of large chunks. Large chunks make the work of the stomach and digestive enzymes that much more difficult. Do your digestive system a favor and chew your food!!
Taking smaller bites can help you chew your food more thoroughly and help you eat SLOWER which helps with gentle digestion as well.
Giving gratitude prior to eating and taking three deep belly breaths brings your body to calm and allows the rest and digest nervous system to activate. Your digestion can't be healthy if your rest and digest system is not activated. Do your best to rest while eating!!
This is a huge one and a toughy! Eliminate YOUR unique food triggers!! What are they for you? These must be discovered. Though, I highly recommend that you begin with gluten and dairy, as these are highly inflammatory foods (yes for everyone. Some tolerate it better than others). It's a place to start!
Eating smaller meals while in the healing stage can be helpful for your digestive system to process less food at once, decreasing the stress on the digestive system, thereby decreasing inflammation in this area.
And, of course, decreasing stress levels!! This is key for healthy digestion! Why? Because stress has been linked to chronic inflammation and chronic pain and lowered immune system and... basically, stress is a killer, right?? This also goes along with the rest and digest nervous system. If you have high levels of stress then your rest and digest system can't help you out with eating. You actually don't have enough blood volume to efficiently run your skeletal muscle system AND your digestive system at the same time. Stress activates your fight or flight system, which fuels your skeletal muscles, shunting blood AWAY from your digestive system, making the work of digestion that much more strained and stressed. Utilize stress coping strategies every day to help lower your stress levels and improve digestion.