8 Ways to Improve Digestion with Nutritionist Lee Holmes
I have a new theory. You are NOT what you eat. I know that sounds a bit random, but essentially, you are NOT what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb.
Have you ever eaten food which is perfectly healthy and nutrient-rich only to discover the after-effects of pain and bloating and wishing that particular food had never been on the guest list?
If you suffer from any kind of digestion stress and feel sleepy and sluggish after meals, you may need a digestive tune-up. Follow these tips to get yourself on the right road to maintaining a healthy digestion.
Tips to Improve Your Digestion
1. Use more coconut products
Coconut oil contains lauric acid — a proven antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agent that is easily digested and absorbed. The antifungal aspect helps kill candida in the gut, which is a common problem for people with digestive stress. Plus, coconut helps absorb beneficial nutrients from our food.
2. Take probiotics
Probiotics are a live microorganism that improve the balance of flora in the digestive system. For a healthy digestion these friendly bacteria are essential. They help prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria and are often depleted if you've been taking antibiotics or if you've had gastro. Probiotics can be found in some yogurts or taken as supplements.
3. Soak your nuts and grains
When you soak your nuts and grains you are reducing toxic substances and inhibitors that occur naturally within the grain. For example, phytic acid, which is found in most nuts, seeds and grains, will combine with minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium and prevent them from being absorbed during digestion. Soaking neutralises this natural inhibitor.
4. Do an elimination diet
If you find you experience adverse effects after eating a particular food, it might be worthwhile trying an elimination diet. Remove the suspected food or food group from your diet for anywhere between two weeks and a month and see if symptoms resolve.
5. Try bone broth
Your digestive lining is supposed to be permeable to absorb nutrients. But for some people it can become too porous and let too much "leak" through without absorbing it properly. When this happens, your body can react, attacking the foods you eat. This can create IBS and other gut problems, even some autoimmune disorders. Bone broth contains gelatin which helps reinforce the lining of the gut and soothe digestive distress.
6. Drink less with meals
Drinking a lot of fluid (even water) while you eat can dilute the level of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. This acid is needed to help kill bacteria and digest your foods. It's best to minimise the fluid you drink while eating and for at least an hour after you finish your meal.
7. Drink warm water and lemon
Along with a delicious breakfast, it's a good idea to get into the habit of starting the day with a cup of warm water with lemon. This alkaline drink will help jump start your metabolism and get your digestion moving.
8. Chew your food
If you're a mum, you probably tell your kids this all the time: chew your food! Chewing is the first step in food digestion. Try not to rush through your meal, but allow yourself plenty of time to chew, chew, chew before you swallow.