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Simple Tips to Improve Digestion


To start, let's look at how you can identify poor digestion. Keep in mind that just because some of these may be your norm, doesn't mean your digestive system is working optimally! There can be a difference between normal and optimal.


Some signs of bad digestion:

  • Lack of regular appetite

  • Gas, bloating and abdominal pain

  • Irregular bowel movements

  • Food hypersensitivity

  • Feeling tired and heavy after meals


If you struggle with these issues, it's definitely worth meeting with a doctor that specializes in gut health, but here are some things you can do right away to aid in proper digestion. Most of these are Ayurvedic tips that I learned about through books, classes and doing my 2 week Panchakarma detox in Nepal with Ayurvedic doctors.



1. Eat at regular times

The body loves routine and regularity. Eating at regular mealtimes will help your body not only to get into a rhythm with digestion, but also to have proper space between meal times to allow the digestive system to do its thing for a few hours between meals.


2. Chewing your food thoroughly

Digestion begins in the mouth, and chewing your food thoroughly allows for it to be broken down by the digestive enzymes in your saliva. This prepares food to be absorbed, and leaves less work for the system further down the line to break down your food. Try putting your utensils down between bites and chewing each mouthful of food at least 30 times.


3. Eat in a relaxed environment

When you're eating, ideally you want your body to be able to focus on just that, eating. If you're reading emails or watching tv, you may not even realized that you're stressed, and not focusing on what's on your plate. To get your body in the proper state to rest and digest, eat away from electronics and take a few deep breaths before your meals.


4. Sip room temp or warm water

In Ayurveda, the digestive system is thought of as fire, and iced beverages can slow down the digestive process or "douse" the internal fire. Warm drinks and foods can help keep the digestive fire going strong. While you're at it, try to take smaller sips during your meals as opposed to big gulps which may dilute the gastric juices in your stomach that help to break down food. Getting enough fluids is important and I don't want to deter anyone from drinking water. However, if possible, try to drink larger amounts of (room temp) water between meals rather than with them.


5. Go on a light post-meal walk

After a meal, take a few minutes to relax, but then get up and go for a stroll. Even a short walk around the block for 5 minutes counts, but if you can fit in 15-20 that's best! This helps to stimulate digestion, and can ward off symptoms like acid reflux. Move slowly, take deep breaths and enjoy your surroundings.


6. Sip tea that aids in digestion

If you want to go above and beyond to help your digestion, try sipping on some CCF Tea after meals, made of Cumin, Coriander and Fennel seeds. You can buy it prepackaged, but if you have the seeds, you can simply place 1/2 teaspoon of each whole seed together in your tea strainer. Steep in hot water for about 5 minutes, and sip after meals. These seeds can reduce gas and acidity, and get the digestive fire going.


While the topic of digestion and gut health can be approached from a myriad of different angles, the above recommendations are free (or cheap), easy and harmless ways you can work toward optimal digestion in your day to day life.


Curious to learn more about Ayurvedic principles? Shoot me a note and let's chat about it!


In service,

Anya

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