5 Tips For Improving Digestion
Growing up, I’d often overhear my grandmother talking about “movements”. Whether it was her own, my father’s, or the dog’s, I often wondered just where everyone was moving to. Today, as a health counselor, I realize my grandmother was apparently on top of things in the world of digestion, and enjoyed making sure everyone else was as well.
“Movement” is important when it comes to digestion, and food should be moving through your body every day. If that isn’t happening, there’s a chance potential toxins will be absorbed into your bloodstream, so staying regular is necessary for good health.
Here are a few ways you can keep things moving right along. Grandma would be happy.
1. Get your fill of fiber. Insoluble fiber keeps food moving through the intestinal tract. Foods like wheat germ, coconut, soy beans, bran, and popcorn are all good sources. Eating a variety of veggies, legumes, nuts, and seeds will make sure you get your fill of both soluble fiber, which slows food down so nutrients are absorbed, and insoluble fiber.
2. Drink water. Most Americans don’t get enough water, and without enough water the stomach cannot produce the necessary digestive acid. Without it, hard-to-digest foods enter the small intestine only partially digested. Have a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day. Ayurvedic theory encourages those with digestive troubles to sip hot water every 10-15 minutes throughout the day for two weeks.
3. Drink warm water with lemon and ginger in the morning. Lemon is one of the few foods with the same ionic energy as the liver. This means that drinking water with lemon helps to jumpstart the digestive juices and often works as a cleanse. Adding ginger, which stimulates digestion by speeding up the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine, will increase the cleansing power.
4. Eat sprouted grains and complex carbohydrates. Most of us in this country eat far too much processed wheat. As a result, our digestion process is slowed and we often become bloated and lethargic. Historically, grains were sprouted, by default, as they were stored in the fields after being cut. Naturally, they’d get wet, the moisture would sprout the grains, and that made the nutrients in those grains more bio-available and easier to digest. Look for breads and bagels that use sprouted grains, or bake with sprouted wheat flour. Cook with complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, and millet, instead of enriched pastas.
5.Eat beets. One of the most common reasons for disruption of the digestion process is thick bile. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, and it’s used to aid in the digestion of fat-heavy foods. Eating beets, turmeric, and drinking water are all good bile-thinners.