My Biggest Secret for Better Digestion
It’s free, you can use it anytime, and you already have it.
I think most of us would agree that we could benefit from better digestion. A very small percentage of the population has what one might call an “iron gut”. They eat whatever they want without ever feeling terrible, never having to face the consequences.
The rest of us wish we could be so lucky.
Just about everyone we know has likely suffered through some miserable digestive issue in the past and will likely do so again in the future. Unfortunately, some experience this more frequently. Problems such as gas, bloating, reflux, diarrhea, constipation, IBS, or inflammatory bowel disease, etc… (the list can go on and on and on) can really put a damper on our physical daily lives, mental well being and really get in the way of being our regular functioning selves.
Our GI tract (Gastrointestinal) acts as our body’s food processor and if it is not functioning properly by being blocked, overloaded, polluted with toxins such as food additives, pesticides and preservatives or otherwise irritated, it is going to let you know by screaming at you through the form of any of the reactions previously listed.
So, what is my big secret to better digestion?
Chew your food!!!
The average person chews the food in their mouth three times before swallowing. Three. Think about that for a second. Chewing is one of the most important aids to digestion that almost all of us take for granted. We sometimes forget and swallow our food after just a few chews. What most people don’t understand is that chewing is the first step in digestion.
Your body first breaks down your food by the mechanical process of chewing before entering the GI tract and then by a multitude of complex chemical processes that extract nutrients to feed your systems and expel toxins. So the best way to ensure that we are making it easier to digest and assimilate our food is to chew chew chew. Chewing makes it easier to extract the maximum nutrients helping us to get so much more out of the food we are eating.
So, when we are eating healthy foods packed with nutrients and chewing properly it actually slows us down enough to recognize once we feel full thusly giving more energy with less food. Again we will inherently eat less food the more we chew.
How to chew better
First, let’s talk about Cephalic Phase Digestion response. This is the gastric secretion that occurs even before food enters the mouth. It’s a result that is built into all of our bodies, using all of our senses. The visual, olfactory, and auditory input into the brain and induces responses to get our digestive juices flowing (think mouth-watering).
So the next time you eat, just take in the plate of food with your nose, eyes, and even ears before you dig in, and enjoy the spectrum of tastes and smells that are on your plate. Then, get into the habit of chewing each bite 30 times. That’s right, 30 times. and putting your utensil down between bites, use this process even when snacking, trust me you will get so much more out of your food.
In my health coaching practice, I help people understand why they eat in a rush and forget to chew and come up with a how-to guide for chewing that suits their lifestyle, is easy to implement, and creates a whole new eating experience. Visit alexwestphalhealth.com or visit me on Instagram @awhealthcoach to learn more.