During the last years, I discovered how important a proper digestion is to feel good. And during the last years, research gives more and more relevance to the gastrointestinal field and looks deeper into this topic. Nowadays, the gastrointestinal tract is even called the abdominal brain. In this article I am going to share three quick hits with you how you can improve your digestion.
The abdominal brain is a highly organized nervous system. It contains around 100 to 200 million neurons. These are more neurons as in the entire spinal cord. About 90 % of nerve cords run from the gastrointestinal area to the brain. That means that more connections run from bottom to top than the other way around. What is the reason for this? Very simple – the information from bottom to top is more important than from top to bottom. The communication from the gastrointestinal area is omnipresent. We just do not recognize it consciously except for warning signals as for example pain or nausea.
There are a lot of things you can do to improve your digestion as for example intestinal cleansing, detox, and repair. Some of them are quick and simple and some of them take more effort. If you want to start with something that cost you no effort you can do the following three things:
- Do not drink while you are eating and do not drink anything about 10 to 20 min before and 20 to 30 min after a meal. The acid in your stomach works better if you do not dilute it with any liquids.
- Make sure that you chew your food properly. Depending on the texture of your food you should chew one bite about 20 to 40 times or even longer before you swallow it. Digestion starts in your mouth. In addition, the more you break your food up in your mouth the less needs to be done by the rest of your digestive system.
- According to Pareto 80 % is king. Do not overeat. Only eat about 75 to 80 % of your stomach size. The muscles of your stomach mix and knead the food and the gastric juice in your stomach. With this the breakup of the food in your stomach happens and finally the transport of it to your duodenum. If your stomach is too full the mixing and transportation of the food is more difficult. Just think about if you want to mix and knead the ingredients for a dough. If your bowl is completely full with the ingredients it is more difficult to mix and knead them than if the bowl is only 75 to 80 % full.
If you want to try it out please be patient with yourself and remember how difficult it can be to change your habits (Why Are Habits So Powerful? ). Do it consistently in small steps (A Playful Approach to Achieve Your Goals). For example, if so far you gulped down your food in one bite, start to chew it at the beginning 5 times and then work yourself slowly up to 20 to 30 times. Or if you overate so far reduce the amount slowly but surely bit by bit to 75 to 80 %. Give yourself time to learn these new habits and enjoy the process.
Photo by Alesia Kozik