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10 Simple Ways to Improve Digestion (And Lose Weight)

Continuing on our theme of the gut, here are 10 simple tips on helping to improve digestion. Although in many cases, the root cause of IBS can be a more complicated condition, such as dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria), SIBO, or low stomach acid, for some people the cause(s) can be much more simple. So before rushing off to see a health practitioner, try these tips and see if they can help address some of your IBS symptoms.

1. Nose Breathing

We use both our nose and mouth for the breathing process. Mouth breathing is used when we are engaged in heavy work or if the nose is congested. Try to use nose breathing more, as it is directly linked to proper regulation of the nervous system. The parasympathetic (‘rest and digest’) nervous system is activated with slow nose breathing—the same system involved with proper digestion. So take a few deep breaths through your nose before starting your meal.

2. Add Vinegar

This is a good remedy for problems like acid reflux, bloating, and constipation. Take one tablespoon of vinegar (apple cider) before every meal. There is a slightly unpleasant taste, but it promotes good digestive functions. It sends a message to our internal organs to release enzymes that help activate the digestive process and facilitate proper food digestion.

3. Mindful Eating

Stop all other activities while eating. Set your phones aside, switch off the TV, and concentrate on the food. Try to inhale in deeply as you start. Notice the appearance, texture, and ingredients of your food.

4. Sitting to Eat

“Multitasking” while eating food activates the sympathetic (“flight and flight”) nervous system. This system stops the digestion process to help you with the other work you are doing. The digestive process is disturbed, leading to a variety of problems. Eat calmly and slowly in a seated position.

5. Chew Properly

Chew food slowly and properly. This is the first process of mechanical digestion. The food should be appropriately dissolved before swallowing. This eases digestion and encourages the optimal performance of enzymes.

6. Take Your Time

Try to avoid eating quickly; take small bites, chew thoroughly, and eat slowly. Allocate at least 15-20 minutes for each meal. Rushing through meals often leads to eating more than you need.

7. Tea

Chamomile, peppermint, and ginger tea are good for the digestive process. If you are experiencing bloating or other digestive disturbances, try a tea. Tea can also help relieve nausea, bloating, cramping, and acid-reflux.

8. Yoga

Try yoga poses that are designed to help relieve digestive problems. This will not alleviate just the digestive problems but will also help maintain physical and mental health.

9. Aerobic Exercise

Try to do at least 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercises daily. It is not difficult to set aside this small amount of time in a daily routine. The exercise could be walking, running, jogging, or cycling. This improves blood circulation, burns calories, and helps prevents cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Taking a walk after eating is a great to help your digestion.

10. Eat Less Salt

Cut out salty food items like snacks and processed foods. They disturb the body’s metabolism, can lead to heart diseases and can add excess weight. Eat more healthy foods like vegetables and fresh fruits. Avoid artificial sweeteners and artificial juices as well. Do not exceed the daily allowance of 1500 - 2300mg of salt. This is equal to one teaspoon or less per day. When adding salt to food, aim to use Himalayan salt, which provides numerous other trace minerals and improves the mineral status of your body.

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