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Optimizing Digestion!!

Updated: Feb 5




Eating hygiene is SO important for digestion. Poor eating habits can lead to indigestion, which in turn can cause a host of other problems. Interestingly enough, middle-aged women are especially susceptible to indigestion due to hormonal changes that occur during menopause. By following a few simple tips, you can easily improve your digestion and avoid the uncomfortable symptoms associated with indigestion such as gas, bloating, reflux and abdominal pain, constipation and more.


Digestion and how it works

Digestion is the process of breaking down and absorbing the nutrients in food that our bodies need to grow and stay healthy. It begins in the mouth! 33% of our digestion begins in our mouth…It is the ONLY part of the process which we have some control over. After ample chewing...We swallow, and given we have optimal stomach acid, our food is broken down, bile is added, and it continues down through our intestines where we hopefully absorb essential vitamins and minerals. This comprehensive digestive process happens all day long in every person, yet surprisingly many people don't know what it entails or why having optimal stomach acid production is important.

The importance of eating hygiene in relation to digestion

Eating hygiene is an important concept to consider when we think about how we digest our food. By paying attention to how we eat, we can ensure we are getting the most out of our meals and receiving the nourishment we need. This includes more than just making sure our food is cooked and free from contamination; it involves eating in a relaxed state and chewing our food thoroughly. Chewing is an essential first step in digestion. Saliva contains special enzymes that help digest the starches in your food. An enzyme called amylase breaks down starches (complex carbohydrates) into sugars, which your body can more easily absorb. Saliva also contains an enzyme called lingual lipase, which breaks down fats.. and promotes proper absorption of nutrients into our bodies. Good eating hygiene involves:


● Sitting down to eat! Prioritize your meal.

● Eating in a CALM state- Take 4 slow deep breaths in through your nose, and out before you begin.

● Chewing thoroughly: The consistency should be like salsa.

● Not drinking much fluids with meals. When you consume large amounts of water during a meal, you dilute the acidity of your stomach acid and slow digestion. Depending on your sensitivity, this can cause an early sense of fullness, belching and long-term can cause malnutrition (especially low Vitamin B12, magnesium or iron).

● Try not to eat with the news or TV on. Be present and mindful.

● Do not have unpleasant or stressful conversations when you eat.

● DON’T RUSH… Slow Down. Yes, I know, it’s easier said than done. Especially if you were raised in a big family or had twenty minutes during school to inhale what was on your plate. But digestion takes time. And digestive secretions such as stomach acid, bile, and pancreatic enzymes need time to be fully secreted. If we are stressed, it takes even longer!

● If you eat too fast and too much…There simply is not enough room. When your stomach “spills over”, you belch and burp and may have reflux.

It also takes about 20 minutes for your gut to signal to your brain that you’re full and reduce your sense of hunger (courtesy of a hormone called CCK or cholecystokinin). Gulp down your food in 10 minutes? You’re much more likely to overeat and end up feeling bloating 20 minutes later.

● Get in the habit of putting down your knife and fork and sitting back in your chair in between each bite of food. After you swallow, take at least one full, cleansing breath before you pick up your utensils and enjoy another bite.

● Be well hydrated before and after meals.

● Add in digestive enzymes and/or capsules of Hcl (stomach acid) if needed.

● Add in Bile support if your Bile is sluggish and definitely if your Gallbladder has been removed. Bile Salts mid meal work wonders!

● Walk for 10 minutes after each meal.


Hope you found this helpful!! Happy Eating!!



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