1 Digestion begins in the mouth so chew well to ensure that your food is mixed with your saliva and your digestive enzymes, otherwise you will not be absorbing all your nutrients. Slow down the chewing action of your jaw so that it is not stressed while trying to chew more. A stressed jaw often equates to a tense person and this leads to poor digestion overall.
2 All our organs are squashed while sitting on a sofa and if we eat a meal in this position the digestion is impaired. Try to sit at a table and take your time over food.
3 Drinking any kind of fluid with food reduces the strength of our digestive enzymes. This diminishes the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and for the gut to do its job well. Try to drink at least 30 minutes before food or 2 hours after you have eaten if you can.
4 Fruit should be eaten ideally in between meals and never after. Fruit takes a short time to digest so if it is eaten after a meal then it lies on top of the other food groups. This creates fermentation which can then cause gas and discomfort.
5 Leave at least 2-3 hours between finishing your evening meal and going to bed otherwise your food is sitting in your stomach while you are sleeping.
6 Less gluten is always beneficial. Cut down on bread, pasta, couscous, cakes, biscuits, crackers, wraps, crumpets, cereals etc. Substitute with sweet potatoes, brown basmati rice, quinoa, rice cakes, oatcakes, organic brown rice spaghetti, rice noodles etc.
7 Eat lots of vegetables for nutrients and fibre and generally keep fruit to 2 pieces per day.
8 Ensure you drink around 2L of fluid per day. This should include plain water; herbal/fruit teas – and I find organic ones are far better; rooibos tea (Redbush) which is naturally decaffeinated; coconut water, although expensive; or any good quality drink generally.
9 Our abdominal muscles hold the colon in place so regular gentle core exercise is a must to ensure the colon does not sag and cause us more digestive issues.
10 A good quality probiotic is essential.
11 If a food or drink does not suit you, even though it is a healthy one, then it is not good for you so try to avoid it.
12 Chilli and spices can play havoc on the gut so again avoid them if they do not suit you. Always listen to your body.