Good gut health is dependent on so many variables and extends far beyond making healthy food choices. It’s important to nourish our digestive system with a holistic approach as our gut is the epicenter that supports our overall health and well-being.
Eating too quickly, excessive amounts, too late at night, being distracted/busy, eating when you’re not hungry, or whilst stressed can all disrupt our digestion. This can contribute to bloating, flatulence/gas, low energy, and brain fog as your body isn’t in its parasympathetic nervous system or ‘rest and digest’ state. Therefore, it hasn’t had a chance to properly break down and absorb nutrients from your food.
Here is a list of daily rituals you can implement into your routine to help optimize your digestion, which will consequently improve your metabolism, energy, mood, immunity, cognitive function, motivation and skin.
1) Start your morning by sipping on an infusion of warm water, a squeeze of ½ fresh lemon, fresh grated turmeric, and fresh grated ginger tea upon rising each morning to help alkalize your body and stimulate your digestive secretions
2) 10 minutes before breakfast or your first meal of the day, take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or an individualized digestive tonic prescribed by a Naturopath to stimulate your stomach acid/digestive secretions. This will improve the absorption of nutrients if you suffer with bloating or feel as though you aren't digesting your food properly
3) Chew your food at least 20 to 30 times, or until it has the consistency of puree before swallowing. This stimulates the chemical breakdown of carbohydrates and fats, whilst also signaling to your digestive system that food is about to enter the stomach. Ensure you pause after each mouthful to allow the food to reach your stomach before you take another bite. Eating slower and more mindfully has been shown to make you feel satiated sooner, and helps you to avoid overeating.
4) Take 3 to 10 deep belly breaths before you eat each meal. This will help to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. No more screens, TV, meetings, reading, walking, being 'on the go' or other distractions whilst eating.
5) Stay well hydrated throughout the day by consuming at least 2 to 3L of water (ideally filtered) per day. If you struggle to maintain consistent water intake, try adding some fresh fruit (eg. berries or citrus fruits like lemon and oranges) to your water. Focus on consuming herbal teas throughout the day to increase your water intake, whilst also focusing on foods that contain a high water content such as cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, apples, celery, and lettuce.
6) Nothing supports a healthy gut microbiome more than consuming a wide variety of wholefoods, predominantly consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables, good quality protein sources, healthy fats and elevating your meals with fresh herbs! If you can tolerate it, try to specifically focus on the inclusion of prebiotic and probiotic rich foods to help maintain beneficial bacteria within the gut microbiome such as kefir, sauerkraut, yoghurt, onions, garlic, and onion.
If you’re looking for further support with your gut health, please contact Tayla via email firstname.lastname@example.org, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation.