Funny title, huh? And yet, many Americans have major digestion problems that can be improved by these simple steps:
1) Start with fresh, highly nutritious food whenever possible.
2) Before eating, take a few minutes to relax and quiet your body and mind. For many, this might include saying grace, or simply have an attitude of gratitude for the meal.
Allowing yourself to calm down before eating is important because it puts your body in the most receptive mode to digest and absorb the nutrients in the food.
There are two main parts of a special part of your nerve system called the Autonomic Nervous System. (Some people refer to it as the “Automatic” Nervous System (ANS) because it works without us having to think about it.) The first part of the ANS is the Sympathetic part SNS). This part prepares you to respond to an emergency. If you know your child is playing in the front yard and you hear screeching tires, the SNS tells your stress glands to secrete certain hormones that dilate your pupils, deepen your breathing, raise your blood pressure, and shunt blood to your muscles (and AWAY) from your digestive organs. This is called the Fight or Flight response. It prepares you to run and deal with that emergency.
The second part of the ANS is called the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). Its job is to help you “Rest and Digest” and heal. It helps decrease your blood pressure, calm your heart, and shunt blood away from your muscles and TO your digestive and other organs.
In our fast-paced lives, it seems that we go from one emergency to the next, with little time in between to get back into a restful, healing mode. Even when we go to bed, we are often thinking about our list of things to do tomorrow, etc., and never really get fully into full activation of the PNS. Praying over our food or simply taking some deep breaths before eating helps ensure the best environment to receive good nutrition.
3) Eat some raw food with each meal. This gives us the vital enzymes we need to digest our food.
4) Take a digestive enzyme supplement right before eating. So much of our food is over processed and void of sufficient nutrient content. A digestive aid will give us the enzymes we need to break down and absorb all the nutrition in our food.
5) Don’t eat a huge meal right before going to bed. “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper” has a lot of wisdom to it!
6) Look at your plate; at least 50% of each meal should be fruits or vegetables – some of them raw.
7) Take a gentle stroll after eating. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few minutes. And, this is not an aerobic exercise walk; just a stroll to help the food settle.
If you start to apply these simple tips, I know you will see some improvement in your digestion, energy, and overall wellbeing!