And what age are we living in! No, there is nothing bad about it but health-wise, I do not even feel good about it, at times. I am quite concerned about my kid’s food choices when she grows up. With so many fast food and junk food options available, will she be able to make healthy food choices later in life?
I have trained my child to choose good food as of now but as she grows up and gets exposed to so many things, I might not be available every time to tell her what’s good and what’s bad for her health. Hence, I researched ways to prevent digestion problems in the first place. If I teach my toddler how to eat food properly, then she might avert digestion-related ailments.
Why is it Important to Have Healthy Digestion?
If you are one of those who eat anything and everything and let your digestive system handle it, then you might be doing something wrong here. You might not be aware of the fact that a healthy digestive system is the basis of good immunity. People who face low immunity problems need to check whether their gut and digestive system are functioning well. Good digestion makes sure that your entire body benefits from the food that you eat.
Why Digestion Suffers?
Some people do not even realize that they have digestion related problems. With increasing levels of stress and anxiety issues, the gut of a person faces all the brunt. Along with this, poor eating habits too have a role to play. As compared to our parents, our eating habits have undergone a sea change.
The low availability of organic and fresh vegetables, fruits, and other produce is also to be blamed. Due to increasing population and demand, the spinach that we get now is not that healthy. Hence, if we follow certain practices regarding eating food, we might prevent certain ailments related to digestion. This is because the digestion function is quite important in maintaining good overall health.
Take Out Time to Eat
Sitting down to eat is quite good for your health. Our lives have become busier. It is quite difficult to take out time to eat. In fact, many people think that sitting down to eat is a total waste of time. However, if you desire healthy digestion, then adopt this practice of consuming meals. Eating in a hurry is quite bad for your gut. Even if you are getting late for meetings, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule, and eat properly and not frantically.
Food eaten in a hurry does not get digested properly. When you sit down and eat, you get to feel every morsel before it reaches your stomach. You also tend to eat less this way and prevent weight issues as well. You will fill fuller for a longer period when you take out time to eat. Enjoy your food in isolation without any source of entertainment. Let your food entertain you and your body thank you while you eat.
Chew Every Bite Properly
Chewing is equally important as choosing healthy food for your body. You need to chew your food thoroughly if you wish for a good digestive system. Did you know that healthy digestion begins in your mouth itself? Carbohydrates like starch and even sugar start in the mouth, thanks to your saliva and enzymes. Enzymes play an important role in breaking down the food that you eat. Further, these enzymes even attack the bacteria if any.
Imagine that you have just gulped down your food in a hurry. When this food reaches your stomach, it does the work of breaking the morsels down. At times, the stomach is not able to because it does not have teeth to do so. In such cases, your body is not able to extract nutrition from the food. To prevent such problems, chew every bite that you put in your mouth.
Drink Water at Regular Intervals
So much has been said about this. Still, people do not drink enough water. At times, people even mistake thirst for hunger and chomp on unhealthy snacks. Many people, including me, are quite lazy to drink water. While walking a few steps to hunt the remote for television is easy for me, walking to the water filter is equally tough. Let me take a break. I will sip some water and resume writing. Done, I just did that. You can fill a bottle of water and keep handy to make sure that you are having enough water throughout the day.
In winters, you can fill a flask of warm water to enjoy the water. Prepare detox drinks and experiment with water. Staying hydrated is one of the important ways to ensure healthy digestion.
Drinking and Eating Do Not Go Together
Having said enough about drinking water, I would like to mention that you should avoid drinking water with your meals. When you gulp down your food with the help of water, you are weakening the digestive juices in your stomach. Instead, keep an hour’s gap before and after consuming meals when it comes to water. Some people like their burgers with a can of diet coke. It is the favorite way of getting a burger down the throat.
However, it is the unhealthiest of all to eat food in this manner. Ice cold beverages with meals remain the worst combination. Weight watchers often feel that drinking water will make them eat less. However, this is not true. They might end up with a weak digestive system rather than low weight.
Sleeping Right After Eating Isn’t Good
Chomp. Gulp. Munch. Crunch. Snooze. While the first four words are in sync, the last seems to be out of order. You cannot just sleep after a meal. Your food will not be able to reach the right places if you just lie down after a heavy meal. You need to get out of bed and get active so that your food is digested properly.
Experts mention that if you desire a good slumber, the food needs to be digested. However, it does not mean that you work out and visit a gym for this. You just need to stay active. I usually arrange my home after dinner – clear the kitchen, arrange the bed, fold the clothes and such things. This ensures good sleep for me. Usually, you need a gap of two to four hours between the dinner and sleep. Also, make sure that you do not munch on unhealthy snacks before you go to bed. If you feel hungry, you can indulge in a cup of warm milk (without sugar, for sure) to minimize midnight hunger pangs.
Stress is Not Healthy for Digestion
Stress!!! This word has become so common. Every second person is uttering it. Stress has become equivalent to oxygen, it seems. Every profession and every field has some amount of stress in it. If I start mentioning the ill effects of stress here, it will begin a new post altogether.
I will surely write something on stress later. Here, I need to enlighten you on the ill effects of stress on your digestive system. You need to meditate to minimize the amount of stress in your life and strengthen your gut.
Observe Detox Diets for Great Health
While some people fast for good health, you can take a break from your regular diet and do a detox. Experts maintain that detox helps in cleansing your entire body and strengthening your digestive system. You can prepare detox drinks and sip them on a regular basis.
Some people even take the help of nutritionists who suggest different types of detox diets, depending upon the requirement of the person. Skipping unhealthy fats and eating raw veggies and fruits also help in detoxifying. Observe what works for you and stick to it.
Eat Well for a Good Digestive System
Eating well does not mean eating anything and everything that comes to sight. You need to eat a proper diet for this. You need to research on foods that help in supporting your digestive system. Eliminate the criminals that lead to digestion problems. Make sure that your diet includes foods that nourish your body and replenish your energy levels. Some bacteria are good for your gut. Intake them and aid your digestion. Such bacteria are present in probiotic food. Even fermented foods are quite good for your health. Opt for yogurt, pickled veggies, and the like.
In consultation with a nutritionist, you can even consume supplements for your good digestive system. Just like probiotics, you should prebiotics. Prebiotics help in nourishing the good bacteria present in the colon. To ensure intake of prebiotics, consume garlic, onion, and even leeks. Along with all this, make sure that you decrease your intake of processed foods, sugary stuff, and even foods that are oily. Your digestive system likes foods that are whole, fresh, and raw like carrots, beetroots, green leafy veggies and even fresh juices.
Respect Your Body
Do not think much about the shape of your body. Instead of focusing on whether you are thin or fat, concentrate on getting fitter and healthier. Fad diets will not help you. They might help you in the short term but eventually, good food and a regular diet will make you strong and beautiful. Always listen to your body. Make sure that you are eating at regular intervals and drinking sufficient water.
A healthy digestive system will reflect on your face. You will notice that when your body feels good, you feel good too. Inculcate good eating habits even in your kids, so that they grow up to be healthy. Make healthy food choices together as a family. Happy munching… oops chewing!