Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start! It begins with digestion, not just what you eat, but what you absorb–and that’s affected by the health of your gut!
Often, the first signs of health imbalances will show up in the form of digestive issues. This might be constipation (less than one bowel movement a day), diarrhea, gas, bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, etc. When these conditions become chronic, the digestive tract can become compromised. This interferes with assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxins. Lack of nutrients and accumulation of toxins leads to more health problems.
Taking an occasional antacid or laxative to relieve symptoms may help in the short-term, but they do little for your long-term health. Instead, get to the root of your digestive issues by paying attention to the warning signs and learning to have healthy digestion.
Step one: Chew! Digestions begins in the mouth!
You might be thinking, “I do that, check!” But, do you really?
You could count to 30, but I don’t like to count when I eat, so I chew until my food is mushy.
Why is this important? Digestive enzymes in saliva mix with your food to help break it down into an absorbable form. Saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that digests carbohydrates. When you skip this step by not chewing adequately, the stomach has to work harder.
Chewing food well has a lot to do with mindful eating. This happens when we take time to eat in a relaxed environment, paying attention to what and how we eat. Eating on the go or while talking in a hurried manner often keeps us from paying attention to how we chew our food. This makes it easy to take big bites, give them a chew or two, and wash them down the hatch with some liquid. Not good!
This week’s recommended action steps:
Pat attention to chewing your food thoroughly before you swallow. Even semi-solid foods, like smoothies or applesauce, need to be given time to mix with saliva instead of gulping them down.
That’s all! See you next week for step two!
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Consultant
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.