Updated: Sep 18, 2019
There are so many little things that can be causing gastrointestinal issues. It’s not always the obvious stuff, like sensitivities to dairy and gluten. Sometimes we really have to examine what it is that is bothering us. But that is a huge undertaking, and should be approached with the help of a Nutritionist. In the meantime there are several ways to start dealing with GI issues effectively before calling in the Big Guns. There are ways that we can assist in the digestive process, thereby enabling our bodies to take care of the rest. It is our job to help our bodies do its job.
These 5 simple steps will ensure that your body is digesting its food properly and completely so that you can then determine what the problem is, if it still exists. Once you have determined whether or not it’s a digestive issue, you can then begin the search for sensitivities and intolerances
The Juice of Half a lemon
Start your day with the juice of half a lemon in about 3-4 oz of room temperature water. Shoot it back like a shot of tequila, and then rinse out your mouth with water to protect your teeth. Wait 20 minutes before you eat or drink anything. This will kick start your digestive system, speed up your metabolism and encourage healthy and complete bowel movements. The lemon also help balance your stomach acid to help food digest most efficiently.
Chew your food 10-20 times
While I know the thought of chewing your food 20 times seems ridiculous, but it is the absolute most important step to supporting a healthy GI Tract. Once you have swallowed your food, you have lost all control over what happens to it next, so be sure to take good care in making sure what you swallow is ready to be swallowed. Our food mixes with our saliva to create a mushy ball of food called a bolus. This bolus should be as soft and mushy as possible so that your body needs less energy to break it down. Of course a piece of meat takes much longer to break down than a piece of broccoli, so start to be aware of the process and adjust accordingly.
Sip with meals, Drink between
Our stomachs are filled with Hydrochloric acid. This very powerful acid mixes with our body’s enzymes to break down food into nutrients we can absorb. When we drink too much water with meals, we dilute the Hydrochloric acid to the point that it is no longer able to break down the food. The food then sits around fermenting and rotting, causing bloating, heartburn, gas, and discomfort. Stop drinking large quantities of water about 30 minutes before meals, and try not to start drinking large quantities until 2 hours after.Sip just enough water during meals to mix with your saliva and push down the food.
Eat your meat at the end of the meal
Foods take different lengths of time to digest. Salads filled with fresh vegetables are mostly broken down by the time they reach your stomach. You can easily notice the difference when you take notice of what a iece of lettuce may feel like in your mouth after a few chews versus a piece of meat. The veggies contain between 85-97% water. Meat on the other hand can take up to 18 hours to digest. Eat your veggies at the beginning of your meal, and save the proteins for the end, this way the veggies don’t remain sitting undigested in your stomach, causing gas, bloating and pain.
Eat Fermented foods
Incorporating fermented foods like unpasteurized sauerkraut and kefir into your meals will help your body digest the food more easily. The good bacteria are transient and do their work while travelling through your intestines. Having these good bacteria present in meals will have things moving along at a good healthy pace.
Some great fermented foods include:
· Unpasteurized cheese
· Unpasteurized Sauerkraut
· Kosher pickles