Tune Up Your Digestion

May 19, 2016

Man Eating at DeskDigestion is the hot word of the day. Special foods, meal plans, and more are being pushed for almost everyone—but you don’t need to jump to the most complicated and life-changing solution, you can start with the basics to improve digestion, feel better, and support overall health.

From changing small habits to supporting gaps with probiotics and more, it can be easy to improve digestion and still enjoy the occasional treat.

Think back to folk-wisdom. The things you heard at the dinner table growing up. It may seem overly basic (“have you tried turning it off and on again?”) but many people develop bad habits they aren’t even aware of over time. A few focused, calm minutes can help you take note of what might be an easy solution.

Start by giving a meal the time it deserves. Time to chew your food, and space out bites. This helps in two ways: chewed food will be easier to digest, and slowing down gives your brain and stomach more time to talk to each other (it can take 20 minutes for your brain to “hear” the “I’m full” message!).

If you aren’t sure, try this exercise: find a small snack. Eat it with your eyes closed, somewhere quiet. You’ll notice more. It will have a stronger taste. And you can rethink your eating habits, and notice if you’re swallowing after three bites, or otherwise chewing funny. Sometimes, just chewing a little better and eating a little slower can be the simple solution to problems like heartburn.

Then, support digestion from start to finish. In addition to chewing, food breaks down right at the beginning with help from saliva. Humans have lots of enzymes and other good things in their saliva to help this process that most animals don’t. But to have ample saliva, you need to drink water throughout the day and stay hydrated. Even better is a room temperature glass with dinner—yep, warm water is thought to be better for digestion than cold! (And it makes sense, since ice water is generally something modern).

Past that, fluctuating bacteria, enzymes, and more influence your digestion, and you can actually do a lot in turn to influence them! Eating healthy food gives your body more resources to care for itself (and help with a general feeling of wellness). And yes, one of those jobs is to create enzymes and more to help digest food. You can always cheat past the building blocks with direct support for your digestion (for an enzyme boost, try Organic Spirulina).

Papaya will break down almost anything, and if you find yourself feeling like food isn’t digesting right, it’s a delicious and natural way to boost digestion. If it’s not in season, you can always use the targeted support of a good supplement. Support you pancreas (which isn’t just a concern for people with diabetes, but might be for some with digestive issues as well). Glycemic MGRx is nutritionally designed to support the pancreas, and our personal experience is that you will be surprised at your ability to feel the difference, especially when you expect to feel sick!

Possibly the most important thing in our whole body, not just for digestion, are the probiotic colonies we host. Ten years ago researchers thought it was amazing to talk about them as a positive element of digestion and an important part of immune defense. Today, one can be shocked into an existential crisis reading the headlines about the good bacteria we support—they’re not just important, evidence seems to suggest they could be more “us” than us! They influence everything from the physical (weight, digestion, nutrition, inflammation) to the mental (mood, actions, and other less tangibles!).

That’s why it’s important to consider what we can do to support our good bacteria. If you’re already eating healthy with lots of fruits and vegetables (like onion, garlic, and more) congratulations! That’s step one: support your good bacteria with prebiotics (or, basically, food they like).

Step two is to make sure you’re occasionally replenishing those colonies. Antibiotics, illness/fever, and more can cut into our colonies and leave holes that illness can get through (like stomach flu) or that bad bacteria or even fungi can take hold in. Replenishing our good bacteria with more helps fill the occasional gaps that living life creates!

Flora MGR has a long list of active strains to help support a varied and healthy good bacteria colony. You can also add more fermented foods like yogurt into your diet. Or, go straight to the source with humic and fulvic minerals (taken from rich soil that includes a varied probiotic colony—I like it because it adds a natural variety, a good complement to well-researched and understood strains!).

Before you panic about your digestive health, start with these basics. Simple solutions have fewer side-effects than more drastic ones, and are easier to integrate into your life today, making them the best place to start!

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