Since studying to become a Health Coach, I’ve been curious about how to improve digestion. I know it’s not a ‘sexy’ topic, but let’s talk about it.
Digestion is the way our bodies process, understand and react to the food we eat. You may know this, but the quality and composition of our meals, as well as exercise and environment all affect how we digest. Check out some of these tips and tricks for how to improve digestion.
However, emotions also play an integral role in digestion. For example, feelings of sadness and fear can slow digestion while anger and frustration speed it up.
For me, when I’m sad, nervous or stressed I find it true that my digestion feels sluggish and slow. I have no appetite and feel like I could go days without food. I experience this most often during the times when I’ve gone through a difficult break-up or am planning a major event for work. The one thing I DO have an appetite for when I’m sad is sugar like cookies or cupcakes. I understand this as my body’s desire for comfort. When you can get a handle on how your body reacts to emotion, it becomes easier to nourish your body and feed your mind without giving into the cravings.
Tips for How to Improve Digestion
One way to learn how to improve digestion is to keep a Food Journal. Over time, record everything you eat and how you feel mentally and physically before and after eating. Hint: If you buy a pretty notebook and keep it at your desk or in your handbag, it makes it more fun to take out and record! I’ve kept a Food Journal for about a year and admit it’s helpful in keeping me accountable for eating healthy. My new goal with it is to get more detailed so I can uncover daily patterns like frequent headaches.
The easiest and most effective thing everyone can do to improve digestion is to SLOW DOWN. Take time to chew your food. At least 30 times, but don’t obsess about the exact number. Sit down away from computers, televisions and other distractions and enjoy your meal. And most importantly, don’t eat on the go — seemingly the simplest and yet for us New Yorkers, the hardest recommendation of all!