10 Natural Ways to Optimize Your Digestion & Lose Weight
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
Our body breaks down the food that we eat to give us energy. This process of breaking down food is called digestion. The digestive system needs to be problem-free for a healthy body. Here are some tips to improve your digestive system naturally and lose weight:
1. Chew more
Chewing food completely is important for fast and effective digestion. Many of us forget to do so because we try to eat fast or remain busy with other things while eating. The digestive juices secreted by our liver help digest food faster if its already broken down from proper chewing. Experts suggest chewing every bite at least 20 times before swallowing.
2. Move after eating
Often we feel like lying down after we eat, this is the worst thing we can do for our digestive system. After having lunch or dinner do not sit or lay down, involve yourself in something that involves physical movement. This does not mean a vigorous workout, which would also be hard on your system, a simple walk in the park or climbing a flight of stairs is enough to improve digestion.
3. Try food combining
Different types of foods require different amounts of time to break down. Fruit takes just 15 minutes to get through the digestive tract while protein requires 4-6 hours, so the right combination is important. Fruit generally should not be combined with anything and be eaten alone. You can combine protein-rich foods with green vegetables as they have similar digestive behavior. Similarly protein and starches should not be eaten together.’
4. Use your nose for breathing
There is a difference between breathing through the nose and mouth. Breathing through the mouth turns the sympathetic nervous system on while using your nose to breathe does the opposite. Nose breathing activates the parasympathetic mode which relaxes the body. Taking deep breaths before eating is ideal for more effective digestion.
5. Don’t drink while eating
Many of us like drinking some kind of fluid while eating, this is not a healthy habit. It drains away the digestive juices secreted by our liver and pancreas while we eat and slows down the digestion process. It also makes you feel full before you have eaten the amount of food your body actually needs.
6. Regular exercise
There are many benefits to regular exercise. It helps you maintain good health and weight loss and is good for your digestive system. Exercise burns calories resulting in weight loss and improves digestion by clearing impurities from the body in the form of sweat.
7. Sip more H2O
Oxygen is important for proper digestion. We get oxygen from the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. The water we drink releases oxygen in the body which is transported by the blood. Drinking ample water ensures regular oxygen supply to the body and hence improved digestion.
8. Improve posture
Our posture impacts the health of our digestive organs. Since walking and physical movement is not always possible after eating, maintaining the right posture can make up the loss to some extent. If you are sitting, try to sit with a straight back so that the digestive organs can work properly.
9. Have more enzymes
Enzymes help boost our body’s digestive abilities. Eating more foods rich in enzymes can help improve the digestive system. Having at least one dish of raw foods is ideal for fulfilling the enzyme requirements of the body. If that’s not possible, raw fruits and vegetables are also a good source. Sprouted grains are rich in enzymes and are ideal for weight loss and more energy.
10. Check your alcohol intake
Our body’s primary digestive organ is the liver. When we drink excess alcohol it deteriorates the health of our liver and in some cases may also lead to cancer. Putting a check on your alcohol intake is a favor you can do for your liver. All things in moderation.