Digestive complaints are common and debilitating. We are bombarded with advertising for products that will help with bloating, acid, stomach aches but remember there are some very effective free remedies that will help your digestion.
1. Remember your mother’s advice – chew your food!
2. Leave time between meals for digestion.
3. Drink more water.
How well do you chew your food? Do you sit down to eat? Do you give yourself enough time to digest before rushing on with your daily tasks? If you don’t chew your food properly you won’t digest it. Chewing starts everything. It is how we break down our food and how we prepare our digestive system to receive the food and produce the enzymes necessary to further digest it. When we chew properly, we mix our food with saliva, which (in the case of carbohydrates especially) starts the whole digestive process. If this process fails, you get partially digested foodstuffs fermenting and blowing you up like a balloon, causing gripping pain, inflammation, and in the long term, serious illnesses. What’s more, if your food isn’t broken down and absorbed effectively, you won’t get the nutrients you need from it, so you’ll become malnourished despite eating plenty of food, and you will crave more and more. So sorting out your digestion can reduce those troublesome cravings as well as removing stomach pains and abdominal cramps!
Leave plenty of time between meals so that each lot of food we eat can be digested properly before the next lot arrives. Imagine mixing partially digested food with un-digested food – how does the body know what to do? Either some stays in one part of the digestive system for too long or some moves on before it is ready – either way it causes problems. So try to leave at least 4 hours between meals.
Drink more water. You have heard this a million times, but don’t underestimate it. Dehydration causes huge problems in our bodies – joint pain, heart problems, and back pain, as well as digestive pain. We all need to drink between 1.5-2.5 liters per 24 hours to be healthy.
You will also feel better if you avoid coffee, alcohol, sugar and tobacco particularly if you are constipated, as they upset the gastric secretions and deaden the response of the bowel when used long term.
Foods that will help regulate digestion include:
Short grain brown rice, cooked with lots of water (and chewed well!)
Figs, raw or cooked
Dates, raw or cooked
Molkosan - a healthy daily drink
If you feel you need additional help with your digestion, I recommend a whey powder called Molkosan Vitality. It helps to create a positive environment in which friendly gut bacteria (probiotics) can grow and thrive. Unfriendly bacteria don’t like these conditions and as they decline in numbers you will notice many beneficial developments:
Digestive symptoms such as constipation and bloating improve and your energy levels and general feeling of well-being may increase
Due to the steadily increasing digestive ability, your metabolism picks up, which can help with weight loss if this is an issue
Thrush, athlete’s foot and fungal nail infestations will get better as unfriendly bacteria are kept at bay
Arthritic symptoms may ease as tissue acidity is reduced
Rude Health Week: 15th to the 20th of February is national Rude Health Week, when Health Stores across the country will be promoting good health. We have Gabrielle McAuley back in Organico on Febuary 19th for free health consultations (10.30 – 3.30). She will be focussing on Digestive Health (but can also answer other questions). Just call in and ask to speak with her.
Organico is open from 9.30 - 6 Monday to Saturday, and Organico Café from 10-4.30 Monday to Saturday. Contact us on 51391 or look up www.organico.ie for recipes & health advice.