20 Dec Digestion 101
I bet you have heard the expression “You are what you Eat”, well I like to think that we are what we absorb and so here are some tips on how to optimize your digestive and absorbing capabilities.
It is very important to time your meals to your body rhythms. Digestive energy is highest from 11am to 1 pm, therefore we must eat our biggest meal at this time of the day. We are unable to properly process food at night time so eating heavily at the end of the day leads to accumulation of wastes and undigested food in the digestive tract. As a result the body becomes weakened and susceptible to illness. Eating at night will also cause insomnia as the body does not allow itself to shut down and make the transition towards the sleep state.
Relax when you eat. The first level of digestion occurs in the mind and brain. Being at ease makes your digestive system work properly, our taste improves, we secrete digestive enzymes and we nourish ourselves in the process.
Minimize cold food and drinks. When cold food and drink make contact with your stomach, the enzymatic secretions of the stomach decrease, food will therefore sit in the stomach longer as it needs to be warmed up before it can be digested. Drink room temperature fluids and try to eat more warm foods if your digestion is sluggish.
Avoid drinking with meals. Water dilutes the acid and digestive enzymes of the stomach if consumed at the same time as your meal. Instead try sipping hot tea or eating soup which will make your meal the appropriate consistency without affecting digestive juices. This will decrease the workload and energy expenditure of the stomach and digestive system and increase absorption power and overall vitality.
Decrease raw foods. If you suffer from sluggish digestion, steaming veggies is the way to go. Raw foods although packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber are often difficult to break down and digest. Steaming vegetables briefly until they become brighter will make them much easier to digest and provide more nutritional value.
Try making a digestive tea. If you want to improve your digestive and absorbing capabilities. Steep 1 cup of hot water with 2 tsp of fresh ground cumin seeds, 2 tsp of freshly ground caraway seeds, 1 tsp of freshly ground fennel seed and some chamomile flowers to put you at ease. Enjoy and Absorb!