Simple changes to your daily routine can help support your digestion and keep you feeling energized throughout the day.
Drink Warm Lemon Water
Drinking warm lemon water, especially first thing in the morning, is a great way to kickstart your digestion for the day. The bitter flavor encourages the liver to start producing bile, a key component of digestion. The acidity of the lemon also helps to supplement low levels of stomach acid, which tend to decline as we age. Lemons also help to relieve constipation due to their stimulating effects on the intestines and colon.
2. Drink Warm Beverages with Meals
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, drinking cold water while eating is often discouraged, as cold liquids can impede digestion. Opting for warm beverages can boost the body's circulation, relax muscles and allow food to keep moving through the digestive system. Ginger tea in particular is a great addition to any heavy meal, as the root stimulates saliva flow, bile and stomach acid production. It also decreases symptoms of heartburn, nausea and gas production. (Add a little honey to sweeten if ginger on its own isn't your thing!)
3. Go for a 10 Minute Walk After Eating
A study found that light exercise including just 10 minutes of walking after eating resulted in more stable blood-glucose levels. This means that even low intensity exercise allows glucose to more efficiently enter our cells to be used up as energy.
4. Take 3 Belly Breaths Before Eating
Taking 3 slow, deep belly breaths before eating allows the body to shift into its parasympathetic mode, or its "rest and digest mode." It is only in this relaxed state that the body's digestive system is able to operate efficiently.
5. Chew Your Food Thoroughly
The simple act of chewing your food thoroughly can reduce stress on the entire digestive system, ensuring that food particles are small enough for enzymes, stomach acid and bile to break down. This also supports the absorption of important vitamins and minerals from your food.