Your life is built from habits. How you get up in the morning, get dressed, what you eat and drink, even your method of driving to work is mostly done by habit.
If you have digestive challenges you can improve your health by changing your habits. Here are 10 ideas to start with:
1.Eat fruit by it’s self
Fruit is a great for you it provides enzymes to help repair your body, fuel to help you stay energized, and a chemical free source of water for your system. The sugar in the fruit (fructose) is a monosaccharide which means it needs minimal digestion before it becomes energy for you.
If you eat it alone your system digests it with no problem but if you mix it with other foods it takes longer to digest. This may cause the fruit to ferment in your system causing bloating and pain. Instead start your day with fruit. If you want to eat fruit after you have consumed other foods wait at least two hours. This will give your system a chance to metabolize all your food and not feed the unfriendlies living in your system.
2.Eat proteins and starches separately
The human digestive system uses different and conflicting chemicals to digest proteins and starches. If you eat them together it takes longer, requires more energy, and allows food to spoil in your system before you get a chance to get the maximum value from it. If you separate your carbs and proteins your body will be able to absorb a higher amount of the nourishment provided in the food.
3.Eat slowly and thoroughly
Good digestion starts at the table. When your mother had you cut your food into bit sized pieces she wasn’t just teaching you good table manners. The smaller the pieces of food are before they reach your stomach the better. Also chew your food thoroughly. Not only does this help break food particles into smaller bits but it mixes it with saliva which begins the digestion process in the mouth. Since most of us love to eat why not savor it, enjoy each bite, and remember your manners.
4.Pack a lunch
The food you prepare is going to be superior to anything which you buy on the run. Fast food is full of preservatives, colors, and flavor enhancers. Not to mention the sugar and salt. When you pack a lunch not only do you provide better food for your system but you also save time. If you add up the time it actually takes for you to stop at a fast food restaurant you will be surprised how long it takes compared to taking the time in the morning or evening to pack a lunch. As an added bonus it will be cheaper as well.
5.Read food labels
Food packaging is designed to entice you to buy but there is a portion of the package which is designed to inform you what is actually in the package. Get in the habit of buying food because of its ingredients not the picture on the box.
6.Eat a variety of foods
Eating different foods regularly will give your system a wider variety of building blocks to repair your body. It will prevent your system from becoming sensitive to any one food and adds spice to your meals. With today’s average supermarket there is no reason why you cannot eat a variety of foods. The challenge is not to get into the habit of always buying the same things when you go shopping. Practice the habit of trying one new recipe every week. This will give you a chance to find new and different ideas and keep your table interesting.
7.Learn Relaxation Techniques
The emotional and digestive systems are closely related. When you get stressed it will effect your digestive system. It is put under strain and as a consequence tends to cause pain.
To help reduce the effect stress has on your body learn a relaxation technique. Try some breathing exorcizes, stretch, read a book, cook, or anything which takes your mind off your emotional stresses.
8.Drink herbal tea
Coffee and regular teas all have caffeine in them. For a normal person without digestive challenges won’t cause any major problems but if you are having digestive discomfort the caffeine is an added toxin which your system must deal with. Also if you add anything into your coffee like cream and sugar you complicate things even more.
Instead of coffee try herbal or rooibos tea. Both come in many different types from coffee like flavors to fruity and sweet. Herbal teas not only have little or no caffeine in them but also can boost the healing power of your body.
9.Use honey as a sweetener
There are two reasons to use honey as a sweetener:
1. It is a monosaccharide, which means that your digestive system does not need to do anything before it can be absorbed into your system for fuel. In fact honey starts to be absorbed in your mouth and, unless you are consuming a large amount of it, doesn’t reach your intestines at all.
2. Because little or no honey reaches your intestines it doesn’t feed the unfriendly microorganisms there. If they aren’t getting fed then they begin to die off and your digestion improves.
10.Remain physically active
When we are in pain the tendency is to curl up into a little ball and wait until the pain goes away. Unfortunately with digestive problems it is usually better to keep moving. It helps to keep things moving along. Exercise also helps to release endorphins, nature’s natural pain killers, which help reduce your pain naturally over a longer period of time than using pharmaceuticals to always manage your pain.
Talk to your health care provider about what would be suitable for you and then make it a priority in your life.
Your life is made up of the habits, both good and bad. If you want to control your future you have to develop the habits you need for success now. The more you procrastinate the harder it will be in the future.