As you may know, good digestion is key to optimal health and vitality. We are not actually what we eat, but what we digest and absorb. We may be eating meals full of healthy, nutrient-dense foods, but if our bodies cannot assimilate them, we cannot make use of those nutrients.
Here are some rock-solid tips to help you digest your food better. If you are trying out these out and are not improving, you may want to speak to your healthcare provider, or perhaps consider running a hair analysis. A hair analysis is a simple test you can do at home that will tell us how well you are absorbing and metabolizing your food – or not – and what potential factors could be contributing to your digestive issues.
1. Take time for your meals – don’t eat on the run, in the car or standing up when ever possible. When you eat on the run, in a rush, or when angry or upset, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, and focuses more on keeping you safe, rather than helping you digest food. You may end up more tired after the meal, or hungry again sooner, and even worsen acid reflux and other symptoms. I know this is difficult to change, but very worth it whenever you can make it happen.
2. Time your meals right. For instance,
- breakfast within 30-45 minutes of waking up is excellent in setting up your metabolism for the day to run well and give you the energy you need. (this is all about the all-important circadian rhythm)
- lunch between 11:30am and 1:30pm, the time when your body naturally has the strongest digestive ability, according to ancient Ayurvedic principles.
- Eat dinner at least 3-4 hours before bed. At nighttime, our bodies are meant to rest from digestion so our brain, liver and other organs can detoxify and do the repair work from the stresses of the day, and eating a big meal too late, or too close to your going to bed will slow that down, as digestion takes away energy from other bodily processes.
3. If possible, lay on your left side after big meals, even if it’s just on weekends or after dinner when you may have even 5 minutes to do this. This really helps your body with digestion and move things along.