Eating healthy is an excellent start to losing weight and improving your overall health but no matter how stellar your nutrition is, you’re not going to see the results you deserve if you’re not digesting food properly. Strengthening gut health is crucial to provide your body with energy, allow cells to absorb nutrients, boost immunity, and improve neurological health. With such a strong connection to your overall health, it’s no wonder the gut is at the root of many health problems.
Common problems that contribute to poor digestion include poor diet, inflammatory foods, low hydrochloric acid (HCL) production, food sensitivities/allergies/intolerances, high-stress levels, sedentary lifestyle, lack of dietary fiber, eating too quickly, environmental toxins and more.
Unfortunately, many people think their digestive issues (gas, constipation, bloating) are “normal” and live with them by using medications and drugs. Left unaddressed, poor digestion can lead to nutrient deficiencies, weight gain, malnourishment, migraines, depression, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, neurological conditions, and more.
10 Tips to Improve Digestion
1. Stop Doing Damage
The first step to healing your gut it to remove any irritants, as they can alter your gut flora, increase inflammation and damage the digestive tract.
Medications/drugs: antibiotics, antifungals, acid blockers, anti-inflammatory medication, aspirin, steroids, oral contraceptives, tobacco, and laxatives. Please consult with your physician before ceasing medications.
Lifestyle: dieting, chronic stress, lack of exercise, and environmental toxins.
Nutrition: alcohol, refined foods, excess sugar, man-made fats, excess caffeine, overeating, non-organic and GM foods, inflammatory foods and food allergens/sensitivities/intolerances.
2. Check HCL Production
Chronic stress and a poor diet deplete your stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCL). HCL is crucial for proper digestion as it’s needed to break down proteins, release enzymes, balance gut bacteria and kill off pathogens.
3. Treat Underlying Causes
Work with CNK and your physician to treat any underlying causes such as leaky gut, Candida, parasites, heavy metals, and hormone imbalances.
4. Chew More & Stress Less
Chew food thoroughly to aid digestion. If you see pieces of food in your stool, that’s a good indicator you need to chew more. Also, slow down and be mindful during meals by getting in “rest-and-digest” mode.
5. Stay Hydrated
Stay hydrated with water between meals, but minimize your fluid intake with food as it can dilute stomach acid needed for proper digestion.
6. Eat Whole Foods
Restore gut flora by choosing natural, whole foods and making sure you’re eating a nutritious daily diet that’s appropriate for your condition.
7. Learn To Cook
Digestion begins with the senses, and the best way to engage your senses is by cooking. Healthy homemade meals are ideal because you to know exactly what you’re eating, where it came from and how it was prepared.
8. Pack In Probiotics
Repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria from probiotics and fermented foods such as kefir, kvass, kraut, and kimchi. Probiotics promote gut health, boost immunity, decrease allergies, and reduce oxidative stress.
9. Consider Supplementation
Consult with your physician before starting any new supplementation. Depending on your condition, effective supplements may include bitters, HCL, probiotics, magnesium, fiber, digestive enzymes, glutamine, and licorice.
10. Detox Regularly
Break a sweat at least three times a week with exercise, saunas or salt baths. Daily bowel movements also help eliminate toxic substances from the body.