Despite the messages you get from most media, good nutrition isn’t just about calories or carbs. How you eat and other lifestyle habits (food-related or not) can affect how well your body uses the fuel you give it. Digestive health expert Elaine Zeitler shared these great tips for keeping your engine running smoothly:
Eat in a calm, relaxed setting. Like the rest of you, your digestive tract works best in peace. A relaxed setting promotes digestion and saliva production and stimulates the digestive organs.
Eat slowly. Slow down and savor your food! You’ll give the digestive secretions in your mouth and stomach time to be stimulated. You’ll also give your brain time to recognize when your stomach is getting full.
Chew. That is, chew more. The smaller the pieces you swallow, the better. Chewing also stimulates saliva, which spurs the digestion of starches and prepares food to enter your stomach.
Eat frequent, small meals. Frequent? No problem! But don’t forget small: a good rule of thumb is to stop eating well before you’re full.
Practice relaxation and calm. Activities such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing help create a relaxing environment that is conducive to good digestion.
Add herbs to your diet. Visit your local nutrition store to learn which herbs help promote digestive secretions and enzymes. Herbs also provide additional nutrition in the diet by providing vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Drink plenty of water. Hydration helps you digest your food and absorb nutrients. Your body requires a lot of water to function optimally. A good way to determine how much you need daily is to divide your body weight in half and drink the resulting number in ounces.
Take probiotics. Probiotics nourish and feed the beneficial flora (good bacteria) in the gastrointestinal system, which fight off toxins and boost immunity.
Exercise. Exercise is as good for your insides as it is for your outside: it reduces stress, tones the gastrointestinal muscles and helps remove toxins.
Elaine Zeitler is the owner of An Ever Clean Life colonics serving Westchester and surrounding areas. For more information, visit EverCleanColonics.com or call 914-409-7760.