How to Improve Digestion?
“How Much You Digest?” is much more important than “What And How Much You Eat?”. So, here are the ways through which you can improve your digestion.
Importance of Healthy Digestive System
According to Ayurveda and Modern Science, 80%–96% of the diseases are linked to weak digestion. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle building or just to live a healthy life, a strong digestive system is extremely crucial. No matter how healthy you eat, if your gut is not able to digest it, the nutrients will not be absorbed optimally by your body.
In today’s world, where junk food consumption, stress levels and wrong lifestyle habits are at its peak, poor digestion is common and dangerous.
Symptoms of Poor Digestion
Following are some of the common and less severe symptoms of poor digestion:
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Weak Immunity
- Vitamins Deficiency
Here are some of the severe symptoms of having a poor digestion:
- Poor Mental Health
- Unexplained Weight Changes
- Hormonal Disorders
- Food Intolerances
- Constant Fatigue
- Disturbed Sleep
- Skin Issues
Causes of Weak Digestive System
Following are the factors which are responsible for degrading the state of your digestive system:
(1) Junk Food
Living in an era where people, especially teenagers, are too fond of visiting enchanting places and being ignorant of their health and fitness, consumption of junk food is obvious.
Regular and excess consumption of processed foods which are loaded with artificial colours, sweeteners and chemicals are immensely dangerous to one’s health. Also, most of the street foods are cheap-quality, deep-fried, fiberless and preserved because of which their freshness and authenticity is compromised.
These nutrients-less foods toxifies the blood stream and stick to the walls of our intestine, damaging the digestive system.
(2) Wrong Food Combinations
The ignorance of people about their own body and health makes it easy for diseases and obesity to capture one. Combining foods unconsciously also weakens the digestion. Having tea after meals or first thing in the morning, combining milk with salty foods, etc. risks your health massively.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you are tensed for any event or interview, you never empty your bowels and also you do not feel much hunger? Why is it so? Research has explicitly proven that there is a direct and strong link between the brain and your digestive system. And increased stress levels hampers the food digestion significantly.
(4) Irregular Food Timings
It is not only about “What You Eat?”, it is also about “When You Eat?”. Most people skip their breakfast, have late night dinner or consume anything at midnight due to their busy lifestyle and hectic work schedules or careless day-planning.
This habit of irregular food timings messes with your biological clock, confuses the body and prohibits it from secreting essential digestive enzymes, which hampers your digestion.
(5) Relation of Water with Digestion
Water and your digestion are interlinked up to a great extent. Water is used for either bathing or drinking, and both affect our digestive system.
Bathing after meals is a big mistake which people often commit, not knowing its adverse effects. After eating, the body tries to increase its temperature to facilitate digestion of the food but during bathing on the other hand, our body’s temperature lowers down.
This reduction in body temperature prevents optimal digestion of the food and hampers the digestive system. Also consuming gulps and gulps of water immediately after the meal dampens with the digestion.
How to Improve Digestion Naturally At Home?
Here are some practical ways through which you can easily strengthen your gut and ensure a healthy digestive system:
1) Regular exercise can help to increase the blood circulation in the digestive system and helps to strengthen it.
2) Fasting through any method of fasting like once in 15 days, eating light, avoiding food post-sunset eliminates waste from the body and cleanses the intestine.
3) Controlling the stress levels also regulates the digestive system.
4) Ensuring proper quality sleep for an adequate number of hours strengthens the gut.
5) “How You Eat?” is as important as “What You Eat?” because half of the digestion happens inside the mouth. So always chew your food 25-30 times so that the saliva and the digestive enzymes in the mouth get properly mixed with the food. Moreover, focus on the food while eating it and do not do any other thing while eating like watching TV, talking to someone, etc.
6) Avoid drinking too much water after meals. Either have a gap of 30-40 minutes after the meal or have limited water consumption just after the meal.
7) Avoid eating too much junk foods and drinking sugary beverages like soda, coke, etc.
8) Add 2-4 tbsp “A2 Desi Cow Ghee” in your diet as it lubricates and softens the digestive tract and it is also rich in ‘Butyric Acid’ which strengthens the colon and large intestine.
9) Consume adequate amount of healthy fats through dry fruits like almonds, nuts and raisins and through cold pressed cooking oils like mustard oil, coconut oil, etc.
Foods to Improve Digestion
1) Fiber and Antioxidants
Foods which are highly rich in fiber are scientifically proven to aid digestion. All kinds of fruits and vegetables, especially green-leafy vegetables are enormously rich in fiber and antioxidants.
Some of the fruits which you can incorporate in your daily diet to make your digestion strong are apple, guava, papaya, banana and pineapple.
[NOTE- Do make sure that the fruits which you are buying are local, seasonal and fresh. Top 26 High Vitamin C Foods]
Probiotics are “The Good Bacteria” which promotes a healthy gut and they are found in fermented foods. Dairy products like curd, buttermilk, etc are rich in probiotics.
3) Psyllium Husk (Isabgol)
Isabgol is a dietary fiber which is commonly used in Indian Homes as a remedy for constipation and helps to increase stool and soothes the digestive tract by deep cleansing.
Consuming 1 tbsp of isabgol with 1 glass of warm milk before sleeping at night or having 1 tbsp of isabgol with curd, on empty stomach in the morning can do wonders for your digestion.
What to drink after a meal to help digestion?
Drinking a full glass of buttermilk really soothes the digestive tract, helps in a better and fast digestion of the food and promotes a healthy gut.
[NOTE- Mixing some blended coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger, black salt and rock salt in the buttermilk with a topping of spluttered cumin seeds and curry leaves in some ghee increases the effectiveness of a simple buttermilk exponentially.]
What to do after a meal for good digestion?
Following are some of the things which you can do immediately after consuming a meal for better digestion of the food:
There is only one yoga asana/pose which you can do instantly after having a meal to improve your digestion and i.e., “Vajrasana/Thunderbolt Pose”. Here’s how to do it:
STEP-1:- Kneel down on the floor and pull your knees and ankles together and keep your toes pointed in line with your legs.
STEP-2:- Now sit back on your legs while your glutes are on your toes and your thighs are on your calves and the bottom of your legs are facing upwards.
STEP-3:- Keep your spine straight or neutral and hands placed over your thighs palms facing downwards.
STEP-4:- Sit in this position for 3-5 minutes after your meal.
2) Post-Meal Walk
Walking after eating, also known as the “Post-meal walk” helps immensely to digest the food better and also has additional health benefits like promotes weight loss, regulates blood sugar levels, etc. Walking for about 10-15 minutes after eating is sufficient.
3) Carrom Seeds and Fennel Seeds
In India, it is a tradition to have a teaspoon of carrom seeds (Ajwain) or fennel seeds (Saunf) just after the meal to ensure better digestion.
Ensuring a healthy lifestyle, diet and eating habits can immensely improve your digestion. Adopting the above mentioned methods will automatically strengthen your digestive system and will amplify your overall health and fitness.