You are not what you eat, you are what you digest and assimilate. ~ Tony Robbins
Healthy and effective digestion is a tell-tale sign of a healthy body. It determines vitamin and nutrient absorption which directly affects how your body uses food for fuel. This in turn affects how you look, think and feel. The human digestive system parts play a major role in your health.
In this blog post series, I will briefly explain how digestion works, give a list of signs to look for in healthy versus unhealthy digestion, and finally offer you tips on what YOU can do to improve your own digestive health. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, check them out HERE !
Signs That You Have Healthy Digestion
After all that talk on how digestion should work, let’s discuss some signs you might see when you have healthy digestion.
- What you want is optimal digestion. This where your digestive system is strong and free of
- You eliminate (ie. poop) at least once a day on average.
- You feel satiated and energized after meals.
- You have clear, acne-free skin.
- You have mental clarity all throughout your day.
- Your energy level is adequately stable and consistent.
- You are generally feel in a positive mood
- You have a healthy immune system.
Warning Signs That Your Digestion Needs Help
If you’re anything like me, I have struggled with most all of the following symptoms at different times and intervals for most of my teen and adult years.
- You suffer from post meal bloating (a ‘food baby’) on a regular basis.
- You regularly suffer from flatulence and gas.
- You deal with regular bouts of constipation. (3) (4)
- You struggle with acne.
- You experience low levels of energy throughout the day (not just after meals)
- You suffer from indigestion, acid reflux and/or loose stool after meals.
- Your immune system isn’t very strong and you get sick easily.
- You have nutrient deficiencies (deficient in vitamins and minerals)
Tips to Improve Your Digestion
1. Avoid drinking beverages/water 30 minutes BEFORE a meal and 45 minutes AFTER a meal
2. Get into Rest and Digest mode. Try to avoid slamming down your food as this causes difficulty for your digestion.
3. Drink a ‘shot’ of Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice in water 10 minutes before a meal. Start with 1 teaspoon and work up to a Tablespoon (if necessary) diluting with a few ounces of water. I LOVE Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
4. Consume raw sauerkraut before eating. Raw Sauerkraut cabbage juice is one of the strongest stimulants for producing stomach acid. When introducing for the first time, be sure to start with as little as 1 teaspoon before eating and then gradually work up to 1/4-1/2 cup per day. I make a huge batch of cultures veggies about once every two months. To add probiotic diversity, I use Dr. Mercola Kinetic Starter Culture for Vegetable Fermentation culture. This stuff in AMAZING! It contains 100 billion CFU probiotics per packet! We don’t even take a probiotic supplement as this culture exponentially increases the production of probiotics. Check it out HERE!
6. Make sure you CHEW your food. Chewing sends signals to your stomach that food is coming. In response, your stomach produces and releases stomach acid. By simply taking time to thoroughly chew your food, you give your body the chance to produce and release more stomach acid naturally. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 20-30 chews before swallowing.
7. Use a high quality unprocessed salt such as Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to give your body Chloride, the building block to make hydrochloric acid (stomach acid).
8. Take a Betaine Hydrochloric Supplement. This will boost your body’s production of stomach acid as well as help kill pathogens such as the H. pylori bacteria. Take Betaine HCL and Pepsin at the beginning of your meal with protein.
To find the best amount for your body, take as many capsules as you need until you feel a slight burning sensation and then decrease by one capsule. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to consult a functional medicine doctor. One side note, do not take this supplement if you have stomach ulcers as it will cause pain and aggravation. Click HERE to learn more.
9. Drink Ginger Root Tea. Ginger is the superstar for digestive aid and even has been shown to suppress H. pylori bacteria and prevent the formation of stomach ulcers. Wow! To make a tea, put 2 to 3 slices of raw ginger in a mug of hot water and steep for about 15 minutes. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice from half a lemon and drink 20 minutes before eating.
10. Take Swedish Bitters Before Bedtime. Swedish Bitters is an ancient traditional European Herbal elixir known for improving digestive function and promoting regularity . Dating back to the 16th century, this secret herbal extract was lost for many years until it was rediscovered by an Austrian herbalist. This superior blend of powerful herbs is highly treasured by Europeans. To improve your digestion, take 1 teaspoon of bitters in an 8 ounce cup of water before bedtime.
To see my favorite Swedish Bitters product, click HERE.
These are just a few of my personal recommendations for improving your digestive health. I hope you find what works for you in helping improve your digestive health.
Thanks for reading!