July 12, 2010
15 Simple Ways to Support Your Digestion for Better Health
A healthy digestive system is top priority for health, especially if you want to heal from or prevent life-threatening diseases. With good digestion, toxins are carried out of your body and the nutrients from food can nourish you.
To do this, your bowels need to move regularly. Twice per day is ideal, but for some people, even once per day is rare. If this is the case for you, food and toxins alike are staying in your body too long, where they can fester.
When your digestive system isn’t like clockwork, all of your organs work less effectively. Your body can’t absorb the nutrients it needs. Your body wants to eliminate what is not useful to its optimum functioning while utilizing each and every nutrient it can from your food. That is part of its job. But the modern lifestyle prevents it. The average diet leads to increased cases of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, skin conditions, aches and pains, indigestion, acid reflux, autoimmune disorders, and more.
To be well, we need to eat well, and top quality food is not pre-packaged. It's not found in a box, can, wrapper, or drive-thru. It’s found in your own kitchen or one in which fresh, real, live food is valued. Processed food is heavy in additives, light in nutrients and quality. Some of it is just plain dead. Your body can’t use it for nourishment and has to use energy to get it out of you.
With a little discipline and patience, you can heal or considerably improve long-standing digestive problems which are at the root of poor health. Here are 15 inexpensive things you can do to get you well on your way to digestive bliss, no matter what your current state of health.
1. If constipation is the norm for you, drink a large glass of warm water with one teaspoon to one tablespoon of fiber first thing in the morning. Use a fiber supplement based on fruits and vegetables.
2. Drink purified water throughout the day.
3. Drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a little warm water before each meal, or add it to salad dressings or vegetables.
4. Avoid sugar, white flour products, excess meat, food with chemical additives, fast food, caffeine in any form, fried foods, oranges and their juice, alcohol, and foods that can upset your stomach, such as spicy ones. Once your digestion is healthy again, you can occasionally indulge.
5. Eat a fresh room-temperature salad every day. However, this is not a good idea if you tend toward diarrhea. In that case, steamed vegetables and broths will be better for you.
6. Each morning, drink a warm glass of water with the juice of ½ an organic lemon.
7. Eat a bit of sauerkraut with every meal to create healthy gut flora. Once your digestion is healthy again, eat it regularly. You can also do this by supplementing your diet with a high quality probiotic.
8. Eat room temperature or slightly warm food, and avoid cold foods and drinks. Cold products cause your stomach to work harder to digest your food.
9. Eat homemade broths and stocks made from meat, chicken, or fish to gain their healing properties. These have been used by traditional cultures for centuries. Gelatin - which occurs naturally from simmering bones and cartilage - is a powerful aid for digestion.
10. If constipated, snack on a few raw walnuts that have been soaked in water for several hours. Soaking nuts helps you digest them better.
11. Drink fennel, ginger, peppermint, or chamomile tea instead of coffee or sodas.
12. Do an intestinal cleanse, preferably guided by a natural health practitioner. Follow up with a cleanse every year in the springtime.
13. Get tested for parasites and Candida so you can begin to eliminate vitality-sapping parasites and fungus.
14. Supplement your diet with digestive enzymes which can assist your body detoxify and absorb nutrients. You can also eat more pineapple and papaya, both of which contain helpful digestive enzymes.
15. Sit down for meals. Eat slowly in a comforting environment with your attention on your meal, not on the computer or television, and especially not on the news. Rest for a moment after you eat.