Updated: Jan 19
Be your stomach’s ally. Work with it to keep your body healthy and strong. The health of your body depends on how well your stomach can receive and digest your food! Give yourself at least 10 minutes to sit down and be absorbed in the act of eating. This is time for you to tune out the world and nourish yourself. Follow these tips to improve your digestion, reduce stress, and have more energy.
1. Chew your food Your stomach doesn't have teeth. Don't rush this important part of eating. Count how many times you chew each bite, aiming for about 30 times depending on the type of food. Try to make it liquid by the time you swallow it. Your saliva has important enzymes, so even if you're drinking a smoothie, chew it before you swallow.
2. Eat without working, reading, watching, scrolling In Chinese Medicine, the stomach digests not only food but also information. Don’t try to make it do both at the same time. When you are working, work without snacking or eating meals. When you eat, don’t scroll through emails or social media, or read or watch anything. Turn your attention inward and to the present moment instead.
3. Connect with your stomach. Don't overeat or eat too quickly Traditional wisdom says to stop eating when you are 2/3 full, leaving some space for the stomach to churn and mix in its digestive juices. Try turning your attention to the food and to the feeling in your mouth, throat, and stomach. Does your stomach feel relaxed and happy, or tense? Is this the right food for your body, or are you eating it because you think you should? Do you need to take some deep relaxation breaths and relieve tension before you continue eating?
Have the right amount of liquids Think of your stomach as a cooking pot in your body that receives the well-chewed food and mixes it with digestive acids and enzymes. Don't water down the juices too much. Also, choose warm or room temp! You wouldn't add ice water to a boiling pot to keep it cooking.
If you follow these steps and continue to have digestive upset like heartburn, bloating, gas, etc., it's time to make an appointment and dig deeper to find out the root of your issues. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary modification and stress reduction can all help. Nutritional testing is used as needed.