10 Steps to Improve Digestion Naturally

antacids makes it worseDo you eat on the run, gulp down a quick meal, then proceed with your day? An hour or two later, an upset stomach, heartburn, bloating or gas become your unwanted companions. Popping antacids as a regular habit only makes matters worse by removing important stomach acids that are meant to help digest foods. Digestion problems result. You can improve digestion naturally with a few simple changes.


Change Poor Eating Habits


1. Give your body a break by chewing food well, and slowly until each mouthful is ground to a pulp. Gulping food down is a sure fire way to indigestion when the body’s own enzymes cannot fully break down the large chunks of food nor fully get the benefits of the nutrients.


2. Make time to eat lunch. Choose wisely. Instead of gulping a pizza or other fast food while driving; stop and eat a proper meal. Digestion starts with a calm demeanor. Either bring a brown bag lunch with a sandwich and some veggies and a piece of fruit from home or choose a healthy choice at a restaurant.


3. When eating in restaurants, avoid food covered in creamy sauces or deep fried fare. Grilled chicken and vegetables, a tuna salad, or even a plain burger with a salad are better alternatives.


4. Don’t stuff yourself. Respect your body’s signals that tell that you’re full. Eating binges are a sure fire way to feel sick and bloated.


5. Notice if you have a private stash of food such as chocolate cookies, chocolate bars, bags of chips or other junk food. Work on eliminating those foods to improve digestion.


6. Try digestive aids such as lactobacillus acidophilus for digestion support. This friendly bacteria is found in yogurt. You can eat plain yogurt at breakfast or at snacks. You can also try taking probiotic capsules (acidophilus) once or twice a day to help the digestion process. These capsules can be found in most pharmacies or health food stores.


7. A digestive enzyme complex taken with food can also help boost digestion. Some digestive aids contain HCl (hydrochloric acid) in their formulas. HCl is naturally found in your stomach to help digest proteins, but through poor diet, or too many antacids, quantities can become too low or missing. HCl also kills many bacteria that get in the stomach with food. DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) is another digestive aid. Studies show that DGL stimulates the natural protective factors in the digestive tract, which can help relieve stomach discomfort quickly.


8. Notice if certain foods cause you digestion problems or get tested for food allergies. Many people have food sensitivities to common foods that can cause poor absorption. Foods such as milk, wheat or eggs can be culprits.


9. Make sure you drink enough water during the day to help digestion (between 6 and 8 glasses daily). Sip slowly at meals but take most water between meals.


10. Are you eating enough fiber in your foods? Fiber foods help keep the bowels moving –  so important to overall health. Some high fiber foods include: raspberries, pears, whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice, bran flakes, oatmeal, Brussels sprouts, split pea soup, green peas, lentils and baked beans.  (Don’t eat them all at once!)


It’s all about being aware, taking time for meals and encouraging healthy digestion by choosing healthier foods and habits to suit your body. Certainly, your health is worth the effort.


For more on health and digestion read Stress Relief Remedies for Over Committed Women