It is very important. If your digestion system is failing you then every process afterwards can also be affected. It is said, “digestive disorders are the principal cause underlying common symptoms”.
Some common symptoms are heartburn, belching, abdominal pain, gas, and stool abnormalities such as constipation and diarrhea. Problems of the digestive system will lead to malnutrition and may affect several important organs and their functions such as the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas.
Where to start…..CHEW! So simple, and yet so over looked. How many of us sit at our work desks and shovel down food for lunch? Take 15-30 minutes, leave your desk and take time to mindfully enjoy what you have prepared yourself for lunch. Yes, I snuck in that “prepared yourself" part too.
Low hydrochloric acid (HCl) can lead to an underactive stomach, and is one of the most common problems people encounter. An underactive stomach does not produce enough enzymes for the proper digestion of food. The enzyme responsible for the breakdown of protein is called Pepsin and it is only activated in the presence of HCl.
These easy to follow tips will improve your digestion and absorption of nutrients:
1. 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar, mixed with water, first thing in the morning 20 minutes prior to eating will help increase HCl levels and prepare for digestion
2. Eating smaller meals more often, and thoroughly chew food
3. Avoid or limit concentrated protein foods such as red meat and dairy
4. Avoid or limit convenience foods, fast foods, alcohol
5. Drinking too much with meals, especially cold drinks will shut down the digestive process. Take small sips of room temperature water, with lemon for cleansing, or drink lemon water between meals.
6. Mixing sugars with protein and fats causes fermentation and leads to gas and bloating.
7. Eating in a rush, or when stressed is not good. Relax and take time to eat meals and snacks.
8. Avoid certain food combinations such as protein and carbohydrates, or fruit right after meals. See
9. Food combining chart.
FOOD COMBINING CHART:
High Starch and Non-Starch:
High Protein and Non-Starch Vegetables:
Healthy Oils and All types of Vegetables:
High Starch and Healthy Oils:
High Protein and High Starch
High Protein and Fruit
High Starch and Fruit
Fruit: Best eaten alone or on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before meals or other food. Don’t eat for 3 hours after other meals.
Fats/Oils: Plant and fish oils rich in PUFA’s are essential to good health. Best sources being ocean fish, flax, pumpkin, sesame, safflower and sunflower oils and their seeds. Any of these combined with vegetables. High starches are okay with the oils in sauces.
Non-Starch Vegetables: Artichoke, asparagus, bell peppers, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, cucumber, dandelion, eggplant, garlic, green beans, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onion, parsley, radishes, radicchio, spinach, sprouts, squash, turnip, watercress, zucchini.
Notes: The larger majority of your diet (50%-60%) should be high water content, fresh fruit and vegetables, as these provide body building nutrients and quick energy and enough water, fiber and alkaline mineral salts to assist the body in cleansing and detoxification. The remaining portion of the diet (40%) should be comprised of the concentrated foods: seeds, grains, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, ocean fish, drug-free poultry, live cultured dairy and lean red meats (if you decide you would like to include these in your diet).