We all know constipation is a pain in the &$$. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. If we think about it, going to the bathroom is the end of a whole digestive process. Could poor digestion lead to constipation? Let’s talk briefly about how we digest our food.
Before we even take our first bite, looking at and smelling food starts the digestion process. Salivary glands produce saliva which contain enzymes to break down fats and sugars while our teeth break down food mechanically. After we swallow the food and it hits our stomach, enzymes and HCL break down proteins while the stomach churns our food. When the broken down, digested food enters the small intestine it is met with pancreatic enzymes and bile to further digest. The small intestine does most of the absorption of nutrients while the “waste” that’s left gets dumped into the colon for excretion.
This is a very basic overview but shows many of the processes that go into getting nutrients from our food. If any of these processes aren’t working properly, it can cause problems at the finish line. Let’s talk about things we can do to optimize digestion.
Obviously, everyone’s body is different and there are many layers of what could be malfunctioning and causing digestive issues. When you come in for a colonic, we are able to work with you, one on one, to achieve optimal digestion. Here are a few general tips for everyone to better digest your food.
Hydration – Drinking a lot of water right before or during a meal can dilute the enzymes we need to break it down however, staying generally hydrated throughout the day ensures the food in its many stages is the right consistency to freely move through your body.
5 -10 Deep breaths before you eat- This sounds silly but it might be the most important thing you can do. Our body has 2 neurological states, fight or flight and rest and digest. We are all trying to eat on the run, in a hurry or while completing other tasks. When eating in fight or flight mode, our body does not have the energy and resources to achieve digestion, absorption and elimination. Those few deep breaths can bring you back to rest and digest and really start the process off on the right foot
Digestive Bitters- In many cultures it is customary to have digestive bitters of some kind prior to a meal. We tend to avoid bitter flavor in general and its actually quite important to our digestive process. When your taste buds come in contact with bitterness it enhances the secretion of your body’s natural digestive juices. Our favorite is Organic Olivia’s Digestive Juice. I actually carry one with me everywhere I go.
CHEWING – It all begins in the mouth. If we do not properly chew our food, we are setting ourselves up for a hard, digestive road ahead. Taking those deep breaths before eating also gives you a chance to bring your attention to your food and concentrate on truly chewing, tasting and enjoying it. The more present we are during the eating process the more our body draws its attention to it too.