It takes Guts!
Digestive complaints are one of the most common issues in my clinic. Many people have lived with these issues for a long time and are amazed and delighted by the difference our work together can have – no more embarrasing noises, changing their outfit to suit their “pregnant” stomach and planning trips around access to a toilet.
There are many different interventions I use in clinic but here are a couple of simple top tips:
Use your senses. Our digestion starts when we see and smell foods –this is called the cephalic phase, you are literally letting your gut know food is coming! There are enzymes in your saliva that start break down your food before it evens reaches your stomach – so taking time to think, prepare and truly see our food is an important part of the process to support this. Avoid eating on the go, take time to sit, allow a few breaths in and out and take a moment to look at our plate and express appreciation for the food – a simple “doesn’t this look great” or grateful thought to oneself is also a wonderful support to digestion.
Chew your food. The stomach does not have teeth! Poor chewing can affect the degree to which we digest and absorb our nutrients, food can take longer to digest and that can cause it to “ferment” with symptoms of fullness, bloating and wind. Ideally, we want to aim to chew our food so that it is unrecognisable if we were to spit it out just before swallowing (not a good party trick folks).
Seek Support. As we age our levels of digestive enzymes and stomach acid can drop. We need optimum levels of stomach acid to properly digest our food, kill bacteria and aid full absorption; and the fast-paced busy world, medications and Western diet sets us up beautifully for gut issues. A simple hot water and lemon or splash of Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother) is a gentle digestive aid before meals but many of us benefit from more specific, tailored dietary changes and lifestyle interventions.
We are not just what we eat – we are what we eat-digest-absorb and eliminate and if any of those pathways is askew we may find ourselves in pain, discomfort, exhausted and not leading our optimum life.
Pam Clark is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach dedicated to supporting people to live their life well.
Are you ready to take action on your health? Why not book your complementary 30minute consultation with Pam today?