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10 Tips for Optimal Digestion

  1. Chew your food thoroughly: the first stage of digestion begins in your mouth with chewing. Enzymes released in your mouth are not present later in the digestive tract. It is important to start the break down of food in the mouth.
  2. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day: it is crucial that your body is well hydrated to aid digestion in the gastrointestinal tract. Caffeinated or alcoholic beverages don’t count, as they actually dehydrate the body.
  3. Do not consume iced liquids or ice cold foods: they cause digestion to slow down, and lower the temperature of the digestive tract affecting enzyme function.
  4. Eat in a calm environment: when you’re stressed, digestion is one of the first systems to shut down. Take a couple of deep breaths before eating when stressed.
  5. Keep up your exercise: exercise increased the metabolism and gets the circulation moving. Going for a short walk after lunch and dinner is a great way to ensure things are moving well, and it’s a great stress reliever too!
  6. Eat only until you are full: your stomach can handle what you can hold in your two hands cupped together, so try not to eat more than this at one sitting. It takes about 20 minutes for the message of fullness from your stomach to reach your brain, so eat slowly and wait a few minutes before having a second helping!
  7. Eat your veggies: raw vegetables contain enzymes, which aid in the digestion of other foods.       Eating a salad containing bitter greens at the start of dinner can give you a head start on breaking down the protein you eat later.
  8. Watch food combinations: certain foods become more difficult to digest when paired with certain other foods. Some difficult to digest combinations include legumes and meat, fruit and protein, different types of animal proteins (e.g. seafood and beef, chicken and pork), citrus fruit and grains.
  9. Only eat when you’re hungry: hunger stimulates the production of digestive juices that are necessary to break down the food. Wait until a meal is out of your stomach (1-2 hours depending on the complexity of the meal) before eating more.
  10. Keep digestive enzyme supplements handy: whenever you can’t avoid rich foods, eating too much or your digestive system is under stress, supplements can help to compensate by providing extra digestive enzymes and other substances to help digest the food.



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