A healthy digestive system is essential as it affects every single cell in our bodies. Think of it as the hub where important nutrients are absorbed, transferring waste from the blood stream into the bowels, ridding the body of toxins. Improving our digestion will help boost energy levels, improve quality of sleep and increase overall happiness as a result!
Through the winter months a lot of us tend to indulge in some comfort eating, while exercising less regularly or for shorter periods of time. The effect of this on our digestive system can be detrimental if continued over a long period. Spring is the perfect time to jump start your digestion and revitalise your body with fresh produce and some exercise outdoors while enjoying the warmer weather.
There are many ways to help you get your digestive system back on track – here’s a few to get you started!
Start your morning with a glass of warm lemon water. The lemon juice flushes out toxins and gives your liver a gentle kick start, stimulating digestion and hydrating you after sleep. All you need to do is squeeze 1/4 -1/2 a lemon into a glass and fill it with boiled water (which has been cooled but still warm).
Chewing is the first and one of the most important mechanisms of digestion that is often forgotten. By multiplying the surface area of food particles, chewing exposes huge surface areas of food to your saliva which is the first step in achieving smooth, efficient digestion. So eat slowly and chew thoroughly (at least 20 chews per bite). This will not only aid in digestion but will also help to naturally decrease calorie consumption.
Regular exercise is another important ingredient that helps to keep food moving through the digestive system. Taking a brisk walk after a meal is not only enjoyable, especially now that the weather is getting warmer and daylight savings is here, but also helps food move through your system quicker. Yoga is another great form of exercise to aid in proper digestion with its low impact exercises. The key really is to just move!
From the moment you take a bite of your food your body begins the process of digestion. This process is made a lot easier if you feed your body food in its natural state rather than the processed variety. It’s typical for processed foods to be high in refined salt, sugar and processed oils, which are difficult for your body to break down and digest. Ensure you are getting enough fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, proteins and grains to keep your digestion moving along optimally.
Smoothies are a great way to consume more fruits and vegetables and simultaneously consume plenty of dietary fibre to ensure excellent digestion.
Here’s a recipe for a Vanilla Mint Smoothie to help boost your digestion and energy:
Ingredients: Vanilla Layer
½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Ingredients: Mint Layer
½ frozen banana
1 ½ cups fresh spinach
15 fresh mint leaves
½ cup coconut milk