Healthy Digestion: The Key to Vibrant Health!
In our previous blog, we discussed “Food as Medicine” and the importance of eating organic food with clean protein sources, lots of colorful vegetables, healthy fats, and low glycemic fruits.
We touched upon the benefits of fermented foods, making your own bone broth and drinking more water as part of a healthy nutritional plan. We also looked at the detrimental role that refined sugars & carbohydrates play in our bodies and the toxic consequences of having chemicals and food additives in our food chain. Applying these concepts will help us live healthier and more active lives.
Today we shall discuss steps you can take to have optimal digestive health. Read on to learn more about Steps for A Healthy Digestion from Old Pueblo Acupuncture.
LET’S EXPLORE WAYS TO ENJOY BETTER DIGESTION!
Chewing: The First Step to Healthy Digestion
Chewing properly allows your stomach to work more efficiently to break down your food faster. The food is broken down from larger particles into smaller particles that are more easily digested for higher nutritional bioavailability. The enzymes in your saliva start to break down your food, making digestion a lot easier for both your stomach and small intestine. Better absorption + better digestion = better health!
Raw versus Cooked Foods
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the digestive system needs to be warmed with properly cooked foods to help with the transportation and transformation of food and fluids into the vital energy (Qi) needed for nutrient absorption. Excessive cold, raw, iced and frozen foods slow this process and can lead to excessive gas, bloating, cramping, and food stagnation.
However, a small amount of raw and fermented foods can provide needed digestive enzymes for the biochemical processes in our digestive tract. It is always important to keep a balance in food preparation, not only in your daily diet but also with seasonal variation based upon availability and climate.
The Human Micro-biome: A Key to Optimal Health.
It’s now quite clear that the type and quantity of micro-organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases. Healthy gut flora is also a critical component for effective digestion.
Probiotics are essential for optimal digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. They also help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals, and aid in the elimination of toxins. Great sources of probiotics are fermented and pickled foods, raw milk yogurt or kefir, Kimchee or a high-quality probiotic capsule
Don’t forget the Fiber!
Fiber refers to the indigestible portion of plant foods and it is often missing in the largely refined standard American diet. There’s no shortage of research showing how fiber may boost your health. Fiber can help decrease numerous digestive symptoms, regulates blood sugar levels, has heart-healthy benefits, and can help with weight management. The very best sources are plant-based such as vegetable, fruit, seed, and nut fibers.
All in all, eating a healthy diet is more about choosing strong, foundational, science-based concepts, and less about strict diets and menus and counting calories.
Vibrant Health always comes back to the simple concept of Vibrant Eating!