Living on the go? Does my busy life really impact my digestion? Yes! Digestion is a complicated process that involves many different organs in the gastrointestinal tract to absorb nutrients and water from food.
Digestion is a complicated process that involves many different organs in the gastrointestinal tract to absorb nutrients and water from food. Although it takes many different systems, none of those organs can function without the signals our body sends while in rest and digest, or the parasympathetic nervous system.
This is the fancy way of saying are you running away from a sabertooth tiger (sympathetic) or relaxed and ready to eat the next meal (parasympathetic). With stress, distractions and routines many of us fall into daily, it is uncommon to achieve the proper parasympathetic tone to digest. Here are some tips to help.
Set the State for Eating
Digestion starts before food even enters the mouth. Sitting, smelling the food and making time for a moment of thanks before eating are all parts of optimizing digestion. Set aside time to put away cell phones, unplug from email and sit down for intentional eating. Smelling the aromas and saying thanks before a meal releases saliva from the mouth and increases the stomach’s acid levels, all important functions to breakdown fats, proteins and carbohydrates from food.
Chew, Chew, Chew!
This isn’t just a PSA from your mother (hi mom!) but also very important if trying to digest like a champion. Chewing prevents choking on larger pieces of food, but it also helps to break down food into its smallest pieces before entering the stomach. Stomach acid helps to further break down food, especially proteins, into their smallest units. It also signals the pancreas the gallbladder to release enzymes to absorb those small units.
Tips for Busy Bodies
Living on the go? Does my busy life really impact my digestion? Yes! Consider finding time during the week to meal prep lunch, breakfast or dinner to save time during busy days. Leave your desk during lunch. Yes, you! It is important to take 15 minutes away from working and set aside time to eat. Consider prepping breakfast the night before with meals like over-night oats, Baked egg dishes or protein rich smoothies. Crock pots can excellent, inexpensive tools to create meals for the week. If still feel stuck, please ask!