Indigestion after a deliciously decadent meal can definitely ruin the mood of a perfect lunch or dinner extravaganza. If you’re still looking to enjoy your food, minus the stomach gurgling and heartburn, then check out these quick and easy ways to improve digestion. Hopefully these tips will help you avoid those tummy troubles in the future.
Chew, Chew, Chew Your Food
Perhaps the quickest and easiest solution to improve digestion would be to eat and chew food slowly. Not only will you limit the amount of air you unconsciously swallow when eating fast (which sometimes causes indigestion), you will enjoy and savor your food better. Chewing food slowly also breaks food down into finer particles, and increases the amount of saliva produced in the mouth, which are both good for helping digestion. Need a couple more reasons to chew properly? Then check out 7 Important Reasons To Properly Chew Your Food.
Know Your Food Allergies
If your body is allergic to a food you ate, it will definitely cause indigestion. Those who are allergic to gluten, or are lactose intolerant, can agree to this. Hence, be sure to know what foods you are allergic to and minimize their intake. Since food allergies can develop later in life, it is normal that the ice cream you once enjoyed as a child can cause you tummy grief in your adult life.
Avoid Harsh Foods
Ever had the runs or a noisy stomach after getting that rare Indian food fix? Highly acidic foods, or harsh foods, can be rough on your stomach. Extremely spicy foods, alcohol, dark roast coffee, and greasy fried foods can be irritating to the digestive tract. If you must have that cup of coffee, be sure to drink it with lots of milk to offset some acidity. Heck, you should opt for a non-dairy creamer while you’re at it.
Chew Gum After Meals
Similar to the idea of chewing food slowly, chewing gum after meals can help stimulate saliva production to enhance the digestive process. Also, having something to constantly chew in your mouth can help ward off excess food intake at buffets, and give your digestive system a break as it works to break down your already-eaten food. For more reasons on why you should chew gum, read The Surprising Health Benefits Of Chewing Gum.
It is universally known that excess stress can wreak havoc on the body, and the problems it can cause for the digestive tract is no exception. Individuals constantly under enormous amounts of stress experience higher rates of serious indigestion, diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation than those who are not as stressed. In the long run, digestive problems and conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or stomach ulcers, can form due to excessive stress. Hence, when you are pulling all-nighters for that deadline or exam, be sure to at least take some de-stressing actions, such as stretching or small naps; your gut will thank you at the next meal.
Exercising can help stimulate the digestive tract, increase metabolism, and help the body digest food smoothly. If your stomach feels bloated and uncomfortable after a large meal, try walking it off around the block. You do not need to become a fitness guru to improve digestion; even if it means taking leisurely walks for 30 minutes every day regularly can help prevent constipation and bloating associated with indigestion in the long run.
Avoid Lying Down After Eating
While that post-meal nap sounds tempting, don’t take the bait! Research shows that lying down after eating can cause indigestion because your body wants to relax while your stomach is working to try and digest all the food consumed. If you feel tired, take a nice stroll after a meal to stay awake and promote digestion, or just sit in an upright position if tired.
Watch The Painkillers
For those who think over-the-counter aspirin, ibuprofen, or NSAIDS are the solution to every boo-boo, you may want to think twice. Studies have shown that too much of those anti-inflammatory drugs can cause ulceration in the stomach and cause gastric reflux and damage the esophagus. Be sure to consult your doctor on how to take these medications safely to prevent problems related to digestion.
Don't Wear Tight Clothes While Eating
For those who think wearing Spanx during dinner will help you eat less, you are wrong! Tight clothing can actually push against the stomach and increase heartburn risks. It is fine to wear a belt as a semi-berrier to limit how much you should eat, but completely restricting the stomach during a meal is a no-no!
Incorporate Fibrous Foods Slowly
While high-fiber foods are good for digestive health, it should be slowly incorporated to the diet of a person who previously had a low-fiber diet. Too fast and too much fiber at once can lead to digestive problems as the body is not used to processing so much fiber all at once. Be sure to take it slow, and drink lots of water as you increase fiber intake.
Now that you know the ways to help improve digestion, be sure to incorporate them into your eating habits to pave the road for a healthier lifestyle.