1️⃣ Chew your food
Seems easy...but you might be shocked at how many of us do not actually do it! As noted in the "D = Digestive Tract" from my Nutrition Alphabet segment, how you consume food affects how it's digested. Though often overlooked, eating meals slowly and chewing food thoroughly in a low-stress environment helps in two ways:
- breaking down the foods: simply put, more chewed up food is smaller and easier for enzymes to grab and pick through - especially the carbohydrates that later activate other enzymes before moving onto the next stage in digestion.
- stress = inflammation: a low-stress environment soothes potentially inflamed areas along the walls and tubes of your GI-tract, allowing a more steady passage of food through the organs.
2️⃣ Hydrate - I'm not just talkin' water!
- Transporting nutrients throughout the body. Your organs (aka all the players in churning up your grub) need cell-food - like hormones, proteins, enzymes, and nutrients! Your blood plasma (which is made of 90% water) is like the FedEx sorter quickly needing to ship orders to all these needy organs. So, the more water and electrolytes = more delivery trucks/trains/planes.
- The mucus lining on the walls of the gut and intestine is made of 95% water (source)! This mucus lining eases the movement of food along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, preventing severe physical discomfort when digesting food.
Electrolytes, like potassium and sodium, are key players in controlling the doors of every single cell - i.e.: what gets let into cells and what needs to be pushed out of cells. This is extremely important for managing blood pressure. I wholeheartedly recommend testing out an electrolyte supplement with your diet! I have been using Dr. Price's Electrolyte Mix ($22.80 on amazon) every morning in a glass of water and love it! OR try whipping up your own, with these recipes!
3️⃣ Walk Post Meal
Of course we know walking improves cardiovascular health and stress...but taking a stroll after eating also get the digestive gears turning in the right direction. Essentially, the act of walking movement can activate the muscles necessary for digestion (source) - speeding up the food breakdown process.
While you're here...check out some of these refined-sugar free, healthy, easy-peasy recipes
Cookie Batter Baked Oats
2. Cinnamon Roll, For One
3. Cookies 'N Banana Protein Muffins