What Does Your Poop Say About Your Health Part 2: Tips to Improve Digestion

In the previous blog post I discussed the basics of proper digestion.  Below you will find tips to resolve gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Remember that the goal is to have one or more bowel movements per day, described as a 3 or 4 according to the Bristol Stool Scale.

  1. Slow down!  Sit down, take a deep breath and hold it for four seconds, then exhale for four seconds.  Repeat 2-4 times before taking your first bite.  This allows your body to relax and go from sympathetic state to parasympathetic state, stimulating adequate digestive enzyme secretion and function.
  2. Chew!  Do not under estimate the power of of simple chewing that stimulates the release of enzymes to help with carbohydrate and fat breakdown.
  3. Relax and enjoy the taste of your food and the company around you or just reflect on the positive moments of the day.
  4. Don’t over eat.  People tend to eat less when they have adequate nutrition.  A colorful plate of nutrient dense, organic veggies, proteins and healthy fats at each meal is a must.
  5. Improve Digestion yogaPeople tend to eat less when they are not stressed. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress impact on the body.
  6. Drink 1-2 table spoons of Braggs or other organic apple cider vinegar before each meal.
  7. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 organic lemons in 250-500ml of water each morning.
  8. Remove common problematic foods:  gluten, dairy, corn, sugar, soy.
  9. Stay hydrated on a regular basis.  The recommendation for water consumption is half you your body weight in ounces of water per day.
  10. Stay away from unhealthy fats contained in fried and processed foods such as fried chicken, french fries, hot dogs, and other products that are manufactured in a plant vs. grown on a plant.
  11. Don’t eat late at night.  Try to eat 2-3 hours prior to bedtime to allow for proper digestion.  If you over burden your liver with sugar regulation during the night, your liver will not be able to help the body detoxify properly during sleep.
  12. Eat your largest meal at lunch-time.
  13. Do some type of daily movement:  running, walking, yoga, pilates, etc.
  14. Eat fermented food such a sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt or kmbucha daily.
  15. Add a professional grade quality probiotic that contains prebiotics(food for the good bacteria to eat).
  16. Avoid artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose(Splenda)
  17. Eat a colorful diet full of a wide variety of colorful foods.
  18. Avoid sugar and sweetened drinks such as soda and juice.

If the above tips do not resolve your digestive concerns, then a food elimination diet, food sensitivity test and stool testing are in order. Look for part three of this blog that will address concerns where testing is necessary to address digestive concerns adequately.