When it comes to improving digestion, it’s not only about what you eat, but HOW you eat. In this article I’m going to teach you how to optimize your digestion to beat you’re bloating belly. Take the bloating belly quiz to see how much you already know about digestion.
The Bloating Belly Quiz
Question number #1. Where does digestion begin?
If you answered C Your mouth… you are correct! Your mouth contains digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats and is where the first step in the digestion process begins.
Question #2. How many minutes does it take for your stomach to communicate to your brain that you’re full?
1. 5-10 minutes
2. 10-20 minutes
3. 2-3 minutes
The answer is B 10-20 minutes! During this time, receptors inform the brain that your body is receiving nutrients by sending specific hormone signals. If you eat too fast these hormones don’t have enough time to properly communicate to your brain that you’re full which could lead to eating to much. Overeating is a leading cause of a bloated stomach.
Question #3 True or False…. your stomach can shrink and stretch?
The answer is both. If you consistently overeat your stomach will slightly stretch which throws off your hunger and full hormone signaling. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that obese patients were able to reduce the size of their stomachs by 27 percent in a four week period by simply eating less. If your stomach is stretched from eating too much, shrink it back to its natural size by simply reducing your portion sizes.
Question #4 What are the substances called that help break down food in our bodies during the digestion process?
The answer is A enzymes. Enzymes are the catalysts that help break down our food. Our bodies produce digestive enzymes and the food we consume contains enzymes that work in synergy to help the digestive process. In some cases due to the over consumption of processed foods and unhealthy lifestyle habits such as consuming too much alcohol or from being overly exposed to antibiotics, our bodies may lack necessary digestive enzymes. Not having enough or the right digestive enzymes can be a cause of stomach bloating. It you have trouble digesting food, it’s very beneficial to supplement with a good digestive enzyme.
As you now know, digestion begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva start the breakdown of food. But in our fast-paced 21st century world most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths let alone how fast we’re eating it.
We eat while distracted—working, reading, talking and watching television—and tend to swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times when we should be chewing at least 20-30 times. Not chewing food enough, is a leading cause of a bloated stomach along with eating the wrong foods and not have digestive enzymes to break down food. Not chewing enough is a major reason so many people have digestive problems today.
Eating food in states of stress, while distracted, or when on the go negatively affects how well food is digested. Not properly chewing food and eating in a stressful state, while distracted with other tasks, or when on the go could be the cause of your unwanted bloating, indigestion, or acid reflux.
I guarantee by simply chewing your food 20-30 times with each bite when in a calm present state, you’ll experience a huge improvement in your digestion and overall health.
Here are the top 4 reasons to start chewing your food more:
#1 Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. So, the more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets.
#2 Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, which allows our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food. More chewing also produces more endorphin’s, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.
# 3 Chewing your food is also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full. Just simply chewing food 20-30 times before swallowing can promote increased circulation, enhanced immunity, increased energy and endurance, as well as improve skin health and even help stabilize weight.
#4 Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating… the smells, flavors and textures. It also helps us to give thanks, and show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control around food and eating.
The power of chewing is so great, that there are stories of concentration camp survivors who, when others could not, made it through with very little food by chewing their meager rations up to 300 times per bite of food. For most of us 300 chews is a daunting and unrealistic goal. However, you can experience the benefits of chewing simply by increasing to 30 chews per bite.
Another cause of stomach bloating is toxicity. If you’re experiencing digestive discomfort such as constipation or bloating chances are it’s time to do a detox. Detoxing can help remove and clear out toxins, help your body fight disease and can reset your digestive system to put an end of belly bloat. Detoxing is also a great way to jump into a healthier lifestyle and lose unwanted pounds fast.
Sadly the need to detox our bodies has never been more important because of the toxic build up from the food we consume, water we drink and air we breathe has never been greater. Over the days, weeks, months and years toxins lodge and accumulate in our body tissues especially in the liver and fatty tissue which can cause poor digestion, weight gain, low energy and even an increase in the risk of developing diseases such as cancer.
Get my free 1-day detox to jump start your digestive system, increase energy, boost the immune system, accelerate weight loss, and create vibrant glowing skin
This week’s “Healthy in 21 Challenge” is to commit to eating without distractions. This means turning your phones on silent or leaving them in another room, eating at the table instead of the T.V, and eating in a calm relaxed present state rather than a chaotic stressful environment.
Also try completing the free 1-day-detox to reset your digestion to beat belly bloat.
This week’s challenge may be a little difficult but I know you can do it. Take note of any changes you feel as you practice eating in presence and chewing your food. Give this week’s challenge a try and I promise you’ll not only notice a improvement in your digestion but feel much more calm, focused, energized, happy and peaceful.
Please leave a comment or question or share your experience with this week’s challenge.
Until next week live passionately on purpose!
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Thanks for your support and sharing the gift of health with others 🙂