Restore Digestive Balance with Mindful Practice
For many people, how we eat can be just as important as what we eat. If we are stressed out, in a hurry, or eating too much at the wrong time our “gut brain” gets overwhelmed. This second brain activates signals that cause weight gain, impair digestion and interrupt absorption. These are a few simple habits that can improve the gut-brain connection and restore digestive balance:
1. Eat slowly, Eat mindfully. This is a tough one! Try to eat distraction free- no phone, no TV, no computer. It takes a few minutes for the brain to get the ‘message’ that the stomach is satisfied.
2. Find pleasure in meals. Enjoy the company you are with, create mealtime rituals, and be thankful for the nourishment.
3. Chew your food. Try to chew each mouthful 25 to 50 times. Increased mastication and saliva releases epithelial growth factor, which aids in healing and repair of digestive lining.
4. Choose beautiful, attractive foods. Attempt to appeal to all the senses with nutritious food.
5. Mix it up! Enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, healthy oils and fats.
6. Breathe. Take a few deep breaths before eating to tap into the parasympathetic “gut brain”
7. Get a Water Filter. Eliminate sources of toxins in as many ways as possible, and municipal water is a big one. Try a reverse osmosis, water purifier, or portable carbon filter.
8. Wash your food. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables and peel any that are not going to be cooked- especially those members of the dirty dozen!
9. Wash your hands. ALWAYS before handing food, but also after handing raw fish, meat, or poultry.