Eating The Right Foods Is Only Half The Story
It is common sense that our diet can affect our digestive health. However, many people only put their focus on what to eat, thinking that eating the right foods means that they’ve done enough for their tummies. The story is of course not that simple. When it comes to improving digestive health, more evidence has emerged suggesting that when you eat may matter more than your food choices. And this raises our awareness of the importance of other eating habit as well, like food variety we should have in our diets, the pace of eating etc.
Just imagine that your stomach is like a blender. To make the blending process easier, we tend to soak the hard ingredients like beans into water to soften them before we put them into the blender. And paying attention to how we eat is exactly like the preparation work we do to facilitate the blending process.
4 Good Eating Habits To Improve Your Digestive Health
1. Give Your Tongue A Wide Range Of Flavours
Overeating can be a big problem and one way to combat this is to make sure you eat a wide range of flavours. By doing this you satisfy the sensitive tastebuds on your tongue. When eating healthy foods, make sure you have different types of vegetables or fruits, meats, and probiotics, this will trick the brain into thinking you’ve had a well varied meal and won’t crave more than you have and result in an overworked digestion.
2. How Often You Eat
It’s often said that eating small meals throughout the day is good for your metabolism but the problem with this is by doing this you aren’t allowing your stomach time to digest the food and rest. Letting your digestion rest is crucial for reducing stress on the overall digestive system. Digestion is very energy-demanding and it needs to rest in between meals to recuperate so by allowing this you are taking the strain off and maintaining an efficient and optimum digestive process overall.
3. Eating Slowly
We were all told as children to not eat so fast but unfortunately some of us have taken the habit into adulthood. Rushing meals is really bad for digestion, can cause us to gain weight through overeating and sometimes doesn’t allow us to fully feel satisfied meaning once the fullness wears off we look for something else to get that extra satisfaction. Make sure you slow down your pace, try to practice mindful eating which encourages you to think about the food, the taste and the textures while you eat. The slower you eat, the more full you will feel – try taking smaller bites or resting your cutlery in between bites and chew thoroughly.
4. Sequencing Your Food
The order in which you eat your food can have an influence on your digestion because some foods take longer than others to get broken down by the process. The foods that take slower to digest should be left until last so that the digestive tract can deal with the food that takes quicker to digest in order to create an efficient and optimum digestive process.
For example, liquids such as juices and water take around 20-30 minutes to digest, soups, fruits, or smoothies around 30-45 minutes, vegetables also around 30-45 minutes, grains and starches around 2-3 hours, while beans, poultry, meat, or fish can take over 3 hours to fully digest. By eating these types of food in the order of fastest to slowest for each meal during the day you are doing your digestion a huge favor.
So what else you should do besides paying attention to how you eat? Ta-dah… it’s all about your habits !