Before we begin to search to find a cure for our ailment, the first thing to bring to your awareness would be your diet. This is especially true when considering factors involved in an unhealthy digestive tract. An over consumption of refined carbohydrates and processed foods leave the digestive system in a weakened state. These foods are not only difficult to digest but they provide lifeless energy. Choosing a diet of whole foods, or foods that have not been processed is the best choice to make when considering a diet change. Whole foods (especially organic foods) contain the highest amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. There are many poor eating habits that can be contributing factors to an unhealthy digestive tract. Here are a few tips to help this natural process run smoothly:
· Eat your meals slowly, chewing each bite numerous times before taking the next.
· Keep it simple; do not have too many things on your plate. The more complex the meal the harder the digestive enzymes have to work.
· Eliminate drinking fluids while eating. Digestion starts in the mouth, liquids will wash away the critical enzymes needed to start the process. Any other time of the day drink plenty of water.
· Eat foods that are easy for you to digest, know your body. Keeping track of the foods you eat and how your body responds to them is an important step when finding the culprit.
· Consume smaller portions; too much food at one time is difficult for the body to digest. Warm foods are often much easier on the system, the body does not have to regulate the temperature as much before the digestion begins.
· Have an appropriate amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat at each meal. They all work together to provide the body with energy and nutrients, when proportions are off the body does not work as efficiently as possible.
· Exercising the body and the mind regularly keeps the muscles toned (inside and out). Movement of energy in the body keeps tension away. Yoga and mediation are excellent options for relieving stress physically and emotionally.
· Stress and tension are contributing factors to an unhealthy digestive tract. Our systems all function together and our emotional state has a huge impact on our digestive health. If we choose to satisfy the urge to consume bad foods we are only inviting more stress into our lives and our bodies. Choose your foods wisely and you will see and feel the benefits.
Some indications of an unhealthy digestive tract are:
Abnormal bowel function (constipation or diarrhea)
Gas, bloating or uncomfortable fullness
Poor skin condition
Body odor/Bad breath
Looking at the functions of the body holistically allows us to take charge of our health. Knowing that we can fix most problems with our diet alone is hopefully something we can all come to truly believe. Preventative maintenance (eating healthy), journaling, cooking, and elimination diets are a few things we can do to unravel the problem in the system. Allopathic medicine (conventional medicine) does not always work well, especially with digestive issues. Some have strong side effects and may provide quick relief of symptoms but can cause a weakness or dependence in the system that could later contribute to more serious diseases. Learn to understand your body and it will give you feedback; then all you have to do is listen!