5 Tips For Better Digestion & Less Bloat
If your digestion is not functioning optimally, you’ll suffer discomforts and imbalances in the gut.
This internal chaos can not only manifest as indigestion and bloating, but also cause fatigue, weight gain, skin disorders and more.
The main causes of digestive problems and bloating are usually related to:
- Eating to excess or eating too fast;
- Eating when not hungry;
- Loading up on inflammatory foods (processed sugar, refined wheat and grains, foods fried in hydrogenated oils, preservatives and chemically laden packaged foods);
- Mixing processed carbohydrates and fats together;
- Consuming heavy foods at night.
Here are 5 key tips that can help you feel lighter after meal time, causing less stress on your digestive system, less bloat and fewer health problems over time...
1. Only Eat When Hungry
The engrained “3 square meals a day” format is actually not ideal and not how humans are designed to eat.
The problem with this routine is that before your body has had enough time to process its previous meal, it is being overwhelmed with a new batch of food to digest.
For thousands of years, humans would go for many hours within each 24 hour period without food, and dietary related disease was almost non-existent as a result.
The longer you can wait between meals, the more you give your body a chance to cleanse, detoxify, heal and perform at its best.
Learn more in Intermittent Fasting - Health Benefits & How To’s
Often hunger is not actually a sign from your body of a need for food, but the result of dehydration, so it’s always a good idea to drink some water first before eating.
If you really can't go without food for several hours during the day, try to break it up with options that are light and easy and that will energise you (rather than weigh you down) like a smoothies, soups, dips or salads, instead of three heavy meals.
2. Chew Your Food Slowly
Eating too much too quickly is a surefire way to bring on indigestion and bloating!
There are digestive enzymes in your saliva that are activated more effectively when you chew your food completely before swallowing.
Take your time when eating, take smaller bites, let your food settle and stop when you're satisfied.
Do this and you'll gradually become accustomed to eating less at meal time, which in turn will reduce bloating and digestive problems.
3. Drink More Water
By drinking water consistently throughout the day, you’ll feel less hungry.
The first sign of appetite is usually "thirst" not "hunger" and this is amplified when you're dehydrated.
By staying hydrated, you'll dull your appetite and flush out your digestive system.
Drink water when you rise and throughout the day in between meals. You should aim to drink at least 2 litres per day overall, more if you're physically active.
Ensure that you drink clean filtered water, natural spring water or distilled water (remineralised by setting it in a glass bottle in the sun for 30 minutes, before refrigeration).
You can also add a pinch of nature-made salt to help ignite digestive processes.
Learn more in Water: Nature’s Best & Why It’s Critical To Life
4. Eat More Greens and Plant-Based Foods
Eating more organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs is essential if you want to improve digestion and avoid bloating.
These foods satiate your body and appetite because of their nutrient density and ability to be absorbed rapidly by your cells.
Start meal time with a small handful of leafy greens (or salad) with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and you'll find that you'll eat less when the main meal arrives.
Additionally, these plant whole foods, are renowned as digestive aids:
- Anise (Aniseed)
- Black Pepper
- Cilantro (Coriander Leaf)
- Ginger Root
- Green Peas
- Juniper Berries
The more plant foods and fibres you can add to your diet, the more satisfied you'll feel, and in turn you'll ultimately consume fewer calories.
Some good high-fibre choices that will also help clear your digestive system and reduce bloating when it arises are:
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Psyllium Husk
These seeds are the three key ingredients in our Get Things Moving Daily Fibre Blend which is an easy and no fuss way to boost your fibre intake on days when you need a helping hand.
Add some “probiotic” rich foods into the mix also to help promote “good” bacteria in your digestive tract.
This is essential to ensure a healthy digestive system, less bloat and less sickness.
Some good choices are:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Yoghurt & Cheese
- Cultured Vegetables & Pickles
Learn more in Probiotics: Health Benefits & 7 Powerful Food Sources
5. Eat More “Good” Fats
Along with eating more whole foods, probiotics and plant-fibres, increasing your consumption of plant-derived “healthy fats” is a great way to keep you satiated and energised throughout the day and less hungry at night.
Some great sources include:
If bloating or digestive problems are a real issue for you, try keeping your evening meal as light as possible by choosing soups, salads and nut milk smoothies most nights of the week.
One final tip, one of the best remedies out there for relieving digestive problems and bloating quickly, is dōTERRA's Digest Zen pure essential oil blend. It's a proprietary blend of pure ginger root, peppermint, caraway, fennel, anise and coriander seed and tarragon essential oils.
By regularly following these tips you can approach meal time feeling empowered, knowing that you’ll be nourished and not weighed down or causing damage to your health.
Tolman Self Care.