By Dr. Jody Stanislaw
Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life! But how often do you actually think about the fact that the nutrients contained in the food you eat are what become your skin, your lungs, even your heart, and every other part of your body?
And how can you make sure you’re absorbing the valuable nutrients contained in your food? By having great digestion. This means you have an easy and complete bowel movement first thing in the morning, your belly feels comfortable after you eat without any bloating or pressure, and gas is a rare occurrence. So how do you rate?
Digestive complaints are among the most common reasons Americans go to the doctor. Symptoms include constipation (no bowel movement for greater than 24 hours), bloating, gas, indigestion, persistent diarrhea, and/or irritable bowel syndrome. Chronic poor digestion and malabsorption of vital nutrients can contribute to degenerative diseases, compromised immune status, and nutritional deficiencies….not good things to have.
So, how can you improve your digestion? Here are several effective suggestions I give to my patients on a daily basis:
ü Chew! Chew! Chew!….until your food is the consistency of baby food! This makes the nutrients more absorbable. And savor each bite.
ü Take a deep breath before you start your meal and throughout your meal to focus on slowing down and being calm as you eat. If your body is in ‘action’ mode, it doesn’t allow for effective digestion.
ü Eat calmly and without distractions. Same reasoning as above. (Yes, that means turn the TV off. Turn on some nice music instead. 🙂
ü Increase fresh fruits and vegetables These gems from nature contain high amounts of fiber, a key component to assisting your body in removing toxins and ensuring you have easy and regular bowel movements. Eat a few prunes in the morning. Take an apple or fresh cut veggies to work for a snack. Eat more beans and lentils. Eat salads as often as you can. Always include a vegetable at dinnertime. If you would like support in improving your diet, send a note to me at DrJody@DrJodyND.com telling me your top 3 food challenges.
ü Exercise to stay in your optimal weight. The pressure on the digestive system of excess weight can cause that horrible pain of heartburn, which is a result of stomach acid being pushed up into your esophagus….yuk. (This can also be caused by rushing around at meal times and/or continuing to eat once you feel full….= time to put your fork down. Just say no to the ‘clean plate club.’ Listen to the actual needs of your body instead.)
ü Identify if you eat foods that your body cannot digest well. Dairy products and wheat are the biggest culprits. Other common food issues can be found with corn, soy, eggs, nuts, seafood, and/or citrus. Email me at DrJody@DrJodyND.com if you would like to learn more about this test. I can mail one to you if we decide it’s a good fit for you.
ü Increase the healthy bacteria in your gut. ‘Probiotics’ are the healthy bacteria found in your gut which help to maintain intestinal health, and thus optimal digestion. Antibiotics in pill form, or which also can be found in meat and dairy products, kill these important bacteria.
Everything on the above list is actually very simple, but just because a task is ‘simple’ does not always mean it’s easy to carry out. In my practice, I’ve found that what is often more important than the good health advice I prescribe is actually to give my patients the support they need to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Because, if being healthy was easy, everyone would be doing it!
Patients in my LiveWell Lifestyle Program are loving the healthy changes they are easily making as a result of working with me. Poor digestion should be taken seriously.
Less than optimal digestion can contribute to degenerative diseases, compromised immune status, nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, autoimmune disease, and toxic overload from substances that are meant to be kept in the confines of the bowel but yet are reabsorbed.
This makes sense if you think about it for a minute…if the nutrients you eat become the cells of your body, if what is being digested and absorbed is healthy stuff, you will likely have a healthy body.
I work with patients all over the country via phone & Skype. If you would like to enjoy improved health, I can help. I look forward to hearing from you. To your health!
Jody Stanislaw, ND received her doctorate degree from Bastyr University. She treats a wide range of conditions such as digestive disorders, food & seasonal allergies, anxiety/depression, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and more via natural methods. Her LifeWELL Lifestyle program is ideal for anyone who is ready to finally reach their health goals. To contact Dr. Stanislaw, visit www.DrJodyND.com or send an email to DrJody@DrJodyND.com
Dr. Jody is the author of a brand new captivating book called HUNGER, an Adventurous Journey of Finding Peace Within.
Her book offers readers an exhilarating account of the amazing stories she encountered while working at a holistic health spa in Thailand. The many life lessons she shares throughout the book leave readers feeling empowered and inspired.