Gas, bloating, distention, overly full after a meal,
belching, and/or acid-reflux…. Not fun. A lot of my
patients have major gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction
which requires in-depth intervention. In many cases,
however, my patients find MAJOR relief by simply
adopting a few principles of what I call Eating Hygiene.
I will share here some key tips – I hope you use them to
get rid of your own GI frustrations. Don’t be
fooled by how simple these ideas seem at first; they are
Slow down: Yes, we know it is easier said than done –
but digestion takes time and digestive secretions
need time to be fully secreted. If you eat your meal in a
hurry you won’t allow for enough time for optimal
digestion, this on its own can create indigestion
because there’s simply not enough room and when it
“spills over”, you belch and burp and may have reflux.
Chew! Believe it or not, on average we chew a bite of
food only about 6 times before we swallow.
Chewing is the only part of digestion that is voluntary –
that we can control. The less we chew our food, the
harder our GI tract has to work – this can lead
to post meal fatigue. Ideally the more liquid our food is
before swallowing the less gas we have and more post-
meal energy we can sustain.
Don’t drink too much during meals.
Yes, we need to stay hydrated – the best
time for this is between meals or at least
20 minutes before meals. When you
consume large amounts of water during
a meal, you dilute the acidity of your
stomach acid and slow digestion.
These are indeed simple therapeutic solutions! But don’t
underestimate how powerful they can be,
it just has to be a priority in order to see Big Change and
long-term relief. One final key solution is to sit down and
prioritize eating without multitasking or eating “on-the-go”.
This habit will help promote and allow your nervous system
to be in a “rest and digest” mode which helps us build
strength, energy and ensures the time is truly “set aside” to
care for yourself via mindful eating.