Whether you suffer from gas, bloating or constipation, these tips will help you optimize your digestion to feel (and look) your best!
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#1 – Drink a lot of water!
I recommend this for many reasons, and a big one is digestion. Water is detoxifying and flushes our bodies clean of all the bad crap we don’t want. The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. If you weigh 128 pounds, then you should drink at least 64 ounces, or 8 cups of water per day. Ideally, your water is filtered or spring water and isn’t coming out of plastic. There is one exception to the water rule: don’t drink during meals. It messes with your digestion. If you’re someone who’s used to drinking a lot during meals, this may take some getting used to. Small sips are fine.
#2 – Eat loads of plant foods because FIBER
I’m sure you’ve heard of fiber, and you probably know it helps you, well, go. Fiber can be found in many foods, including leafy greens, grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Try to have a bunch of different plant foods in your diet at every meal, especially leafy greens. Leafy greens are earth magic. I even found a way to incorporate them into one of my favorite breakfasts (my spinach overnight oats).
#3 – Rest and digest
Give your body 12 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day. Food can take up to 8 hours to digest. This leaves 4 hours for detoxification (which is also great for aging – yay!). For example, if you finish dinner at 7pm, try not to eat breakfast the next day until at least 7am, or later.
#4 – Move your body
Any movement you love is good movement, but if you mix in some yoga, all the better. Many of the poses help with digestion and detoxification, especially twisting poses. (I have a free movement class for digestion, found here.)
#5 – Call in the big guns: probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive Aids
Probiotics offer up good bacteria, and since 70% of our immune system depends on our gut health, we want to have a lot of those good guys in there. Take a probiotic, or find them in cultured or fermented foods like yogurt. My favorite fermented foods are tempeh, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and my homemade coconut yogurt. We also want to feed our good bacteria so they can thrive and fight the bad guys. This is where prebiotics come in. Many probiotics also contain prebiotics (both of mine do: Sakara and Dr. Ohhira), but many fiber-full foods do as well. Some favorites of mine are onions, garlic, leeks and oats. Finally, there are many digestive aids, such as digestive enzymes (I like Rainbow Light) and foods such as fennel and ginger, which help move things along.
I hope you find these tips helpful and easy to add into your every day. Digestive issues can be annoying and embarrassing, but they’re fixable! Let me know which ones you try and how they worked for you!