We Know It’s Hard To Digest, But Could These Reasons Be Behind Your Gut Problems?

Let’s face it; nothing quite beats the satisfaction of putting your knife and fork down after a decent meal. Until, of course, your gut starts spinning faster than the drum on your wishing machine, and you get cramps to boot. 

These symptoms and more (including bloating, heartburn, constipation, etc., if you were wondering), are sure signs that something isn’t quite right with your digestion. Unchecked, these issues can escalate to create significant discomfort after meals, and may even lead to an inability to sleep, and a flatulence problem (both ends!) that quite literally sends every other member of your household running. 

Obviously, seeking medical advice is the best first step to overcoming this, as conditions including irritable bowel and even haemorrhoids can directly impact digestive capabilities. In the vast majority of instances, though, poor digestion tends to be a result of far simpler dietary complications. Here, we consider the main culprits and how you can overcome them to stay happier and healthier for many years to come. 

# 1 – Eating on the go

Grab-and-go eating can often feel like a prerequisite of modern lifestyles, with many of us eating at least one meal on the go each day. Unfortunately, this can cause significant digestive distress considering that, just like you on a night out, digestive systems like to be wined and dined to stay happy. 

Digestion particularly relies on what’s known as the ‘rest and digest’ functioning of the parasympathetic system. This means that it’s only when you’re at rest that your body will stimulate the digestion that you need to stay comfortable and feel the benefits of what you eat. By comparison, the ‘fight or flight’ sympathetic nervous system that kicks in when you’re in a crowded environment, driving, or are just busy doing other things, suppresses digestion, both preventing you from getting the nutrients you need, and also creating the knock-on digestive effect that you’re feeling.

Mindful eating is the only viable way to work around this and requires that wherever you are, you sit down and truly concentrate on your meals. Ideally, of course, you should aim to eat at a table whenever possible, but even if not, practices such as directing your full attention to what you’re eating can make a huge difference to healthy digestion at last.

# 2 – Failing to give your gut the tools that it needs

Deprived digestion is never going to be good digestion, meaning that you also need to make sure you’re giving your gut the tools that it needs to do its job properly. At a basic level, inefficiencies can especially stem back to a lack of vitamins or nutrients that your digestion requires to efficiently do its thing. B vitamins and magnesium, in particular, can both help the body to digest protein. 

Equally, foods famed for their gut-health benefits, such as high-fiber legumes, fermented foods like yogurt, and even collagen-rich foods like salmon can all make a huge difference in this sense and are especially improvements on high-sugar carbs that do direct digestive damage. Taking vitamin supplements to encourage healthy digestive functioning, and even turning to weight loss drops that actively seek to improve digestion can also make a huge difference to gut health overall. Simply take a little time to think about what your digestive system might be missing right now, and make sure you’re filling that hole for marked improvements moving forward.

# 3 – Not chewing enough

Interestingly, digestive issues can also come back to simple issues such as the fact that you aren’t chewing enough, even when you eat the right things. Offshoots of digestive problems including indigestion and heartburn are especially likely in this instance given that digestive enzymes can significantly struggle to break down large pieces of food. 

Experts state that overcoming this requires you to ideally chew each mouthful of food at least 32 times (or 40 for difficult foods like steak, etc.) before swallowing. While this number could be reduced to just 15 for softer foods like watermelon, it’s thought that chewing food until food is so broken down that it loses texture can make a huge difference to how well enzymes can process those nutrients. So, at the very least, slowing down and getting chewing could finally break digestive issues down to size. 

Digestion can be tricky to get right, but escalating issues here can cause severe discomfort, and a range of health issues if left unaddressed. So, beat the bloat today by putting these pointers into practice! 

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