As a lifelong sufferer of constipation (this is when I first realized it was a problem) I’ve tried many things to get things moving regularly. I’m so glad I felt adventurous in 2010 and decided to try colon hydrotherapy and met a therapist that changed my view on food and what I put in my body, and what does a healthy digestion really look like.
Here’s my top 6 tips for better digestion:
I can’t tell you enough how important movement is for aiding regular detoxification. Great ways are rebounding or anything where you get things bouncing, like jogging, dancing, walking, aerobics, elliptical and so on. I had a mini trampoline in New Jersey that unfortunately did not make it to the moving truck when we did our cross-country move. Yoga also has many poses that specifically target digestion.
I start my day with 25 oz of room temperature water while still in bed. During the night your body works hard to repair and restore causing dehydration. Therefore when morning rolls in, your body is in need of plenty of hydration. Caffeine dehydrates you even more, so make sure you have lots of pure water before having your first cup of coffee or caffeinated tea. Even better if you can throw in that green smoothie before, to protect your from the effects of caffeine. After those 25 ounces of water I make another big cup of warm lemon water with cinnamon, turmeric and black pepper. And then after all that, I have either green tea or Yerba Mate. Always have water easily available at your work desk or with you in your purse.
3. Flax/Chia seeds
My colon hydrotherapist recommended I have 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds about 30 mins after dinner with lots of water to get additional fiber. I’ve also added chia seeds mixed with water to my daily regime to even further help clean the colon.
Yes, it might bore me to death to chew properly, but it’s vital for proper digestion. You should chew the food ’til liquid, or at least start with 20 chews before swallowing. People tend to chew just 6-9 times so getting up to 20 is a huge improvement. You’ll also notice you won’t get bloated or tired when your energy isn’t used to digest. Take deep breath between bites, look at your food, put the fork/spoon down in between and be fully present (try not to watch TV or flip through your Instagram feed).
If you’re eating a standard diet of many processed foods your gut flora is probably not sufficient. It is important to balance the gut with proper amounts of beneficial bacteria and this is where good quality probiotics are helpful. I switch supplements after I’m finished with each bottle to make sure I get wide variety of bacteria introduced to my gut. I also enjoy raw probiotic-rich sauerkraut or kimchi with every lunch/dinner.
6. Fennel seeds
You may have seen toasted fennel seeds being offered at an Indian restaurants after meal instead of mints and this is because they freshen the breath AND help you digest your food. They’re often mixed with anise and/or sesame, cardamon, flax and poppy seeds and taste quite yummy too.
BONUS TIP 1: If things are really backed up try this tea. It is not to be used daily, only therapeutically until you feel relief.