Top Ways to Improve Your Digestion

diagram of digestive system in body

When most people think of ways to improve digestion, they always consider what to eat or what supplements to implement into their diet. I’m going to focus mainly on non-dietary ways to improve digestion. Stress is always related to digestion problems because your body handles disagreeable foods much better when you are calm. These are methods that I found very useful in my own case.

My Story with Digestion

A couple of years ago I struggled with IBS at times and it really affected my mood. As many of you know, it’s really difficult to be uplifting and positive if your stomach is bloated and very gaseous.

I tried different foods to help eliminate bloating. I eliminated sugar, I eliminated anything carbonated, and I stopped eating raw vegetables and fruits. It didn’t work. Everyone seems to have a different story about what worked for them and they all have different beliefs about what caused the problem in the first place. This was really frustrating. Nobody seems to have a clear answer even though many claim they have the remedy.

I wanted to try and help others with some of these issues after learning more about the subject so I signed up for health coach training. There was a little method in the training they briefly suggested called “5-5-7” breathing. They didn’t invent this technique since breathing techniques have been around for thousands of years within yogic methodology and other traditions.

I can tell you that whenever I start feeling any kind of indigestion, I simply do a few 5-5-7 breaths(5 second inhale, hold for 5 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds) and my stomach almost immediately responds. I’ve had many stomach pains just disappear after doing this deep breathing a few times and relaxing my inner self.

Why does it work so well?

Did you know that your digestion stops whenever you are stressed? You produce cortisol and your digestive activities actually stop because your body is preparing for fight/flight whenever stress is turned on. Knowing this, it makes sense that if you can tell your body to calm down and not stress, your digestion actually turns on.

The problem is that most people do not know how to relax. One of the easiest ways to calm down your body and let it know that you aren’t stressed is to breathe deeply. It’s really that simple. Relax and digest well. The yogis thousands of years ago knew this secret and they were teaching it.

If you are running around in a rush, worried, or employing any other kind of stress, you are actually telling your body “don’t digest anything right now”. This is the autonomic nervous system at work. It is prehistoric and related to your physical survival. Are you habitually worried or rushed and then wondering why you have stomach or digestion problems? Look around at lunch time and you will see many people rushing while they eat and not chewing well. This is a clear message to your body that you don’t have time for digestion right now!

The Inner Creates the Outer

Stop fiddling around with the outer material world looking for your solution. Realize deeply that outer follows your inner condition. Create a peaceful inside, and your body will respond. Most people have it backwards and spend their whole life trying to organize the outer world so they can feel better inside. It doesn’t work. It never has. It never will.

Are you trying to accumulate? Are you re-arranging your life all the time with a new partner, clothes, houses, or other outer “things”? Sometimes these are difficult questions to face, but they can reveal the root of your problem.

Foods Do Matter

Yes, food matters. You have to realize which foods irritate your body. Celery juice on an empty stomach aids in repairing your gut and it is one food you can try adding. Find out which ones cause bloating and eliminate them, but this is only a part of the equation. The majority of your digestion problems are related to stress and inner turmoil. Work on that and your digestion will respond beautifully.

In addition, as you become more peaceful through meditation and prayer, your intuition will be clearer and you will more easily understand which foods are causing you any problems. Remember, the inner creates the outer. Always. Don’t get it backwards.

What is a Real Diet?

Croissant with chocolate in middle.

Why do Diets Fail 98% of the Time?

The vast majority of diets fail because they are based on deprivation. Why would anyone want to stay with a diet that is depriving you of joy? Psychologically, the whole concept is doomed to fail. Why would you want to deprive yourself? Are you a glutton for punishment? If you consciously believe that you want to follow a certain diet, your inner self at the same time feels deprived and eventually is going to sabotage the whole experiment. Does it now make sense why 98% of diets fail?

Become Flexible with Your Diet

You need to become flexible and follow a diet that is right for you. As you grow older, your tastes and body chemistry changes. Knowing this, you can adapt to your optimum foods. Bananas used to be a fruit that I avoided. They just didn’t taste great to me. Now, I eat them regularly because I am much more aware of my body and I feel an energy boost every time I eat a banana as a snack. In addition, it helps that I’ve read about the multitude of micronutrients in bananas. They taste better than ever and my body always responds positively to them. They rest easy on my stomach, which is a key sign for me that a food is optimum for my unique chemistry.
These preferences can change over time. You may need more iron when you get older and find yourself enjoying a little more broccoli than in the past. Go with it. Accept your body’s needs at the time. When was the last time a doctor told you to listen to your body and find out what foods are ideal for you?

Your Body is the Ultimate Dietary Authority

Your body is an authority and can guide you to the ultimate diet. You have to become aware of what foods are ideal for you. You have to pay attention to what is going on right now inside of your body. How does your stomach feel? How is your energy level after you at that food? These are simple points of awareness the vast majority of people do not hold. By coming into greater awareness of the machinations and feelings within your body, you can start to follow the lead of your ideal foods.

You will quickly discover which foods give you a positive boost and which foods sit in your stomach like a brick, make your skin itch, or drain you of energy. You don’t need an expert to guide you to a perfect diet. Your expert lies within. Follow its guidance. Listen in meditation. Listen to your higher self by feeling what is right for you. Everyone’s body chemistry is different. How could there possibly be a mass consumed diet that fits everyone’s needs? It’s a crazy proposal.

Your Body is Striving To Give You Optimum Health

I can tell you that chocolate usually tastes really good, but my skin always itches a little after eating it. My body is giving me a clear signal that it doesn’t like chocolate. My body inflames and itches. Most people wouldn’t even notice this small itch. If you become aware of your inner workings, you can become of these signals.

Do you believe that your body is your friend or your enemy? Many people hate their body because it looks overweight or doesn’t do what they want at the time. What if you understood that your body is striving right now to protect you and give you the best life possible? From now on, can you see your body as a friend that is trying to help you? Did you know that your body knows how to heal itself? It just needs your cooperation. Start treating it well by paying attention to the foods you are eating and how your body responds to it.

I noticed a few years ago that every time I drank a green smoothie with spinach, kale, blueberries, and unsweetened almond milk that I got an energy boost. I’ve been drinking about one per day for years now. It never fails to give me a boost. It never feels tough on my stomach. Also, my skin glows when I consume a lot of greens. For me, they are the optimum food for my body.

My body actually starts to heal itself of light eczema when I eat lots of fruits and vegetables while eliminating sugar. It just needs a little cooperation and its read to go to work for my health. This is a wonderful mindset to adopt while aligning yourself with the truth. Don’t be at war with your body. Send it love and understanding. Listen to its needs. It wants to be healthy. It wants to give you the best. This is a wonderful way to live while producing an optimum level of health.

A real diet is a diet that is optimum for you. Yes, many foods may have a nearly universal appeal in the body’s functioning such as greens and certain foods, but everyone is built a little different. Avocados may be excellent for you, but produce a stomachache in someone else. There is no one-size-fits all diet. That is a scam. Don’t fall for it. Just become more comfortable listening to your higher self and your body’s signals. They are there. They are ready to support you.

Basics of Good Nutrition

fresh vegetables on table.

Diets are simply a shell game with macronutrients. You must understand it’s just a mix of changing the timing, amount, and kind of macronutrients. This is a big reason that diets don’t work. Why does deprivation or restriction not work? It is because your body goes into survival mode during food restriction and starts preserving fat. That is exactly what you do not want! When you diet, you are losing fat burning muscle.

We want to develop a way of eating that is satisfying and healthy. We don’t focus on deprivation like diets recommend. Instead, we focus on abundance. We eat abundant foods and nutrients and feel incredible. It is a matter of behavior change achieved through baby steps.

The bottom line to remember: neglecting the transformation of your consciousness, which always gets reflected in your outer world including the body, is the foremost concern when achieving any kind of long term change.

Always remember, vegetables have the highest nutrient density. How can you consume massive amounts of vegetables to benefit yourself? What about blending large amounts into a smoothie with some fruit for taste like I do? Trust me, it is life changing.

There are 6 main nutrients you need to absorb. Here are the basics of nutrition regarding these nutrients:

Macronutrients

You need a lot of macronutrients because they provide energy. Have you ever noticed that rush of energy after you eat a bowl of pasta? What other kinds of macronutrients have you noticed give you a boost of energy? For me, I always notice a boost of energy shortly after I eat a nice salad or beans.

Macronutrients are made up of these three:

Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are organic compounds that contain single, double, or multiple sugar units. Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly and they are usually sweets. Complex carbohydrates get this name because they have a complex chemical structure and they take a while to get broken down. Fiber cannot be digested and does not have calories so it just moves through the digestive tract and gets expelled. All of these carbohydrates get broken down into sucrose, which is the main source of your energy.

Fats – Fats do not dissolve in water. Saturated fat consists of meats like red meat and poultry. Polyunsaturated fat consisting of Omega 3s come from meats such as fish. Trans fat is not good for the body and partial hydrogenation creates them. Whenever you see partially hydrogenated fats on a label or description, try to stay away from that food source(if you want to call it food).

Proteins – Proteins are made up of amino acids.

Micronutrients

You only need trace amounts of micronutrients. These help metabolize nutrients into energy. I consider them worker bees that maximize the potential and output of the foods you are consuming.

Micronutrients are made up of these three:

Water – Everyone has heard about drinking eight glasses of water per day. Is it true for you? Are you conscious of how you feel when you drink plenty of water compared to when you are dehydrated? It’s amazing the vast majority of the population walks around dehydrated and doesn’t even know the contrast of feeling proper hydration. This simple lifestyle change would save hundreds of millions in healthcare costs related to preventable illness.

Vitamins – Take that multiple vitamin per day. Better yet, just start eating 80% fruits and vegetables every day and you will most likely be getting your proper dosage of vitamins. Personally, a green smoothie is my magic tonic.

Minerals – A lot of these are found in those fruits and vegetables I mentioned earlier.

In closing, remember the difference between micronutrients and macronutrients. Diets focus on scarcity and that does not work in the long run. We are all a little different in body chemistry. Avocados may provide a huge source of energy for you, but I may not feel much after eating one. As with most things in life, become more aware of what is going on right now in your body. How does your stomach feel twenty minutes after eating that salad? How is your energy level? Is it higher or lower? Over time, this kind of awareness will produce the perfect way of eating for you.