Prevention is always better than cure. Prevention starts with taking full responsibility for your personal health. Investing regular effort in the maintenance of a healthy digestive system is a leap forward towards your optimal health.
– An excessive amount of food, as well as food that is too hot, too cold, too spicy, tinned, frozen or too processed should be avoided as it places strain on the digestive system and creates irritation. What is the normal amount of food then? As a general rule, it is best to eat at a meal no more than the amount which would fill your two hands cupped together.
– Chewing good properly, ideally 30-50 times per bite, is very important for proper digestion. If the food is not macerated in the mouth adequately, the salivary enzymes cannot be utilised fully. Therefore the stomach has to compensate for the lack of mechanical and chemical digestion within the mouth, which leads to excessive production of stomach acid, as well as having a corrosive impact on the stomach lining. If poor chewing becomes habitual, it will only be a matter of time before indigestion and a peptic ulcer will form. Proper chewing becomes progressively more important as we grow older, since the body’s ability to secrete digestive enzymes reduces gradually by up to 40% after the age of 45.
– Correct food combining is based on the fact that different foods require a different chemical environment for optimal digestion. Protein, for example, needs an acid environment, whereas starch needs a more alkaline environment. When eaten together, the enzymes required for each tend to cancel one another out, resulting in poor digestion of both proteins and starches. This lowers general vitality and creates flatulence. Protein based food and carbohydrate based food should be eaten separately! Considering an average meal, be it milk with cereal or potato with meat, is based on incorrect food combining, it is no wonder that indigestion is so widely spread in the western world.
– Fruit (particularly melon) is best eaten alone, but ideally wait an hour after meals. Fruit is easily digested, but can ferment in the stomach if eaten straight after the meal. Sweet fruit like bananas, coconut, dried fruits and gifs may be eaten with foods requiring a similar digestive environment such as carbohydrates. Acidic fruits such as grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, pickled olives, pineapple, strawberries and tomatoes may be eaten with a small amount of proteins, since they don’t ferment and require a similar digestive environment.
– Chose fruits and vegetables in season. This means that your exposure to the chemicals, which are used to delay ripening and prolonging shelf life, will be decreased. Equally, the best food for you is the food that grows in your environment. The food from different continents and climates may look more appealing, but it is not necessarily compatible with your own micro eco system.
– Drinking during meals as well as within half an hour a meal, should be avoided. Extra fluids dilute the enzymes, and enzymes work best when given an appropriate concentration.
– Avoid drinking tap water, as it is polluted and therefore unhealthy. Drink only purified water that has been filtered vigorously. Bear in mind that buying bottled water or using simply carbon based filtration is usually not good enough.
– The body clock is regulated by daylight. If you want to be in tune with this naturally in-built human biorhythm, the last meal of the day should be taken ideally before 8pm. At night the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system takes over from the sympathetic nervous system that is more active during the daytime. The sympathetic nervous system is needed for action, the parasympathetic for a more passive state of rest and replenishment of the body and mind. A late evening meal imposes a big challenge to a dormant digestive system. As a result the entire body/mind will become more alert and inappropriately hyperactive too, often causing indigestion, insomnia, palpitations and other disturbances that are the direct result of prolonged faulty eating habits.
– Skipping meals is a dangerous habit to get into since you are more likely to be short-tempered and aggressive, as the body uses ‘the stress-response mechanism’ which is based on the production of adrenaline to maintain the correct level of blood sugar. Bu eating small amounts often you will ensure that your digestion is most favourably supported.
– Drinking Peppermint, Chamomile or Fennel tea in between meals gently support the digestion.
– Mild clockwise rubbing of the abdomen after each meal will not only boost the natural bowel movement, but it will also restore a fine energetic network there.
– One of the major points for harmonising the digestive system is located four finger breadths below each kneecap, and one finger breadth outside the protruding edge of the tibia. While palpating for the sensitivity there you can activate the point by simply applying a gentle pressure. Repeat the massage as often as it takes to clear up the sensitivity.
– Most people with the headless chicken lifestyle and consequent indigestion would benefit from a hot water bottle on the stomach and on the back after a meal.
– Last, but not least, are good manners. Eating should be an enjoyable ceremony. There is far more in it than just good old fashion manners. Eat only when you are in a calm, relaxed state. Good food and serious conversation do not mix. Focusing the mind, olfactory and visual attention on the food provides the best inner environment for optimal functioning of the digestive system. It promotes the secretion of appropriate quality and concentration of digestive juices, which are needed for that particular meal.