6 easy ways to improve digestion


Alison Cullen
@AVogelUK


26 May 2015

1. Drink up!

Drinking 1½ litres of water a day is a cheap and effective way of improving health and raising energy levels. Try not to drink too much just before, during or after eating, as this will dilute the digestive juices. More than 20 minutes before or after eating is the best bet for effective drinking.

2. Avoid tobacco, coffee, sugar and alcohol

This is particularly important if you are constipated, as they upset the gastric secretions and deaden the response of the bowel when used long term.

Foods that will help include:

  • Short grain brown rice, cooked with lots of water and chewed well
  • Figs, raw or cooked
  • Dates, raw or cooked
  • Prune juice
  • Carrot juice (why not add carrot juice to your favourite smoothie such as this delicious Carrot and Mango Smoothie recipe)

3. Whatever you eat, chew it well

Don’t bolt your food down. If it hardly touches the sides as it goes down, the chances are the digestive system won’t be ready for it and all sorts of mayhem will break out. Try chewing each mouthful 20 times for a while and surprise yourself with how much better your digestive tract feels.

4. Sit down and sit up

Yes, sounds silly; but what I mean is make sure you sit down to eat, rather than rushing to the shops in your lunch break with a snack in your hand, or jumping up all through dinner to fetch things for other people.

So sit down, and make sure that you are sitting up with your shoulders back rather than slumped over your meal, as this makes it easier for the stomach walls to move and mix food up with the digestive enzymes. Cramping up your stomach (which is situated under the ribcage) is a great way of causing indigestion.

Once you’ve finished your meal, give yourself five minutes to start digesting, rather than rushing off at once. This again will make the digestive process more effective and less painful.

5. Exercise regularly

Even if only gently, exercise helps to stimulate muscle activity and assists peristalsis. Yoga is a good idea as it strengthens muscles and increases mobility without being beyond anyone’s ability.

To give your bowel more individual attention, massage gently in a clockwise circle around your belly, going up the right hand side and down the left, gently but firmly. Massaging in lavender oil, using a cream or oil base, is also helpful (and nice for the nose too).

6. Try some bitter herbs

Bitter herbs could be the best thing your gut has ever experienced. A bitter taste on the tongue stimulates the production of digestive enzymes in the stomach, not to mention the correct balance of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid).

If you are producing the right amount of stomach acid then you are more likely to break down your proteins properly and keep bugs such as Helicobacter pylori at bay. The production of stomach enzymes also triggers the rest of the digestive tract into action, so your liver and pancreas will wake up and take notice, meaning better absorption of food, less likelihood of food intolerances, and fewer cravings.

Extracts of bitter herbs such as Centaurium and Yarrow are therefore traditionally recommended for those suffering from acid reflux, acid indigestion and heartburn. Bitters are known to work very quickly. They should be taken before each meal, although they may be taken afterwards if necessary. Take them until your digestion has been working well for several weeks. You can return to them whenever necessary.

Liked what you read? Sign up to receive my regular emails full of simple tips and advice to help you relieve your digestive troubles including IBS, indigestion, bloating and much more.

Join experts Eileen Durward and Ali Cullen in the beautiful A.Vogel garden as they talk all about digestion including their tips on how to improve your digestion and how bitter herbs can make a huge difference to helping your digestive problems.

No Comments

Add your comments

You email address will not be published. All fields are required.


Check input OK
Check input OK

             

Digestisan - Oral drops for indigestion

15ml

£ 4.15

To relieve indigestion and flatulence. Also available in 50ml size. Fresh herb tincture.
More info

What's being asked

I’ve got indigestion and can’t shift it. What do you suggest?

It depends what your symptoms are. Many different things are meant by ‘indigestion’, so it ...
Read more >

I have IBS and was wondering will Tormentil help?

Tormentil helps with diarrhoea, but many people with IBS experience diarrhoea as part of a pattern ...
Read more >

What is the cause of acid reflux and what should I avoid eating

Tea and coffee can be culprits especially if you drink with or immediately after meals. Mixing ...
Read more >

How good is your digestion?

Check the health of your digestive system using our simple test.

Check now

Here’s what I recommend

As the A.Vogel Digestion expert, I recommend Digestisan with extracts of Artichoke and Peppermint, to help support your digestion.

Learn more

Did you know?

According to naturopathic principles, when two or three meals are being eaten daily, the bowel should move at least once or twice a day.

What are healthy bowels?
Free sample of Menopause Support