20 Easy Tips to Improve Digestion and Increase Energy
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have more energy and not feel so bloated and blah all the time?
I remember when I was in my first year of Chinese medicine school and working four nights a week at a restaurant. I was not eating well at all, grabbing quick food and way too many muffins!! This made me feel tired, gain twenty pounds, have unclear thinking and generally not feel good about myself. Eventually I got fed up and decided to incorporate the dietary principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine that I was learning in school into my life. I stopped the carbs and ate according to my constitution. I dropped the weight and my energy and mood improved dramatically. I thought I would share these tips with you.
By following these few simple guidelines, you can start to incorporate the dietary principles of Chinese medicine into your life and feel better soon!
One of the most wonderful things about Chinese medicine is that it is based on observation and common sense. Most of these tips you have probably heard before and none are life altering on their own but in combination they can make a huge difference in your digestion, weight, mood and energy.
Print out this list, hang it on your fridge and let me know how you are doing improving your diet and health today!
- Slow down – Chew your food well and eat slowly. Chewing helps the digestive process and reduces bloating, gas, burping and acid reflux
- .Be mindful when eating – don’t watch tv, read, play on your phone or work on your computer while eating. Noticing the texture and colour of your food, how it tastes and smells. This will help you eat less and digest better.
- Eat mostly cooked vegetables, limit the raw– especially in the winter in the northern climates. Cooked foods are easier on the digestive system causing less bloating, gas and diarrhea.
- Drink room temperature water- this helps digestion and eases constipation.
- Do not drink fruit juice, it is much better to eat the fruit instead. Fruit juice is very concentrated and high in sugar. If you must have juice, make it a vegetable juice.
- Eat at least two hours before bed to allow for digestion.
- Do not overeat.
- Reduce dairy- dairy is very hard to digest for many people causing bloating, gas, fatigue, diarrhea or constipation, sinus congestion, weight gain and skin rashes.
- Decrease wheat– many people are sensitive to wheat causing many of the same reactions as above.
- Limit sugars-sugar causes inflammation in the body which may lead to weight gain, elevated blood sugar levels, diabetes and even dementia.
- Avoid storing and reheating foods in plastic as the chemicals found in soft plastics can leech into your food. These chemicals can alter your hormone levels in both males and females and potentially harm fertility. Choose glass containers instead.
- Choose organic foods whenever possible, especially animal proteins. Many non-organic animal proteins are raised with growth hormones and antibiotics which can negatively effect our own health.
- Chew your food don’t drink it. It is much better for your digestion to eat your fruits and vegetables not drink them. Juice is very concentrated and hard to digest and often very high in sugar and low in fibre.
- Listen to your body and what it is trying to tell you, if after eating certain foods, burping, bloating, acid reflux, diarrhea or constipation occur these foods are not digesting well.
- Keep a food diary to record what foods are not being digested well.
- Avoid the North American breakfast of cereals, bagels, muffins which are all very high in sugar and low in nutritional value. Some better alternatives are eggs, soup, healthy dinner leftovers, steel cut oats or congee.
- Limit your coffee to two a day maximum, any more and it is robbing you of energy and may cause anxiety and upset stomach.
- Try to make as much of your own food as possible– avoiding prepackaged foods which contain many preservatives and chemicals
- Have seasonal and local foods when possible- what is available and growing in your area, to get the most nutrients from your food and eating according to the seasons is much easier on your digestive system
- Eat regularly-try not to skip meals and have a few snacks between meals to help ease digestion
By following these few easy tips your digestion, energy levels and mood can improve dramatically. Please let me know how these ideas are working for you.