Digestion: How well does your body use and assimilate the foods you eat?
The best diet in the world will not produce adequate results if your digestive system is dysfunctional!
By ‘dysfunctional’ – I mean you do not have sufficient stomach acid levels (HCL)
This is a topic that is commonly overlooked. But it can be a crucial part of the jigsaw puzzle that is the quest for a better body and a stronger version of you!
When you study under the Poliquin strength institute, you are taught strictly to never prescribe supplements to potential clients until you know their stomach acid levels first. This is truly brilliant because you may well “know” the correct supplements to enhance a clients results, but if their body is unable to absorb the nutrients provided by the supplements, then sadly, results are hard to come by!
So by addressing the issue of stomach acid first, you are preventing the wastage of the clients money and you are saving yourself from hours spent ‘head scratching’ trying to figure out the reason for the absence of results!
So let’s ensure all the lovely new meat, vegetables and fruits you’ve just stocked your fridge with provide you with their numerous benefits!
Some cost effective, simple and brilliant lifestyle habits that guarantee your increased protein intake and anti-oxidant rich foods get used optimally:
This is a daily habit that I’m only just starting to truly implement into my own lifestyle. The benefits of starting your day with lemon water are just too good to be missed!
Drinking lemon water on an empty stomach alkalises your body and creates a better environment for when you take your first bite of the day! Which will increase your body’s uptake of the nutrients from the foods you eat over the course of the day.
How to do it?
The trick here is to ensure your lemon water is consumed at lukewarm temperature. Warmer liquids digest superiorly to cold liquid. Upon waking up, boil your kettle and squeeze half a fresh lemon into a cup of hot water. Leave it to sit for 20 minutes or so (go for a quick shower) come back and your magic lemon juice is all nice and ready to drink!
It is that easy!
The complete opposite of anti-biotics – which kill all the bacteria in your stomach. Probiotics boost bacteria in the stomach (GOOD BACTERIA) bacteria that is critical for optimal nutrient absorption!
Probiotics come in many forms, many dairy products contain probiotic bacteria. However it’s worth considering that “low-fat” dairy products contain much less available probiotic bacteria than their full fat, original state counterparts.
Greek Yoghurt is also a tremendous source of probiotics. However, similar to the dairy scenario, you want to opt for fuller fat varieties to reap maximal benefits from the available probiotics. Also, be sure that the Greek yoghurt you purchase contains “Bio-active cultures” – it’s these that are the health boosting gut bacteria!
Probiotic supplements provide the strongest doses of digestion aiding bacteria. Using a quality probiotic supplement can seriously enhance fat loss and muscle building because it guarantees all the quality protein and detoxing foods are used by your body!
How to do it?
Use full fat dairy varieties (if you aren’t intolerant), consume Greek yoghurt regularly (again, opt for full fat variants as these aren’t chemically enhanced and are in a natural state)
Supplement with a high quality probiotic, ideally use a stronger probiotic if your stomach acid levels are drastically low.
When using probiotics, make sure you consume them AFTER your main meal! If you consume them before, then all the lovely new bacteria that you’ve just lined your stomach with via the probiotics will get obliterated when you eat your meal as your stomach produces acid to digest the soluble food!
Use your chosen probiotic method and always use them after your meals.
Good old fashioned vegetables! Can you ever really eat enough?
Just increasing your vegetable intake alone will do wonders for your digestive system. Not to mention the mammoth health benefits that will accompany vegetables! Greater blood vitamin levels, appetite suppression (great for weight-loss).
Green veggies are very high in fiber – fiber is essential for optimal digestion. The average modern day person doesn’t get close to even the general recommendations for daily fiber intake!
A recommendation that is very modest in my opinion. If you suffer from constipation, increasing your dietary fiber will enhance the function of your bowels. Healthy bowel movements are a product of healthy digestion!
How to do it?
It’s very simple, green veggies are extremely affordable and extremely easy to cook. Simply add a serving or cupful of vegetables to every meal! This habit alone will guarantee you’re ingesting far more fiber than the average person!
If you’re pressed for time, then the juicing and shake route could be for you. There are hundreds of juicing recipes out there, just toss a bunch of veggies such as spinach, kale or celery into your blender along with some almond milk (for example) and there you have it……….a nutrient rich drink on the go!
There really is no excuse for not getting this one right.
There are an absolute endless list of herbal tea varieties in existence. Drinking herbal teas between meals can aid digestion wonderfully.
Peppermint, Ginger, Cinnamon and nettle are just some examples of the vast array of options out there in regards to herbal teas. You can buy many of these teas in already produced teabags from many major superstores. You can even buy the tea leaves themselves and brew them up with hot water yourself for a home made touch!
Many of these teas have individual benefits, peppermint is a well renowned digestive aid, ginger is a mood enhancer and is also good for nausea and vomiting. Cinnamon can be very effective for menstrual relief and blood sugar regulation.
How to do it?
Stock up on a variety of herbal teas and experiment with all types of flavours. They are cheap and caffeine free, so you can drink these to your heart’s content. In conjunction, you will be naturally consuming more water by including herbal teas between meals, increased water is a massive health MUST!
As you can see, these tips are incredibly practical and easy to implement right now.
One KEY point to mention is: Always CHEW your food properly!
In today’s modern world where it’s all about more more more, we’re often found guilty of trying to do so much in limited spaces of time, eating is no exception!
We rush down our late dinner because we’ve had a hectic day, not realising our dinner has only had 2-3 chews per mouthful (MAX) – this is a one way ticket to indigestion!
Take a little longer, enjoy your food and make sure you thoroughly chew every mouthful (15…..even as much as 40 times!) has been shown to rapidly improve digestion rates.
Healthy digestion = nutrient uptake increase = improved health = improved life = improved happiness!
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.