Digestion: how to feel lighter and brighter
There’s nothing like digestive problems to really get in the way of your day.
Luckily, most gastric embarrassments are simply that – embarrassing – and are in fact easy to relieve, and to avoid.
Heaviness, nausea, acid, spasms, acid reflux and bloating
The reasons why our systems sometimes have digestive trouble are many and varied. Our digestive system is complex, and includes not just the organs of the alimentary canal, but the salivary glands, the liver, and the pancreas too, as well as certain hormones. It doesn’t take much - a “lazy” organ, a few overly rich meals, or an imbalance in the intestinal flora – to throw everything out of whack! Spare your stomach by taking a closer look at your eating habits.
Is stress the culprit?
Rule number one: avoid eating to excess and limit greasy foods (which cause spasms) and irritants like very hot drinks, spices, coffee, alcohol and tobacco. Take time to eat the proverbial 3 square meals a day, without snacking. And when you eat, chew your food properly to aid digestion. Eating on the go is bad for your digestive system, as are fatigue, anxiety and stress.
“I can’t stomach it,” “I’ve got a gut feeling,” “I’m having trouble digesting the information”; these familiar expressions reveal the close link between our emotions and our digestive system.
As it is controlled by our nervous system, it is directly affected by stress. A good night’s sleep, some exercise, and plenty of water (6 to 8 glasses a day) and the return to a balanced lifestyle will often reduce, or stop any intestinal troubles.
If the symptoms are persistent or chronic, you should consult your doctor, because they may indicate a certain intolerance (lactose, gluten, etc.) or something more serious.
Get your stomach in shape before the “trials” of the party season
- Eat balanced meals of fresh foods and vegetables, and avoid fasting
- Get a good night’s sleep
- If you’re a smoker, cut down, as tobacco encourages acid reflux
- Avoid tight clothes that hinder digestion
- Drink lots of water, eat slowly and chew thoroughly – you’ll give yourself time to feel full!