Healthy Digestion equals a Happier You
What is Digestion and How Can it Affect Happiness?
Digestion is the process of properly breaking down the foods that you eat. Good digestion equals a happier you because if you aren’t digesting things well, then there’s a good chance that you may be suffering from any or many of the following symptoms:
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Wind/gas (or a case of the farts if you like)
- Pain or discomfort in the abdominal region
Think about proper digestion this way. As humans we need to eat food to survive and the purpose of eating is to put nutrients into our body to keep us looking and feeling our best but to also prevent sickness as much as we can. However, the process of proper digestion needs to be functioning properly so that our digestive organs can do their thing, we can go to the toilet with ease and our bodies get the nutrients they need.
In order to keep our digestive machine’s performing well, we need to be doing the things I’m about to mention daily…
1. Always eat when feeling relaxed:
Eating when you feel tension, stress, anger or any other negative emotion can greatly affect the way our body processes our food. Because there are quite a few organs involved in the digestive process, different emotions can greatly affect how well this process plays out and therefore how healthy we truly are. You have the Stomach, Liver & Gallbladder, Spleen, Small Intestine and large intestine (colon). Each individual organ is greatly affected by emotions.
For example; if you are a big ‘worry wart’ or a very insecure person, this actually could be causing you problems such as constipation, IBS, colitis, spastic colon or other forms of degenerative large intestine diseases. Other digestive organs and their response to negative emotions are:
- Stomach and these emotions (anger/anxiety/frustration/hate/rage or worry) can cause colic, severe headaches,/migraines.
- Liver/Gall and these emotions (anger/envy/irritability/frustration/jealousy or resentment) can cause distension, a bloated or painful tummy and or bloating.
- Spleen and these emotions (anxiety/depression/overthinking or worry) can cause distension and bloating.
- Small Intestine and these emotions (anxiety/depression/overthinking or worry) can cause distension and bloating.
- Large intestine/Colon and these emotions (insecurity/excess worrying) can cause constipation, colitis, IBS, spastic colon or other degenerative digestive diseases.
2. Avoid drinking to much with meals:
It’s important to have a full glass of water 30 minutes before meals and then very little liquid with the actual meal. This is to avoid ‘flooding’ digestion and what I mean when I say that is not to ‘water’ down your body’s natural bile acids, because if you do then the result is poor digestion in most cases. I think this is why the Japanese and Chinese sip on green tea from little cups while they eat because it’s only a small amount of liquid and therefore they’re digestion is better.
3. Add Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to your day:
Apple cider vinegar is excellent for stimulating hydrochloric acid in the stomach (this is what breaks down the food that you eat). ACV (apple cider vinegar) is rich in acetic acid and can help with both indigestion and reflux. It can also help aid the detoxification process (win win). The best way to have ACV is to mix it in a little warm water and straight down the hatch she goes. If you’re new to this it can be a bit unpleasant but in time it just becomes part of your day and when you get into the habit of taking it, you see and feel the health benefits. I personally take a tbsp of ACV with a small glass of warm water and usually in the mornings.
4. Add more fibre to your diet
A healthy gut needs good fibre to be happy so make sure you eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, seeds, nuts and grains (if you’re not on a paleo diet). The body loves roughage and if you drink adequate water throughout the day you should experience better digestion and less constipation. If you don’t drink enough water the stools will become very dry and hard to release when you go to the loo.
5. Avoid powdered fibre with flavouring
I don’t need to mention any names but the powdered fibre I’m talking about that you find in most supermarkets and chemists with an orange or berry flavour are best avoided and this is because they often contain a nasty chemical called ‘aspartame‘. Aspartame is toxic to the body and can lead to all sorts of health conditions, diseases and even death. Aspartame can have the following reactions:
- Anxiety attacks
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Joint pain
- Memory lossSeizures
- Weight gain and more…
It can cause adverse effects such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Birth defects
- Brain tumours/lesions
- CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Hormonal problems
- Lymphoma (cancer)
- Mental retardation
- MS (multiple sclerosis)
- Neuroendocrine disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
6. Avoid watching TV or computer while eating
When eating, if you want to maintain optimum digestion, it’s always best to avoid TV, computers or other types of screens because it is overstimulating and distracting for your body’s digestive process. If you can, try to eat your meal in a more calm setting if at all possible. Ideally, we would all eat outside in the fresh air without any stresses or distractions but sometimes it’s not possible so just do the best you can.
7. Take a good probiotic
By taking a good quality probiotic in either the form of a capsule, powder (or even some protein powders contain helpful probiotics), you are helping your body to replenish good and helpful bacteria (flora) and this absolutely aids in the digestive process.
8. Take whole food supplements
Add whole food supplements to your diet that are good for digestion and good health in general.