The root cause of each symptom varies; however, each is a telltale sign that you have digestive dysfunction, aka, an unhealthy gut. Now do not fret as this will make things worse.
The most common cause of the majority of these issues is low stomach acid, also known as hypochlorhydria. Stomach acid is a vitally important digestive juice that can be easily affected by unhealthy lifestyle practices such as antacid drug use, excess sugar, highly processed foods, chronic overeating, constant snacking between meals, excess alcohol consumption, or nutrient deficiencies, just to name a few.
Let's go back to the good news! There are many things you can do in terms of lifestyle changes to help support your digestive system but the top 3 are EASY and FREE. (Who does not love easy and free?!
Digestion is a north to south process. It starts in your brain with the sight and smell of food and ends with the elimination of that food in the form of…well, you know, enough said on this topic.
Step 2, chew your food. This sounds so simple but aim to chew 20-30 times per bite, or until your food is in a liquid state. Many people find it helpful to put their fork down in between bites to avoid eating too quickly. As you eat, savor the taste, smell, texture, and colors of your food. Remember, your mouth is the physical gateway to the digestive system. The mechanical and chemical breakdown of food starts here, so when we hasten this step it greatly affects the rest of the digestive process. Chewing ineffectively or too quickly allows large particles of food to enter your stomach and intestines, potentially causing digestive dysfunction. Chewing your food thoroughly allows you to absorb more nutrients from your food, helps you maintain a healthy weight, allows for easier digestion, and leads to fewer digestive issues like gas and bloating.
Step 3, increase stomach acid. Hydrochloric acid promotes digestion and the absorption of many vital nutrients. Unfortunately, with the prevalence of the Standard American Diet (SAD) and poorly managed stress, this critical digestive component is often negatively affected. Incorporating digestive bitters, raw apple cider vinegar, or even lemon in warm water before a meal will help prepare the digestive tract for digestion and encourage the production of digestive juices and enzymes. Additionally, following the two steps before this will set the stage for the production of stomach acid.
Whether you’re experiencing one, two, or all eight of the symptoms listed above, following these steps will provide a solid foundation for a healthy gut and well-functioning digestive system.
I do hope you find this useful and believe me, if you feel better by using these tips you will be on board with the exciting world of gut health. Bell well.
-Melissa Ford Cox / Nutritionist
courtesy of https://laughingsquid.com/the-gastrointestinal-system-represented-as-a-subway-map/
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