Last week we introduced the idea of better health through promoting a healthy digestive tract. In both early Western and Chinese medicine the GI track has been a large focus of treatment. Although most people don’t think about their gut until the situation is way beyond “normal”, low level chronic conditions like indigestion or constipation all point to the possibility of a more serious condition down the road.
After reading last weeks post, we now know that digestion doesn’t just happen in the stomach. Although the digestive juices in the stomach play an important roll your mouth is where it all begins. Which brings us to tip number one:
In the busi-ness of modern day society, we are all looking for that “quick fix” or “Miracle Pill”, if you will, not realizing the long term effect it has on our GI tract. But if you want to optimize your digestion, being mindful of what you put in your mouth is the first step toward creating better overall health.1. Digestion begins in the mouth so chew slowly and thoroughly. Enzymes are vital for digestion. The saliva that’s created as you chew contains enzymes that are catalysts for chemically converting foods to nutrients. By thoroughly mixing salivary enzymes with food you start the digestive process before the food ever even gets in your stomach. Consequently, it is important to restrict the amount of fluid consumed at meals so that the enzyme solution is maintained at an optimal strength. Further, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as well as Ayurveda, the digestive power is compromised by drinking cold drinks with meals. If you are going to drink anything at all it is best to have sips of warm water or tea.
Stay tuned for tip #2, coming next week…