No matter how many good foods you eat, supplements you take or work outs you do if your digestive system is not working well it’s going to be very hard to achieve your health goal.
Being stressed or in a constant state of urgency negatively affects our digestion.
When we’re in a stressed state our Sympathetic Nervous System is switched on. You may know this as our fight & flight state. During this state blood is drawn to our extremities to enable us to run from danger. Our heart rate increases & blood pressure rises. At the same time blood is drawn away from our non vital organs , such as our digestive & reproductive systems. Stress literally shuts down our digestive system.
In order to digest our food we need to have our Parasympathetic Nervous System, also known as digest & repair state, switched on.
There are a number of simple changes you can make that will have a big impact on your digestive health.
Below are my meal-time tips that will have your digestive system humming:
1. Sit down to eat! Digestion won’t get switched on if you’re on the move.
2. Eat in a relaxed environment. Set a nice table. Use your favourite place mats, or your good plates. I know when my dining table is covered with homework books, my papers and piles of washing and I quickly shove these all aside to make way for dinner it is NOT relaxing.
3. Breath! A quick way to switch on your rest and digest system is deep breathing. Sit down and take a few deep breaths. Maybe this is where grace was useful in past generations. Everyone sat & took a moment to be thankful before diving in.
4. Leave the arguments and fights for after dinner. No surer way than to argue with your teenager about his late nights & messy room to get you back in the fight and flight state.
5. Chew don’t inhale food. The more chewing you do the easier it is on your digestive system. Eating too quickly can lead to bloating, stomach pain, heartburn and wind. The ideal number of chews is 30 per mouthful & your food should be the consistency of baby food. Easier said than done. Have a go!
6. Enjoy the beauty of food. This is a big one for me. I love the presentation of food. It can simply be how you place the food on the plate, or the plate you use, or the wedge of lemon or sprig of coriander you add to a dish. Have fun with it, take a moment to appreciate the beauty in the food. And who doesn’t love the oohs & ahhs as you put a dish on the table. I have a house full of males and surprisingly even they appreciate the small touches.
You’ll find below a Chia Pudding recipe that is beautifully nourishing for your digestive system.
Chia seeds are high in protein, Omega 3s, calcium and fibre. It is the combination of fibre and healthy fat that balances our blood sugar levels and curbs sugar cravings.
The high fibre content in chia seeds also helps you feel fuller for longer making it perfect in a weight loss program. Also helps to keep us regular 🙂
I really enjoy this breakfast recipe as it’s quick and easy and keeps me energised and satisfied until lunchtime.
Thank you for sharing my healthy love of food.
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Chia Berry Pudding
1 cup coconut or almond milk (recommend Pure Harvest – Coles & Woolies) ½ cup berries (fresh or frozen) ¼ cup chia seeds
Garnish options: cacao nibs, goji berries, berries, coconut flakes, coconut yoghurt or kefir.
Add berries and coconut/almond milk to blender and blitz.
Stir through chia seeds until well combined.
Pour into small jars or ramekins.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Top with garnish of choice.