We spend most of our time eating and digesting. It is therefore important that it is not a difficult job for our body. Everyone has already experienced some symptoms after eating a meal richer than usual or simply with a few meals where the cause of the discomfort is not found. Bloated stomach, stomach pain, nausea, sudden fatigue, are all possible sensations.
Here are some important points to remember at every meal we have:
- Chew your mouthfuls well. It is recommended to chew each bite for about 30 seconds to break the food into small pieces, making it easier for the stomach to digest afterwards. Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, which contains enzymes (amylases) to digest starches (starchy foods). Saliva also helps swallowing by moistening the food. So take the time to chew 15, 20, 30 times your mouthfuls before swallowing. The stomach does not have teeth, so this is a very important step, your stomach will thank you!
- It takes the brain an average of 20 minutes to make neurotransmitters and send leptins, messages of satiety (the feeling of having enough to eat). One trick: place your utensils between each bite, enjoy the tastes and textures of your food. It may even be appropriate to take deep breaths between each bite. Stay conscious of your body throughout your meal, it talks to you, just listen to it!
- The golden rule: eat up to 80% of your appetite (Hara Hachi Bu from Okinawa). If you eat more, your digestion will be heavier and slower. This is why the previous rule is very important to recognize that we have reached 80% of our digestive capacity.
- Sit down to eat. Do not eat your meal on the go, in the car, in front of the television or on your cell phone. Do not stay at the office in front of your work, change rooms and eat with the people around you or with your meal. It is well known that eating with people you love increases the good taste of your meal, so why not surround yourself well! Moreover, it will allow us to be fully aware of our bodies, of what we put in our mouths, when we are distracted by work or television, we forget to connect to our feelings.
- Do not eat when you feel stressed, your body will not be able to digest what it has just eaten. He will be in sympathetic mode (state of alert) and it is not in this mode that the body will put its energy into digestion, it will rather put it elsewhere to be ready to react to any eventuality. When we are in parasympathetic mode (calm state), the blood can be digested towards digestion to do its job better. You’ve probably already noticed, if you eat under stress, you’ll have slow digestion, always on a full stomach. So relax before eating, take deep, controlled breaths to return to a state of calm as much as possible.
- In addition, what you eat is just as important to help your digestion as what you do as an action around the meal. Some foods prepare your digestion, aperitifs, such as fermented products such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh, apple cider vinegar, kefir, soy sauce, etc. They prepare digestive enzymes and juices and promote better intestinal health. You could eat a tablespoon of it, it will be more than enough to have the benefits of these superfoods.
- Do not drink during meals, as this decreases the gastric acidity of the stomach, and therefore there will be fewer enzymes needed for food digestion. At least 30 minutes before meals and 1h-1h30 after meals.
Pay attention to your body, how you feel, have you eaten too much, do you have bloating, belching, and even your own energy. Pay attention to your digestion, your sensations. Take notes if this can help you identify which food/meal is making you react or even what state you were in at the time of your meal. Our body sends us many signals that we only need to recognize and thus it will be possible to make changes to improve the situation.