The act of sitting comfortably at your dining table to have a meal is not only pleasant but can also help improve your digestion! When you are seated with food in front of you, your body goes into “rest and digest” mode.
Conversely, if you are grabbing food as you race past the kitchen bench or eating when you have one eye on your computer screen, your body will go into “fight or flight” mode. Your nervous system and adrenals sense the stress and go into this “running” mode where digesting is no longer a priority. Fight or flight mode is therefore not a favourable state for digesting your meals properly.
What are other strategies you can introduce to ensure you digest optimally?
- KISS: Keep It Simple! Meals do not need to be complex. Keeping it simple, without adding too many sugars (hidden in sauces) and sticking to whole foods means you can appreciate all the flavours that are there as well as making your meal easier to digest.
- Where possible buy the best quality food that you can afford. Extra bonus points for organic produce or food you have grown yourself! The satisfaction that you get from nourishing yourself and others with your own food is also food for your soul!
- Food is literally what keeps you alive so eat it with respect! Rather than mindlessly scoffing, be aware and savour the flavour!
- Food releases your feel good hormone, dopamine. Dopamine is released in the brain at two different stages: at the time the food is first ingested and again when the food reaches the stomach. So enjoy each mouthful for nutrition as well as to feel content!
- Make your dinner time the most important and relaxed part of your day. When good food is served, good conversation follows. Encourage conversation over your table by letting your children talk and laugh. Dinner time is also a great time for family meetings. This all promotes your body to “rest and digest”.
- Involve everyone who is sharing your meal. If you haven’t cooked then do the washing up, get your child to turn the oven on, the other child to set the table and so on. Helping each other also activates your release of dopamine.
- Don’t make separate meals. If someone at your dinner table is gluten intolerant then cook a gluten free meal. If you are feeding children serve them what you are eating. After all, you are there to SHARE a meal.
By implementing all of the above tips you make meal times the most conducive for creating that “rest and digest” state for optimal gut health and digestion.
If you need further assistance to get your gut health back on track please call or book here.