Hands up! Who’s guilty of mindlessly gobbling down food while checking their Facebook news feed or emails? Yep. Us too!
As a nation, we’ve developed unhealthy habits when it comes to eating. Many of us gulp down our food in order to get on with something else we consider more important. Whether dining with friends or sitting at our desks at lunchtime, we aren’t really focused on how we’re eating our food. Most of the time we’re in a conversation, at our computers, on our phones or in our own relentless mind chatter and completely oblivious to the way we are eating our food.
Did you know that many of our health problems come from not digesting our food properly?
It is vital that the food we put into our body is well digested, creating nectar for our body. If we do not digest well, we will not receive the nutrition we need from our food. This can lead to low-grade malnutrition, weight gain, bloating and chronic inflammation of the intestines.
How we eat our food is just as important as what we eat, so allow yourself time to observe these few simple guidelines and, hopefully, you’ll feel inspired to bring a whole new approach to how you enjoy your mealtimes.
Chew well and eat slowly.
Chewing is the first stage of digestion. Our stomachs are designed to work with liquids not solid particles of food so the longer we can chew, the better our stomachs can digest our food. Even if what we are eating is highly nutritious, if we are eating too quickly and not chewing properly, our bodies do not receive the nutrients from our food. We can derive more pleasure from our food when we take longer to eat it – so why rush?
“Chewing is fundamental for disease prevention. By chewing your food completely, you support your body in the digestion of its building blocks. By properly digesting and absorbing these building blocks, you can expect increased energy, improved sleep, and increased focus.”
– Dr. Alejandra Carrasco
Eat in a relaxed manner.
Engage consciously with your food and avoid distractions such as checking the phone or pondering stressful situations in life. Being present with what we are eating, helps us not only savor the taste and really enjoy what we’re putting into our bodies, but it helps us become more in tune with our bodies and feel when we are ready to stop eating.
Eat smaller portions
Eat until you feel satisfied and then stop, take a break and only resume eating if you feel hungry again. Try not to take a second serving until you have waited 20 minutes after completing the meal. Most of us have grown up in a culture that rewards finishing what’s on our plate, but it’s important that we begin reprogramming ourselves from this childhood way of thinking and listen more to what our bodies are telling us. When you start to feel full, stop eating and put your leftovers in the fridge for later.
“When you eat quickly, the body doesn’t get a chance to signal to the brain that you are getting full. Receptors in the stomach that respond to being stretched by food, and the hormones that signal to the brain that partially digested food has made it to the small intestine, can take 15 to 20 minutes to kick in.”
-Louisa Dillner, health and well-being writer and doctor
Don’t drown out your digestive fire
We need a certain concentration of digestive juices to break down the food in our stomachs, and we do not want to dilute this with drinking too much water before and after a meal. Only have small sips of liquid, 45 minutes either side of eating. The stomach wants 1/3 solid, 1/3 liquid and 1/3 air, very much like a blender; if the proportions aren’t correct, it won’t function properly.
Discern between real hunger and cravings
Many of us eat for comfort, so recognizing this and working towards finding other ways we find comfort is huge in establishing healthy eating habits. Also consider the body may actually be asking for water, not food, so when you first feel the pangs of hunger, drink a glass or two of water and then feel if you are still hungry.
Eat early in the evening.
Ideally, we wish for our digestive system to be at rest by 10 pm, so the later the meal, the lighter it should be. Try to eat no later than 6 or 7 pm. If you must eat later, consider a light vegetable dish with plenty of herbs or spices.
Practice intermittent fasting
Eating only within a 10- 12 hour period of the day and fasting for 12-14 hours is a great way to lose weight, burn toxins and stay healthy. This isn’t as hard as it sounds! Try having breakfast at 8 am and dinner at 6 pm – this gives a full 14 hours of fasting.
Observing food combining rules
Combining certain foods can cause havoc for the digestive system. Alone, they can be highly nutritious but together, can cause all sorts of digestive issues.
*Eat fruit alone; try not to combine sweet fruit with sour fruit or with sub-acidic fruit, and always eat melons alone. Fruits can be with greens, good fats or vegetable protein such as seeds and nuts.
*Do not eat heavy protein (meats, fish, cheeses, tofu) with starchy vegetables (potatoes, carrots, squash) or grains.
*Starches and carbohydrates (which include beans) should be eaten with vegetables and fats.
*Leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables go with everything so eat with every meal.
If you can begin to implement these healthy eating guidelines, you will begin to notice a significant improvement in your mood, energy levels, and overall bodily health and wellbeing.
Slow down, eat mindfully and enjoy your food!
How Good-Gums can help
As we explained in our article, ‘How Your Gut Health and Oral Health are Related’, your mouth is the gatekeeper of your gut, so it is very important that we keep the environment in our mouth healthy. And by that, we mean keeping a healthy balance of oral microbiome so that the bad bacteria which erode teeth and cause gum disease can be kept under control. This healthy balance can be maintained through diet, diligent oral hygiene practice, and of course, with regular use of Good-Gums!
Good-gums all-natural tooth and gum powder is an all-natural herbal formula that neutralizes the pH balance in your mouth and helps to stimulate saliva production, which is essential for breaking down and swallowing your food. This little bottle of nature’s goodness is absolutely jam-packed full of nutrients that aid your body’s natural healing processes and puts essential vitamins and minerals back into your body – through your gums!
Remember, when you treat your mouth, you treat your whole body. Try it and see!