Digestion and diet is a complicated and broad subject that I’m going to keep simple and focused.
Digestion is important because it is how we get energy! It delivers the components we need for metabolism in each and every cell. It is vital for life. You might think you’re eating well, but if your digestion isn’t functioning well, you won’t profit from it.
Let’s begin with my definitions…
- A good Appetite is to have a desire for food, the ability to know when you’re full and to be satisfied by that meal without getting tired or having to follow up with snacks soon after.
- Digestion is the story of your meal after you’ve eaten. Ideally there will be no discomfort with easy emptying of your bowels (pooh) every day (1-2 times). Farting is natural but shouldn’t be so strong smelling that people need to leave the room! Do you experience pain, bloating, gas, discomfort, reflux, noisy bubbling? Do you pooh daily? Is it easy to go, difficult/painful, experience feelings of not being finished, loose/runny or hard/solid?
How do you feel about your digestion and appetite? Do you take notice of your physical response to different foods? What about how that may change at times of emotional stress? Research is also confirming the Chinese medicine view that the digestive system responds to emotional experiences. Excessive thought like worry or even study can weaken the digestive system. Are you able to ‘digest’ your thoughts and emotions properly? Poor digestion will lower your ability to concentrate and possibly increase a tendency to worry.
What should you eat?
The nutrition industry is supplying enough contradictory information to confuse anyone. All I’m going to say about it is to aim for a varied diet with more than half of your intake comprised of plants. Focus on fresh foods, which don’t come out of a box or the freezer. And drink water more than anything else you drink.
Finally, everyone is different. Find what makes you feel comfortable, energised and alert. If you’re interested in changing your diet, start with small changes and don’t be disappointed if you crave foods you’re trying not to eat. Each day is an opportunity to eat better and feel better.
Changing your diet can seem daunting but starting with small changes will take you a long way. Here are a couple of goals for your week:
- Find a recipe that includes vegetables/beans you don’t usually eat.
- Write out a meal plan for the week, including at least 1-2 meat free dinners and fill your shopping list so you’re prepared.
- Substitute a small handful of nuts to satisfy desires for snacking instead of processed biscuits/chocolate/bars.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs act to improve digestion and are especially useful when you are changing your diet/lifestyle.There is so much more I could say about this subject but I promised to keep it simple so just start with that.