If you want to improve your overall health, your first step is to find out how to improve digestion naturally at home. The first step to good health is good nutrition. Proper digestion means you absorb and use all the nutrients you consume. It also means your body will effectively rid itself of any toxins or waste.
Even the Ancient Greeks understood how important good nutrition is to health. Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A wise man, that Hippocrates. Medical science has continued to build on that concept.
How to Improve Digestion Naturally at Home
Unfortunately, sometimes science isn’t enough to solve your digestive problems. No pill can fix a poor lifestyle and bad food choices. With that in mind, try these natural remedies for digestive problems to complement any treatment.
Many diagnosable digestive disorders have standard treatments that include medication and changes in diet. However, there are ways to improve your digestion through simple lifestyle changes that will reduce gas, bloating, or cramps.
Most of these tactics will depend on where the trouble in your digestion lies. Are you getting constant indigestion? Or does the trouble come later with constipation or loose bowels?
The Causes of Common Digestive Disorders
Poor digestion can be caused by several factors, including:
- Unknown food allergies or sensitivities
- Lack of proper gut flora
- Rushed eating
- Lack of exercise
- Denatured food
The good news is, all of these can be treated with a few changes in your diet and eating habits, whether it’s adding some fiber or dropping cheese. Most of all, the advantage of improving your digestion is not just less abdominal discomfort. It can also mean increased vitality.
Natural Remedies for Digestive Problems
The digestive process starts as soon as the food hits your plate. The enticing aroma of your meal starts a 24-hour process that opens with your salivary glands.
Lucky for us, humans are omnivores. That means we can take advantage of a wide array of foodstuffs to stay alive. It also means that we have different digestive processes for all of these foods. Sometimes, however, they get in each other’s way.
Therefore, sometimes the trick of dealing with all these different and very tempting foods means making sure we’re eating as we were designed to eat. That can mean just not shoving a lot of highly processed food into our mouths in one go. And sometimes, it means making sure that we’re getting enough of the right type of food for our health.
Change the way you eat.
Your environment and state of mind can really impact your digestion. How many times have you heard (or said) that someone can’t eat because they’re too upset, mad, or worried? Changing the way you eat is how to improve digestion naturally at home.
Improve the environment where you eat.
This can be as simple as adding a lovely tablecloth or just not eating dinner when the neighbors are screaming. Stress can put a whammy on your stomach, as many of us know. Sit down to a calm, pleasant meal. Add some cut flowers if you like. Use the good china for a change. Turn off the TV — or at least turn off the news.
Eat more slowly and chew thoroughly.
One aspect of being omnivores is that we need additional ways to digest our food. Thoroughly chewing your food is one of the most essential tips for how to improve digestion naturally at home. Humans don’t have the long, extended digestive tracts of herbivores that can break down lots of plant matter. We also don’t have the high levels of hydrochloric acid that carnivores have to digest protein. Because of these weaknesses, we need to chew our food thoroughly. After all, that’s why we have both kinds of teeth.
Also, human beings have only been eating a lot of high-starch foods for about 8,000 years. We’re able to digest it by chewing it thoroughly and breaking it down in our mouths with ptyalin. Ptyalin, also known as amylase, is an enzyme in our saliva that breaks down starch into simple sugars we can use for energy. About 30 percent of the digestion of starch takes place while we chew. Remember, the digestive process starts when our mouths water at the aroma of food. If you want a quick and easy way to improve your digestion, start by chewing your food thoroughly. Especially if you eat starchy foods.
Try eating less food at one time.
Most nutritionists agree that there’s a formula for figuring out how many calories you need to maintain health and your current weight. The thing is, you may have trouble digesting them all at the same time. In hurried modern life, people are in a rush to get back to work or get on to the next task or entertainment. Especially in the United States, where Americans rush through a dinner that takes two or three hours in a more laid-back country.
Apparently, science has discovered that it takes us at least 20 minutes to feel full. If you’re the all-time eating contest champion in your family, that may be too long. Or, more accurately, you’re eating too fast. If you sit down and scarf three meals worth of food in the first 15 minutes, its no wonder you’re having digestive distress.So, to expand on our theme of how to improve digestion naturally at home, try slowing down.
When you eat, your stomach needs to start processing food and absorbing some nutrients from it before signaling satiety to the brain. In fact, your level of satiety — or feeling of fullness — continues to rise as long as 30 minutes after you finish eating.
If this is you, you may be overloading your digestive system with each and every meal. Try smaller portions. If you’re eating more slowly, you may find your digestion improves with the lighter load. And if you’re not getting enough calories eating this way, it’s just a great reason to enjoy a few healthy snacks. Try splitting up your three big meals a day into six smaller ones.
Change when you eat.
You’ve always heard that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. However, since everyone has their own diurnal cycle, that may just mean it’s the most important meal of the day for you to skip. Some people don’t feel well if they eat a big breakfast.
Follow your instincts. If you’re not up to eating a big meal in the morning, go with some fresh fruit or even a small portion of protein, like nuts. Or don’t eat at all. As researchers reveal more information about human health and nutrition, the more we see that the importance of a big breakfast is just a myth. Or, perhaps it’s just out of date. After all, we don’t need to plow the north 40 after breakfast anymore, so why fuel up like we do?
The taboo of eating before bed may just be a myth, too. Although eating before bed can exacerbate acid reflux, it’s lying down that causes the problem, not the hour of the day.
One way how to improve digestion naturally at home is to pay attention to your body and eat when you’re hungry rather than just at socially acceptable times.
Change what you do after you eat.
Sometimes, what you do after a meal will affect your digestion more than the meal itself. Try the following tips to reduce after-dinner bloat. When it comes to how to improve digestion naturally at home, these simple tips for after meals are very helpful.
Take a walk after meals.
For most of the 20th century, people were advised to avoid activity after meals to enhance digestion. The fact is, movement after eating truly does improve digestion for most people. A post-prandial walk improves elimination. If your digestive problems lie in the restroom, try increasing your activity. You don’t have to buy jogging shoes or even break a sweat. However, a leisurely 30-minute walk after dinner will improve your digestion.
Write down how your body reacts to different foods.
Become more aware of how different foods or mealtimes affect your digestion. Take note about 30 to 90 minutes after eating. Keep a food journal, if you like. Furthermore, mindfulness about what you eat and how well you chew is how to improve digestion naturally at home. You’ll get a better idea if eating more slowly or even a little less helps. You may find that you have problems with certain foods, like dairy or wheat. It may be that eating too late causes acid reflux. Eating too early might make you groggy. Keeping a food journal can help you improve your digestion.
Herbal Digestive Disorder Treatment
Herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years. So, because we are covering how to improve digestion naturally at home, of course we should cover them. In fact, early modern medicine based many of its allopathic treatments on synthetic versions of the active ingredients in herbs. Aspirin took the place of willow bark for the common headache. Doctors across the world prescribe St. Johns Wort for depression.
There are a few tried and true herbal digestive remedies at home. Furthermore, many of them have been incorporated right into the recipes for many foods. This combined the food and the medicine, as Hippocrates would appreciate, for any dietary indulgence.
Try the following teas for indigestion, nausea, constipation, or bloating:
- Marshmallow leaf
- Dandelion leaf
- Licorice root (Do not use if you have high blood pressure)
You can add the following herbs or spices to your meals to improve digestion:
- Cayenne pepper
- Dandelion leaf
The following grains add fiber to your diet and make a delicious hot cereal or can be added to baked goods:
You may feel at a loss when trying to figure out how to improve digestion naturally at home, but it’s really not that complicated. And you shouldn’t try to change everything at once. Small changes may be all you need. The hard part is figuring out which ones are right for your situation.
Keeping a food journal is a good idea when trying to identify food sensitivities or triggers. Most of all, start with the basics. Consume a healthy, whole food diet with a balance of fresh and cooked ingredients that provide good nutrition. Most important of all, take your meals in a peaceful environment and really take time to chew thoroughly and enjoy the meal. Savor your dinner, don’t just try to get through it. Don’t eat too much, too fast. After all, you can always have a snack later.