Since leaving the Standard American Diet (SAD), my health has improved in just about every area possible. But when I first started the SCD diet, I brought quite a few bad habits that the SAD taught me that limited my healing. Here are 3 simple things I learned that improved my digestion as soon as I implemented them. If you implement these three positive habits, you can improve your digestion right now.
1. Chew Your Food. When I used to eat the SAD, I was always in a hurry to finish every meal… as if I had a gun to my head to eat as fast as humanly possible. The digestion process begins in the mouth and when I learned to take the time to slow down and actually start that process correctly before I swallowed each bite, my digestion took another step in the right direction. When I swallowed food before chewing it completely, my stomach had to work harder and take more time to break it down because that job wasn’t completed in the mouth. The extra time it takes to complete the job in the stomach messes up all the rest of the digestion process, from the small intestine to the large intestine, and makes it tough to do things properly. Slow down and take the time to completely chew each bite.
2. Don’t Drink Liquids with Meals. Having a beverage with every single meal was another really bad habit I brought with me from the SAD. As food hits the tongue during a meal, the taste buds tell the brain what’s coming in and trigger a very precise digestive concoction in the gut to properly breakdown exactly what is being ingested (meaning it’s different for every meal). When I washed that down with something as simple as water, it would throw off the special mixture by diluting it and changing the pH… messing with the digestion process. Again, this causes the stomach to work harder and can speed up the transit time of food into the next stage of digestion. Wait at least an hour or two until you start drinking liquids again after eating a meal. Just remember to drink plenty of liquids and stay hydrated in between meals, as it is very important to your health. The best time to hydrate is about a half hour before a meal.
3. Stop Grazing. Snacking is a very common habit I picked up from a lifetime on the SAD. It became less and less important to me as my blood sugar balanced out on the SCD diet and I stopped getting hungry every two hours. When I eat a meal, my digestive process tries to run its course and then ship the broken down food into my small intestine. If I introduce more food on top of that meal within an hour of eating, my stomach has to start all over again and I will end up with partially broken down food being shipped to the small intestine and an incomplete digestion cycle. Try to eat meals in one sitting and wait for complete digestion to take place in the next few hours before anything else enters your mouth. Spreading a meal out over an hour or two, by grazing is very taxing on the digestive process and snacking drives that habit.
If you take the time to implement these three positive habits on your new SCD diet, it will help you become one step closer towards health. It’s not going to solve your digestive problems as a whole, but it sure helped me get to another level of health I never thought was possible. Just try it for a week and see if you notice a difference.
Got any other helpful tips about eating for proper digestion? Share them in the comments section below…