Here we are at the start of another new year and I’ve lost count of how many people have mentioned upset tummy to me during this past week, so I thought I would share this once again. These are healthy tips that will assist the digestive process.

Our habits can either work for or inhibit our digestion and we can never be reminded of this enough. My aim is to bring to your awareness the importance of having healthy habits whilst eating, to help support our digestion. I have made a list of a few GENERAL and SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS that can help the digestive system function at its optimum level.

JOY:
Be open to accepting food and heal your relationship with food. Enjoying meals allows food to be processed more effectively.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE:
Our beliefs either good or bad and our attitude to food instruct our digestion. Accept choices wholeheartedly.

RELAXATION:
Avoid distractions focus on the enjoyment of meal. Awareness of posture avoids compressing the vital organs.

CHEW WELL:
Proper chewing lessens the workload, “The stomach has no teeth”. It warms chilled foods and ensures efficient extraction of nutrients.

STOP BEFORE YOU ARE FULL:
Over eating causes a queue of food and stagnation, which weakens our ability to digest efficiently, energy diverts to aid digestion that results in tiredness.

DON’T FLOOD THE STOMACH:
Too much fluid weakens stomach action; a teacupful of warm fluid with meals is sufficient. It is best to drink between meals.

DON’T CHILL THE STOMACH
The stomach needs warmth to keep the digestive fire strong.
Too much raw, chilled foods and fluids weaken our digestion.

EAT YOUR MAIN MEAL EARLY
Our digestive system naturally slows down in the evening, late meals create stagnation, food sits in tubes longer and the stomach has to work harder.

CHOOSE FOODS WITH A STRONG LIFE-FORCE
Organic, Seasonal and Locally grown foods have a preserved life force. Microwaves, Processed, Chemically preserved and Irradiation all damage the life force.

TRUST YOUR BODY & YOUR INTUITION
Listen to your body & then make choices, there is a deep level of knowing within us. Awareness whilst eating connects us to our needs and good feelings mean we are being nurtured & nourished at a deeper level.

ESTABLISHING A BALANCED BASE
Grains & Vegetables are the central core of a diet that is easy on the digestion and these provide a good foundation for our health.

MAKING FOODS EASY TO DIGEST
Soups, Stews & Casseroles, lessen the workload of stomach action and are most Supportive & beneficial if digestion is weak. Pickles & Pungent Spices, aid process by increasing the digestive fire. Eat raw, chilled & rich foods moderately.

Now we can look more specificaly at these considerations

JOY . Enjoying our food, is part of opening up to being fully nourished? If we are happy when we eat and with our relationship to food then we literally accept the food more effectively into our system. More often it is a case of healing the relationship with food rather than changing the diet itself.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE. Fits in with joy. We tend to develop beliefs about what is good and what is bad. Some good foods we may not enjoy. We may eat some bad foods and then feel guilty afterwards or we avoid them resentfully. Our attitude to food instructs our body what to do with it, so once we make a choice, we should accept it lovingly and welcome the food wholeheartedly. This way we ensure the most is gained out of the food we eat.

RELAXATION Our digestion works best when it is focused on the enjoyment of the meal and not when it is distracted by other influences such as TV. Reading, or any other kind of business. What can be of great benefit is to relax our posture and take a few quite breaths before beginning. Crossing our legs, twisting or hunching compresses the organs and hinders the digestive process. These things should always be avoided.

Another important factor for aiding digestion is the process of CHEWING WELL. There is a saying that “The stomach has no teeth” Chewing food well lessens the workload, it increases the efficient extraction of nutrients and it warms up chilled food

STOP BEFORE YOU ARE FULL. Every time we overeat, we create stagnation. A temporary queue of food waits to be processed. Our energy is then diverted into digesting the excess food and as a result we feel tired, if we make this a habit we weaken our ability to digest food efficiently.

DON’T FLOOD THE STOMACH. Too much fluid dilutes the action and weakens digestion. A teacupful of warm fluid is enough during mealtimes. It is best to consume the majority of fluid between meals.

DON’T CHILL THE STOMACH. Raw or chilled foods and fluids can also weaken the stomach action; the digestive process needs warmth to keep the digestive fire strong.

The next point to take note of is to EAT YOUR MAIN MEAL EARLY. Our systems naturally slow down in the evening and food will then sit around in the Intestines for longer, once again this causes stagnation and it also makes the stomach work harder.

When I say choose foods with a STRONG LIFE FORCE. I am referring to organic, seasonal and locally grown good quality foods. The life force is strongly preserved in these fresh foods. It is damaged when we use a Microwave, when we eat processed or chemically preserved foods and by Irradiation.

The last of the general considerations comes with awareness. TRUST YOUR BODY AND YOUR INTUITION. There are times when we crave our poison but within each of us is a deep level of knowing. When we bring awareness to our eating, we can feel what our needs are. At first we make analytical judgements, but as we listen, we can make choices from our bodies too. What makes us feel good at the deepest level truly nourishes us. Over time, we can learn to separate our cravings and addictions from our deepest levels of guidance.

Now we can look at more SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS to help digestion.

The first one is ESTABLISHING A BALANCED BASE. The diet that is based on grains and vegetables provides a central core of nourishment that is easy on the digestive system; this is a good foundation for our health. If we divide food into categories, the following proportions are recommended: –

Vegetables and Fruit 40 – 60%.
Grains 30 – 40 %.
Beans, Dairy, Meat, Nuts 10 – 20%.

It is also best to eat foods that are in season as often as possible.

MAKING FOODS EASY TO DIGEST this second consideration is on how we prepare foods. The digestive process involves breaking down food into a warm soup in the stomach. The spleen extracts the essences from the food and sends them where they are needed. The cooking methods that most resemble this action are soups, stews and casseroles. By cooking this way it means the food is already warmed up and broken down, ready for the spleen to act upon making it easier to absorb the nutrients. This does not mean we should be limited to soups and stews, but if the spleen is weak, these methods are supportive and therefore the most beneficial. The spleen needs to work very hard on rich foods such as fatty meat, raw or chilled foods, which should be limited.

Finally, the moderate use of warm and pungent spices with cooked foods will support the digestive process as will the consumption of small amounts of pickled vegetables after a meal.

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