Like I said before, improving your digestion and bowel function is critical to your diet’s success. Here are some more tips for doing just that.
Seven – Chew Food Well
How could I forget to mention that it is important to chew proteins in particular more slowly and carefully than you would other foods? That way you prepare your digestive system for what’s to come as chewing promotes the release of enzymes and acids in your stomach and small intestine. Make sure that you chew all foods well, but especially the high protein foods. That way you will also help to reduce them to a much smaller size and allow your digestive power to more easily render these foods to their components called amino acids which will be much more readily digested and absorbed.
Eight – Try 30 Minutes Exercise Every Day
Did you know that those who walk daily have a significantly better digestive health than those who don’t? Are you creating “sitting disease” by being chained to your computer or iPad? Walking stimulates digestion and is one of the best things you can do to improve the tone of your small and large intestine especially, so if you are not in the habit of walking most days get started. Just get up and out of your chair and start moving, don’t take the escalator, take the stair instead. Regular movement such as walking, swimming and dancing for example helps food to move through your digestive system, stimulates your metabolism and aids significantly in weight loss.
Nine – Alcohol and Tobacco Are Two Big Enemies Of Your Digestive System
You will never beat a yeast infection if you can’t give up drinking alcohol for at least 4 months, end of story. Those who are serious about their health will know that cigarette smoking is crazy, but I’m very much surprised how many patients I have seen with yeast infections who want to continue both smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol yet still want to beat their yeast infection. It is not likely to happen, and the day you are prepared to become disciplined and say “NO” to these destructive habits is the day your health will change. Once your yeast infection has significantly improved you should be able to drink socially again, but may soon realize that moderately heavy drinking may lead you down the path of another yeast infection.
Ten – Learn the Art of Relaxation
Your digestive system is very much affected by stress, especially any acute or ongoing low-grade stress. I’ll talk a lot more about the effects of stress, your digestive and immune system and candida later on in this book. When you learn to counter the effects of stress in your body you will be amazed at how much better your digestion works, in fact it is another one of those best-kept and totally understated health secrets. Stress has the ability to impair your stomach and digestion in general, and has been shown to cause weight gain, constipation, diarrhea and a lowered immune system. For example, I see many guys in my clinic who complain of heartburn or indigestion related to stress. A few methods you could use right now to reduce stress in your life is to get involved in yoga, meditation, and having regular massage.
There are many other relaxation techniques that can help you handle stress and improve digestion but I’ll expand much more on them later in this book.
Eleven – Understand Your Digestive Habits
If you have recurring digestive problems and can’t get a handle on them then try to use a diary or your daily journal to write down what you eat along with any increase or reduction of digestive symptoms you experience. Sometimes it is only the simplest things in your diet and lifestyle you have to change in order to get an amazing improvement in your health. It may be the combination of a few dietary indiscretions you are consuming simultaneously, or you may be eating too late or too fast, either way, by keeping a symptom diary you will be in a much more powerful situation to truly establish any cause and effect.
Twelve – Don’t Treat Yourself, Go Your Naturopath or Doctor
OK, so you have made all the necessary changes, you are exercising regularly, learning to relax more, drinking more water, eating plenty of vegetables, lean meats, etc., but you still don’t feel quite right. May I suggest that you contact your naturopath or nutritionally minded natural medicine doctor? You may need testing for food allergies or intolerances, you may have an underlying bacterial or parasite problem or there could be any one of a dozen hidden causes such as heavy metal toxicity that may need exploring in depth.