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Nutrition

How can you aid digestion?

Whether you're into healthy living or nutritional supplements or not, digestive problems can affect everyone.

Certain lifestyle choices or foods are known to contribute to poor digestion, however many of these symptoms can be remedied.

What are the causes of poor digestion?

Digestion involves an energy-rich process which demands a lot of nutrition, hydration and a calm state to work effectively, according to Charlotte Watts, a nutritional therapist and author of The De-Stress Diet - www.de-stressyourlife.com.

One of the main disruptions to digestion can be stress, which Ms Watts claims "quickly diverts these away to muscles and the brain, leaving food partially digested and contributing to digestive symptoms such as indigestion, IBS and bloating".

Other factors which can get in the way of effective digestion include high sugar levels, and a lack of soluble fibre found in vegetables, both problems which can "disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in the gut which keep it - and immunity and detoxification - in balance", she explained.

How can these be remedied?

One way to help ensure food is digested better is to practice mindful eating.

This means eating away from a desk at work and sitting down to eat and chew food thoroughly.

Ms Watts warns that by eating on the go or while upright "energy is rerouted to the postural muscles you need to stand," meaning it is diverted away from the digestive process.

Eating a high number of fibre rich food can help the body's digestion run smoother, however psychological issues such as stress should not be ignored.

This could be reduced by eating outside or in a calm, relaxing space without distraction, or could be aided by post-meal meditation, allowing the body to unwind and let go of everyday stresses, strains and negative thoughts.

Posted by Freya Harper

 
 
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