How digestion works

Now that you know that you do not have to feel bloated all the time, are your ready to take action to get you back on track to healthy digestion?

Before I dive in to what you can do, it helps to understand digestion a little better. 

How digestion works

Digestion is a North to South process. What exactly does that mean? It means that digestion actually starts in the brain and works it’s way down. To well, you know elimination (aka Poop, yes I said poop 💩). First when you think about food, your brain triggers your mouth to produce saliva. Ever notice how your mouth waters when you smell some great food cooking? That is your body’s way of getting ready to digest your food before you even take that first bite.

Next you sit down to eat, (hopefully you sit down to eat, more about this later) you take a bite of food, when you chew the food your mouth begins the process of breaking down the food. There is a mechanical and chemical process taking place at this step. After chewing your food you swallow. That ball of food goes down your food pipe (or esophagus) and makes its way to your stomach. In an ideal world there is a good amount of stomach acid to break down your food even further than chewing did. Next the food which is now more like a paste consistency moves into the upper part of your small intestine. By the time this paste gets to the small intestine it is almost fully digested. The nutrients in the food get absorbed here and transported to throughout the body. 

Digestion continues south

The leftovers move into the Large Intestine, water and waste is recycled. Any remaining nutrients are captured. This is also where nutrients are converted into vitamins. Anything remaining becomes feces and is eliminated from the body.

Now that you have a better understanding about how digestion is supposed to work, it’s time to talk about what you can do to make sure it is working properly. 

One of the easiest things you can do is to make sure you are in a proper state while eating. Ever wonder why some people say a prayer before a meal? Hint, it wasn’t just to give thanks for their food, it actually has a big impact on your digestion. Taking that time to relax before you eat helps your body to digest your food better. If you are not in a relaxed state your body cannot produce the enzymes it needs to break down your food. I know it is hard to believe that such a simple step can have this big of an impact, but it really does. If you are not the praying type, it can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths before you eat your food. 

Up next, recipes to get you on track to healthy digestion so you experience less bloating.

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