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Your digestive system is so important for a number of reasons. Making sure you take care of it and are optimizing its health is something we should all be aware of.

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As children many of us did not learn much more about digestion other than “chew before you swallow” and “don’t go swimming after you eat or you’ll get cramps and drown”. However digestion is much more complex than that and is a topic that often times gets overlooked in western medicine. Due to a lack of knowledge the vast majority of us have compromised digestive systems leading to the manifestation of many illnesses and symptoms.

Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, stomach-aches, nausea, heartburn, and low energy are all signs and symptoms of problems in the digestive system. Most illness and disease actually begin from a dis-functioning digestive system. That is why we primarily focus on healing this system of the body. When your digestion begins working properly it will support the rest of the body to heal and restore itself.

3 Biggest Concerns

Three of the biggest concerns when it comes to a compromised digestive system are energy loss, the inability to properly absorb nutrients and a backed up lymphatic system.

If our colons are backed up then our digestive system is constantly using energy to try and work it through. Our lymphatic system then slows down because a large amount of the body’s waste leaves through the colon. This causes a back-up of toxins that are trying to leave the body and they begin to build throughout our cells (fat=backed up lymphatic system=stored toxins). When we are backed up and/or our intestinal flora isn’t balanced then we are not absorbing nutrients properly and all of our body parts, especially our organs, are not being adequately supported.

Do you see how it all ties together?

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New Habits

In order to support the movement of waste exiting through the colon, rebuild our internal flora and thereby heal our digestive system, we must develop some new diet and lifestyle habits. Then the rest of our body has a chance to play catch up by healing and restoring itself back to a natural state of vibrancy.

By identifying your weaknesses in these upcoming aspects and focusing on improving them, your digestion will start to strengthen and your overall health will improve along with it.

10 Aspects Of Improving Digestion

1)   Whole Foods

Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or fat. Nature produced these foods perfect the way they are. We should not need to alter our food before we eat it. Eating a diverse amount of properly proportioned whole foods will give you what you need to heal and to thrive.

2)   Hydration

Our colon needs adequate hydration in order to move the feces out the back-end. If you are not drinking enough water consistently on a daily basis then we suggest going back and reading previous articles about this topic because we stress this issue all the time. It is so fundamental on all levels to be drinking 3-6 liters of water a day depending on your situation.

3)   Movement/Exercise

Activity creates movement in the bowels and promotes the excretion of waste. In addition, large compound muscular exercises such as weight lifting or calisthenics can boost your digestive capacity for up to 24 hours. Get that body moving every single day. Sweating is important.

4)   Enough Rest/Sleep

Try not to eat a minimum of 2 hours before bed and definitely not past 9pm. This will reduce the amount of energy your body has to spend on digestion through the night. That energy can then be used to heal and work elsewhere in the body. When we do not let our bodies rest enough then we do not have sufficient energy to do elsewhere in the body, often leaving digestion as an after thought.

5)   Water Containing Foods

Ultimately raw water-containing fruits and vegetables are the easiest foods for our digestive system to digest, the highest in nutritional content and the most hydrating for our body. Although, if your intestinal flora and digestive enzymes are out of whack then you may need to eat more cooked veggies because you don’t have enough fire-power to digest raw, fibrous foods. The cooked veggies aren’t as high in life force or nutrition but will have to do for now. This is a fine balance and you are going to have to feel it out depending on the current condition of your body. Your stools are a good indicator of what foods you can or can’t digest.

6)   Sequential Eating and Food Combining

Our digestive system uses different types of enzymes to digest different types of foods. Some enzymes create a more alkaline environment and some create a more acidic environment. When we mis-combine certain food groups it creates a neutral state in our digestive system and foods do not properly digest. Simplified food combining: Do not combine starches and proteins, eat fruits on an empty stomach and alone (except greens), greens can go with anything.

7)   Simple Meals (Low # of Ingredients)

The less complex we eat, the less work our digestive system has to do sorting everything out. Eat as simple as you can. Again this is a transition process. Do your best and slowly transition away from heavy, complex, cooked meals.

8)   Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes

These are two supplements that we recommend to pretty much every client that walks through our doors. Our digestive systems have been so beat up over the years it usually takes supplementation to support healing. Probiotics and digestive enzymes are a must if you have any sort of digestive issues.

9)   Emotional Aspects of Digestion (Mental State)

Stress is the silent digestion destroyer. Before sitting down or standing to eat your meal it is a great idea to let our mind settle and slow everything down. Meditate, deep breathing or whatever you do to get as present as possible with your food is key. If we are in fight or flight mode then we will not digest our food properly. If we allow our body to enter rest and digest mode then we are ready to chow down.

10) Enemas and Colon-Hydrotherapy

Enemas have got a bad rap in the conventional health industry. Many people say it is too un-natural and others say it is damaging to the body. We have to look at the big picture here. Was eating processed food and junk our whole lives natural? No. So, sometimes we have to use un-natural processes to regain balance in the body. Also, what is more damaging in the long-term, a backed up toxic body or a light flow of water up your colon to get the waste moving on out. In our experience enemas do have their time and place and be very beneficial for re-gaining balance in the body as long as we don’t become dependent on them and are doing the other necessary aspects to improve our digestion.

Implement these aspects one by one and listen to your body. As always, we recommend seeking out support/ resources as the most efficient and most sustainable way to get results.

In our opinion the digestive system is the most important system in the body and should be a primary focus until balance is re-gained. Without an optimally functioning digestive system, total body healing can’t take place.

Remember, if you are green on the inside then you are clean on the inside!

Check out more from Grounded Nutrition and take the 7 Day Salad Challenge!


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