This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to our bodies for digesting our food day in and day out. Many people struggle with bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, constipation, and diarrhea. How can we ease our digestion and help us have less pain?
- During and after eating, avoid excess thinking. Our mind likes to “chew on things” just as our stomach does. If we are thinking too much in addition to eating, we are taxing our ability to break down food. Just as we need to simply chew our food, enjoy it, and let it go down, we need to learn how to let go of thoughts when they are no longer useful or enjoyable thinking about them.
- Roasted Barley or Hawthorne Berry tea. Barley is especially helpful in digesting starch and dairy, while Hawthorne berries are great for fats and meat.
- The stomach needs to be the right temperature. Too hot and you get things like burning and belching. Too cold and you get pain and loss of appetite. Avoid excess spicy foods (peppers, garlic, ginger, and alcohol) or cold foods (which includes iced drinks and ice cream, but also raw vegetables, smoothies, and dairy), and instead eat warm foods that are easy to digest. Things like soup, oatmeal, congee, and steamed or sautéed vegetables are great warming foods.
- Eat seasonal. We’re going into winter time. Although many of us can still buy pineapples, bananas, and mangos, this isn’t the time our body actually likes to eat those things. Tropical fruits are cold and damp in nature, which is great when it is hot and dry in the summer, but not when it is already cold and damp outside! Go for your local apples.
- Eat at regular intervals. Our digestive system likes regularity. Meals at the same time, in the same portion. Aim for regular meals that aren’t too small or huge (OK, except for on Thanksgiving!)