helpful tips to improve digestion after a meal

6 Helpful Tips To Improve Digestion After A Meal

What do you do after having a meal? Are you among those who rest or engage in light activities? It’s surprising that what you do after eating can impact your digestive system.

Sometimes, the body signals the brain to rest after a heavy meal. That’s why you feel like lying down when your stomach is full. However, the consequences can be difficult to cope with, especially in the case of digestion.

So, this blog aims to teach you how to improve digestion after a meal. 

Digestion is a complex and fascinating process; it starts right when you eat food, like an automatic machine, with no prompts or actions from your end.

You barely notice when the process goes smoothly, but the problem arises when you face digestive troubles. If you experience stomach cramps, constipation, excessive gas, or diarrhoea, know you must properly oil the digestive machine.

This blog will uncover a few tips to improve digestion after a meal. So, prepare for a food battle and wield your secret weapons to combat tummy issues with these six useful tips.

Keep yourself hydrated

Water might seem like a simple suggestion, but it's a digestive powerhouse! Think of it like a smooth-sailing lubricant for your digestive system. Here's how drinking water can help improve digestion after a meal:

  • Breaks down food: Water helps break down food into smaller particles, making it easier for your digestive enzymes to do their magic. It’s like a food fight—water helps turn those big, chunky bites into bite-sized pieces for easier digestion.
  • Move things along: Water keeps everything flowing smoothly through your digestive system. It prevents constipation and that sluggish feeling after a big meal.

Water is essential, but how much should you drink it? Aim for a glass (around 250ml) before your meal, another glass after, and then sip steadily throughout the rest of the day.

A good rule of thumb is to listen to your body—if you feel thirsty, reach for that water bottle!

Stay tuned for the next tip for improving digestion, in which we'll explore the power of a post-meal walk.

Go for a walk

Though exercise can help digestion, most of you may not have the time or resources to engage in it. That’s why we recommend you take a gentle walk after a meal! Even a 15-minute walk around your neighbourhood can do wonders. Here's how walking can help your digestive system after a meal:

  • Aids digestion: Light physical activity, like walking, stimulates the muscles in your intestines. This gentle massage helps move food along the digestive tract, preventing that uncomfortable feeling of fullness and promoting smoother digestion. 
  • Prevents bloating: Ever feel like your stomach is a balloon after a big meal? Walking can help reduce bloating and gas by aiding the release of trapped air in your digestive system. Say goodbye to that puffy feeling, and hello to a flatter tummy!

Walking can reap many digestive benefits, but you might be confused about how long or intense your walk should be. Aim for a leisurely walk of 10-15 minutes after your meal.

Stroll around the block or go on foot to buy things from the store. Maintain a comfortable pace throughout. If you find it difficult to keep up this habit, consider adopting a pet for motivation.

A short walk can make a big difference. So, lace up your shoes and give your digestion a gentle post-meal boost! Incorporating a wellness companion like The Good Bug’s prebiotics and probiotics might make it more rewarding by enhancing your digestive health benefits from each step. Explore our collection to support your post-meal walks.

With those steps out of the way, let's shift gears and tackle a common post-meal misstep you'll want to avoid. 

Avoid lying down after a meal

Do you take a nap after your meals in the afternoon? Do you wake up throughout the night when you eat so close to bedtime? If so, you’re inviting more digestive troubles. The next helpful tip to improve digestion is to avoid lying down after a meal. 

Digestion happens smoothly and quickly when your body is upright. However, lying down after meals significantly slows your digestion, leading to stomach problems such as bloating or heartburn.

Though these symptoms are not common in everyone, you may experience them if you make late-night eating or sleeping after meals a habit.

Sometimes, you might feel a burning sensation in the chest due to acid reflux (the contents of your stomach move back to the oesophagus) when you lie down after eating food. 

On the other hand, eating late can greatly affect the quality of your sleep. Intermittent waking up and developing conditions like sleep apnea are common. So, if you do not want to wake up with a gassy feeling or spend your nights in pain, eating your meals at least two to three hours before bedtime is best.

This gives your body ample time to digest the food and absorb the essential nutrients. 

But how can you break the habit of lying down after meals? It’s simple—engage in activities that help you stay away from your couch or bed! Take a brisk walk, do dishes, spend quality time with your family, or plan for the next day. 

Now that we've got you moving, let's dive into another trick to keep your tummy happy.

Practise slow and mindful eating

We always have the habit of rushing through our meals. Whether it's a busy Monday morning or a late Friday night, we gulp down food to save time, but it can wreak havoc on our digestion. Slow eating is a secret weapon to improve digestion.

Chewing your food thoroughly breaks it down into smaller pieces, making it easier for your stomach to digest and absorb nutrients.

Think of it like preparing food for battle—proper chewing weakens the enemy (food particles) for your digestive juices to conquer!

When you eat mindfully, you pay attention to your food's taste, texture, and aroma, which helps you savour and enjoy your meal. Besides, when you eat slowly, you listen to your body's signals and stop eating when you're comfortably full. Here are some tips to improve digestion after a meal:

  • Put down your phone and other distractions while eating.
  • Take smaller bites and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Savour the flavours and textures of each mouthful.
  • Focus on the act of eating rather than rushing through your meal.

To truly embrace slow and mindful eating, consider complementing your meals with The Good Bug's probiotic blends designed to improve nutrient absorption and digestion. Our products can seamlessly fit into your conscious eating routine, supporting your digestive health every bite of the way.

We've covered the basics; let's spice things up with some natural aids to supercharge your digestion.

Incorporate digestive aids

Following these tips after meals is helpful, but let’s give your digestive health an extra boost with digestive aids. They are nature's secret weapons for building a strong, happy gut. Certain plants and spices, like ginger, fennel, and peppermint, have been used for centuries to aid digestion. Let’s look at how these natural ingredients help improve digestion after a meal.

  • Ginger: This wonder root has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe an upset stomach and ease nausea.
  • Fennel: This flavourful herb helps reduce bloating and gas by relaxing the muscles in your digestive system.
  • Peppermint: This refreshing herb can calm an irritated gut and ease indigestion.

The benefits of these spices and herbs are innumerable, but you cannot eat them as they are, right? If you’re wondering how to incorporate them into your diet, here are a few useful tips:

  • Grate some fresh ginger into stir-fries, soups, or tea for a warming and soothing boost.
  • Enjoy fennel seeds after a meal for a refreshing and digestive-friendly treat.
  • Sip a cup of peppermint tea after a meal to soothe your stomach and freshen your breath.

While these natural aids are generally safe, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying anything new, especially if you have any existing health conditions.

After exploring the physical, let's focus on the mental aspect that greatly influences digestion.

Manage stress

Stress comes in different forms. If one is stressed over managing a job and family, the other might be dealing with financial problems or a lack of change. Did you know extreme stress can wreak havoc on your digestion?

When you're stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol that can disrupt the normal functioning of your digestive system. It can lead to a whole host of unpleasant symptoms, like bloating, constipation, or even diarrhoea.

So, let’s break the cycle and improve digestion after meals through simple stress management techniques:

  • Deep breaths: When you're feeling stressed, take a few minutes for some deep breathing exercises. Focus on slow, controlled inhales and exhales. This simple practice can help calm your nervous system and promote relaxation, which benefits your digestion.
  • Meditation: Meditation is another powerful tool for managing stress. Taking a few minutes to quiet your mind and focus on the present moment can significantly reduce stress hormones and create a more relaxed state for optimal digestion.

Incorporating stress-reducing techniques into your daily routine will give your gut a fighting chance to function smoothly and keep you feeling your best.

We've explored simple yet powerful ways to improve digestion after a meal, from staying hydrated to managing stress. Let these tips be your guiding stars for a healthier gut. Now, go forth and conquer those tummy troubles, one delicious bite and mindful step at a time!

You can also explore The Good Bug's products to relieve symptoms. Our library of delicious recipes, informative articles, and expert tips is designed to keep your digestion running smoothly and your gut feeling happy. Visit The Good Bug today to start your healthy regime!

References

https://www.ekachaihospital.com/en/10-healthy-things-to-remember-before-and-after-you-eat-dinner/

https://www.piedmont.org/living-real-change/5-things-to-do-after-eating-a-large-meal

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/8053282/how-to-digest-food-faster/

https://www.dhcoftx.com/blog/how-to-speed-up-digestion-after-eating/

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/good-digestion

https://www.medicinenet.com/what_helps_digestion_after_overeating/article.htm

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