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Good digestion – 15 tips for getting the most from your nutrients

veggie-dietThere is a lot of focus on the nutritional content of foods in Western nutrition – for example, how much calcium, iron, vitamin D, etc a food contains. Nutritional content is important, but digestion and absorption are indeed very important too. We should be able to digest and absorb all that healthy food we eat, otherwise it is a waste! Unfortunately it is underestimated in modern nutrition. In Ayurveda, there is a strong focus on healthy eating habits as the base of digestion and absortion.

Here are 15 tips on how to improve digestion so you actually benefit from all the nutrients in your food.

1. Eat in a quiet environment. No radio, computer, music or TV. Don’t read while you eat either.Happy stomach

2. Have ½ tsp of grated ginger with a pinch of sea salt before meals.

3. Chew your food thoroughly – digestion starts in the mouth.

4. Sit down when you eat.

5. Don’t eat too fast.

6. Never drink cold beverages with meals. Consuming cold foods (ice cream) and drinking iced beverages impairs digestion.

7. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Drink a glass of water half an hour before meals. If you drink during the meal sip a little hot or warm water. Also avoid drinking large quantities of water within two hours after the meal.Eating in a quiet environment
8. Eat at roughly the same times every day.

9. Eat only until you are 70% full.

10. Wait until the previous meal has been digested before eating again.

11. Don’t eat just before going to bed. There should be at least three hours between eating and sleeping.
Spices for digestive health
12. Eat food that is delicious and pleasing to the senses and that is prepared by a happy cook!

13. Eat salad before cooked vegetables.

14. Eat animal protein and grains separately.

15. Use digestive spices to aid in digestion. Particularly good spices for digestion are ajwain, bay leaf, cardamon, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, coriander, fennel, cumin, ginger.

About the author

Jo DombernowskyJo Dombernowsky is the resident chef and nutrition advisor at Azul Yoga & Pilates Retreat. She runs nutrition workshops, detox retreats and special nutrition holidays and is the author of the highly acclaimed cookbook ‘Truly healthy, truly delicious’. Jo is also an inspirational Pilates teacher and her all-round healthy approach to life is clear to see! Jo has her own food blog where she posts her delicious recipes, keeping you up to date on all the wonderful new food coming out of the Azul kitchen.