If you have tried all tips and tricks to improve your digestion, but still suffer with incessant bloating, indigestion, or constipation, here is one practice that you may have not heard of: mindful eating.
How our current generation prides on the culture of business, can largely contribute to overall stress. Constantly being on-the-go can cause many of us to function in fight-or-flight mode throughout the majority of the day, therefore upsetting our hormonal balance. This has an effect on overall health and wellbeing, gut health included!
Mindful eating involves making simple switches to eat with an attitude of mindfulness. This is easier said than done, but changing your mindset on eating can have a beneficial effect on the digestion process, as well as your overall health.
What makes meal time mindful?
We have all heard of the more common mindful practices such as meditation and yoga, however how exactly can this be applied to your meals?
This does not include counting how many times one can chew during each bite. Eating mindfully includes eating with full presence, so taking the time noticing the flavours, colours, smells and textures that make up your food.
The Benefits of Eating Mindfully
Feel the Full Effects (literally) of Satiety
By being more conscious during your meal times, this enables you to recognise the effects of the hormones on satiety. Research shows that it takes your brain 20 minutes to register satiety, therefore taking the time to eat your meals plays an important role in how full you feel afterwards. It might be useful to leave any electronic equipment behind during your meal to minimise any distractions too.
2. Digestive aid
When we slow down whilst eating a meal, we can switch off the fight-or-flight mode and return to the rest-and-digest mode. This also enhances our ability to digest properly too.
3. Psychological betterment
Not only can eating mindfully benefit physical aspects such as digestion, satiation, and satisfaction, this practice can also benefit your mental health.
Research has shown that different foods can have a direct effect on our emotional states, therefore through eating mindfully, you are able to identify how certain foods make you feel, allowing you to take more charge of your emotional wellbeing.
The bottom line…
Good nutrition and regular movement is important for supporting health and digestion, but constant stress can provide overpowering effects. Practicing small bouts of mindfulness in moments such as eating, overwhelm, in the morning, or before you sleep, may help in significant improvements in your overall mood and performance.