How to speed up metabolism and improve digestion and health is a question that bothers most people who are keen on weight loss as also those suffering from problems like acidity/ GERD/ acid reflux/ heartburn and halitosis (bad breath). Suffering from any of the problems is a clear indication of the fact that your metabolism is not fast enough and that you need to take steps to improve it, even if you have not realized that. Good health has a direct and strong correlation with a fast metabolism & good digestion. So, if you want to live a healthy and disease free life, read on to know how to speed up metabolism and improve digestion.
How to Speed Up Metabolism & Improve Digestion
Here are a few simple tips that will help you get rid of all your health problems caused by slow metabolism and poor digestion.
Rule #1: Take Smaller Bites
When you take smaller bites, you are more likely to chew your food better. Besides, you will eat lesser because it takes your brain about 20 minutes to know that the tummy is full. If you take huge bites, you are likely to continue eating even after you are not hungry anymore because your brain simply doesn’t know that!
So, if weight loss is also in your agenda in addition to improved digestion, take smaller bites to allow the brain to correctly interpret the signals being sent to it by the stomach. Put down your spoon/ fork in between bites so that you eat slowly. You will eat lesser and digest the food faster.
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Rule #2: Chew, Chew, Chew!!!
As a kid, I used to get annoyed when my mother gave me dirty looks for swallowing whole lumps of food (always in a hurry to go out and play). I now realize how right she was!
Chewing food 25 times might not be such a bad idea after all! As you chew on what you eat, you break down food into much small little pieces which increase the surface area on which the digestive enzymes are acting, thereby making it easy for your body to digest the stuff you put inside. Simple logic!
My grandpa used to tell me- you have no teeth INSIDE your tummy. So, make the most of the ones in your mouth and make sure you grind your food to a pulp before you take it down the food pipe. How right he was!
This simple tip can help speed up metabolism and improve digestion.
Rule # 3: Have Enough of Hydrating Foods
Water and other fluids are essential for hydrating our body. Though most of what we ‘know’ about drinking water are mere myths and we have already shattered these myths about drinking water in a previous post, there is no denying that consuming insufficient fluids, particularly water can be a major cause of digestion related problems.
Further, most people think that carbonated drinks, coffee and sweetened juices also serve the purpose of hydrating the body.
Nothing could be farther from truth.
The fact is that these drinks (particularly sodas and caffeinated beverages) contribute to acid production in the stomach and are a major cause of indigestion and acidity.
If you cannot give them up altogether, try to minimize their intake to speed up metabolism and improve digestion. Drinking natural fruit and vegetable juices, green tea and plain water, on the other hand, can be beneficial for your system.
Rule #4: Increase Your Fiber Intake
A major cause of all our digestive problems is insufficient fiber intake. Consuming quick foods like biscuits, cookies, chips, instant noodles, etc. fast foods like burgers, pizzas, etc. and refined flours due to which we deprive our body of dietary fiber. A lack of fiber causes several digestion related problems like acidity, gas formation, constipation, anal fissures, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
Dietary fiber does not get absorbed by the body and helps the body get rid of metabolic wastes as it goes down the intestines.
Incorporate more of foods like:
• Beans, legumes and pulses
• Fresh fruits and vegetables. Include fruits and vegetables of all colors in your diet chart for better digestion and health.
• Dried fruits like figs, prunes and dates.
• Whole grains.
•Prefer unpolished, brown rice to white rice, brown bread to white bread and cut down on refined flour products like noodles, pasta, etc.
Besides, fiber is filling and eating fiber laden foods will make you feel ‘fuller’ with a smaller calorie intake.
Rule # 5: Include Probiotics
Our body needs some good bacteria, also called probiotics, to speed up metabolism, to aid the process of digestion and for better intestinal health. Most important probiotics for us are the Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophillus.
One of the richest sources of these probiotics we need is yogurt. Greek yogurt, organic yogurt, drinkable yogurt, etc.- the choices are huge and you can pick the one you relish most to improve digestion.
To know more about the benefits of yogurt, refer to our previous post.
Rule # 6: Exercise Regularly
Sedentary lifestyles are also to be blamed for our poor metabolism & digestive health.
Exercising mildly 4-5 days a week for 30-40 minutes helps tremendously. It also helps keep the levels of blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol under control.
Exercising stimulates the contractions in the intestines and thus helps reduce symptoms of chronic constipation, IBS and similar other problems.
A more active lifestyle also causes better absorption of nutrients and better elimination of toxic wastes from the body.
Exercising once in a while is not enough to improve digestion. You have to set up a regular workout routine
Rule #7: Don’t Eat When You Are on the Run
This, according to me, is the major cause of all our digestive problems and disorders. Most of us have time for anything and everything except for eating properly.
My son, for instance, can spend hours playing those silly Facebook games or listening to jarring music but cannot ‘waste’ 10-15 minutes to eat his food properly. At his age, this might not be enough to cause him digestive disorders but I am sure that cannot be ruled out if does not change his eating habits. A problem with grown-ups is reading the newspaper or attending endless phone calls during the meals, all of which are bad for your digestion. Relishing the sight of good food, smelling it, tasting it and enjoying each morsel- all of these aid in better digestion.
Grabbing a sandwich while on the run or munching on some chips to ‘kill’ appetite can play havoc with your digestion. You could make meal times more pleasant by putting on some light music and lighting some scented candles.
Here’s wishing all my readers a healthier and happier life, because now they know how to speed up metabolism and improve digestion.