Love food? All the more reason to take care of your stomach.
Think of all the delectable goodness you won’t be able to consume with a bad stomach…
1. Chew more
We often have the misconception that our stomach would naturally break down the food in our stomach after we eat. That is not true. It is not the job of the belly to break down the food for us. Do you know that swallowing a food whole without chewing and chewing poorly is not good for the digestive system? Yes, it is not good and your stomach will end up working more to break down the food in your stomach.
We recommend chewing about 20 to 50 times before swallowing.
HealthLoco Tip: It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to process that we have eaten anything which is why chewing more can help your stomach to digest easier.
2. Drink water
Our body is made up 60% of water and that is why it needs pure H20 to keep it hydrated. Drinking water during or after a meal actually aids digestion. Water and other liquids help break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. Water also softens stool, which helps prevent constipation. Not to mention that water is also essential for a healthy body.
Each of us needs a different amount of water depending on our body weight. What you need to do it divide your weight in kilograms by 30 and that is the number of water in litres that you have to drink every day.
If you keep forgetting to drink water, a trick you can do is fill up a big bottle of water and keep it near you at eye level or set an alarm to your phone to remind you to drink water.
HealthLoco Tip: To make your water taste better, add lemon, cucumber, or sliced strawberries.
Studies have shown that exercise can help to alter your gut bacteria and exercise also helps to reduce stress and stress can actually contribute to irritable bowel syndrome. Exercise can help to reduce stress and relax the bowels as blood get pumps elsewhere.
HealthLoco Tip: If running or going on a jog is not your thing, you can also take a walk. Do it five times a week for 30 minutes of jogging or walking.
4. Stay calm
There is a link between your gut and your emotions. Your stomach can feel stressed when you are nervous, hence the stomach aches and the ‘twisting’ of the stomach. To avoid making your stomach stress, try to stay as relaxed as you can. Relaxing therapies such as breathing, yoga, and calming music can help you to feel better which in return, your stomach will thank you for it.
“The major nerve responsible for virtually all organ function is the vagus nerve – which travels all the way down from the brain to the abdomen and controls – among other things – the digestive organs”, says Myofacial Massage expert Lyn Breakwell.
HealthLoco Tip: You can also use aromatherapy such as scented candles and essential oil to relax your mind and your body.
5. Check your “poop”
Believe it or not, checking your stool can help you see if your stomach is healthy. The regularity, colour, and shape of your stool can tell you if your stomach needs attention.
HealthLoco Tip: Keep hydrated and eat more foods that are high in soluble fibre.