Feeling Depleted? Here are 3 Easy Tips to Help Your Body Absorb Nutrients

Are you tired?  Do you feel drained by the end of the day and just lack the energy to live your life the way you want?  You may be suffering from nutritional deficiencies - even if you are eating enough food, and even if you are eating healthy food.  They say you are what you eat.  But really you are what you absorb from the food you eat.  If you aren’t digesting your food well, eating even the perfect diet won’t provide you with the nutrients you need to feel good.

 So here are three tips that you can try today to improve your digestion, and therefore your nutrient absorption.  Will you feel instantly better?  No, of course not.  Nutritional deficiencies take time to correct.  But these tips are easy and free and can put you on the road to better health today.

1. Sit down while you eat. 

It is so easy to eat on the run.  We grab a handful of this or that and eat it as we are walking around the house or on our way out the door.  We can chew and swallow our food while we are walking around, but once it gets down into our stomach, it probably isn’t being digested well. 

 Digestion is mechanical – we chew after all – but it is also a chemical process.  In order for food to be broken down properly and for nutrients to be absorbed, the chemical reactions are vital.  But if our body isn’t in a relaxed state (rest and digest mode) then many of the chemicals we need to properly digest our foods just aren’t activated.  And then not only do we not absorb our nutrients, but we can develop all sorts of digestive problems as well.

 So, sit down.  Take a deep breath and relax.  If you take the time to relax and enjoy your food your body will actually be better able to utilize the nutrients.

 2. Chew Your Food.

 Your mother was right when she told you to chew your food well.  We begin the crucial mechanical and chemical digestive process in our mouths. But most of us don’t give the process a fighting chance.  Ideally we should be chewing each bite 30 times.  Yes, thirty.  I know that’s more than you’re used to.  But if you chew your food well (it should be pretty liquidy when you swallow it) then you are giving your digestive system a great head start on absorbing the nutrients.

 3. Don’t drink too much while you eat.

 Water is great.  Hydration is a really important component for your health.  But water and digestion don’t really mix very well.  It makes sense really.  When food arrives in your stomach it is greeted by stomach acid.  This stomach acid is great stuff.  It gets a bad rap because of heartburn.  But as long as it is appearing when it is supposed to in the right quantities, stomach acid is definitely your friend.  It breaks down your food, but it also helps signal your body when your food is digested enough to move into the small intestine where most of the nutrients are absorbed.

 But if you water down your stomach acid by drinking too much while you are eating these important processes don’t happen.  So your body can’t absorb the nutrients you need to function well and feel good. Plus, you can develop digestive issues ranging from heartburn to bloating to intestinal problems.

I know these steps aren’t sexy.  But they are free and fairly low in effort.  If you are lacking energy or just not feeling well, these tips can make a big difference.  Is this a 24-hour miracle cure?  No.  But sometimes the little steps we take over longer periods of time make the biggest difference.

Kathy Kiger