5 ways to improve your digestion and feel more energetic too!

Digestion has been a hot topic subject for many years and science has come a long way to understanding how this system supports us, however many people (especially menopausal women) still struggle with symptoms related to poor digestion every day. Read on to find out why good digestion is really important for your health and wellness and how you can improve it and feel more energetic!

Digestion begins from the time you start eating to the end, when your body clears the waste through a bowel movement (hopefully). It is super important for your growth and health and when it’s optimal you’ll feel energetic and strong. But your digestion can be influenced by many things over your life including aging, hormone fluctuations, poor eating habits/choices and stress.

5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DIGESTION AND FEEL MORE ENERGETIC TOO  – see the list below!

Reasons why your digestion may be off:

CHALLENGE – pick one of the above to improve upon and see how your digestion gets better!

good digestion and why it's important through menopause

Digestion is a term used to describe the breaking down of your food. Webster’s dictionary defines it as ‘the process by which food is broken down into simpler forms in the body by mechanical and enzymatic means’.

Good digestion requires you to chew your food well, breaking it down into smaller pieces for your stomach to handle. These smaller food pieces are then tossed in a bath of acids & enzymes for further break down and then sent along the tube of intestines for more disintegration, absorption and then elimination.

  • Your digestive system is tied directly to your immune health, so having poor digestion may reduce your body’s immune response.
  • Your small intestine helps to extract and absorb vitamins, minerals and micronutrients from your food to be used throughout the day, but this can be compromised if you have SIBO, IBS, Crohn’s or Ulcers
  • Your digestive system is also involved in producing neurotransmitters, such as seratonin, dopamine and GABA that help you think, feel happy and sleep well.
  • Your large intestine is in charge of absorbing water from your food for your body to use, so if the bowels move slowly your stool may be hard to pass and if the bowels move quickly you’ll lose out on that valuable liquid.

Back to the connection of digestion and menopause

It’s very common for women to experience digestive issues through menopause, because of hormonal shifts and changes. Poor or slow digestion (which is usually the case) can have a major impact on your body. The reduction of estrogen and progesterone through menopause slows down or sometimes stalls the movement of food through your bowels, which down the line, may affect how much of the important stuff you actually gain from your food to support your bones, brain and breasts.

If your digestion moves slowly (constipation) you will probably experience abdominal distension, bloating, headaches, fatigue or dry/hard to pass stool. On the other side of that if your bowels move too quickly (diarrhea) your body won’t have time to absorb nutrients from your food and you may feel tired, weak, nauseated or have abdominal discomfort.

So what can you do? If you need some help reach out to me or your local health practitioner. If you’re eager to get going here are 5 ways to improve your digestion and feel more energetic!

5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DIGESTION AND FEEL MORE ENERGETIC TOO 

Look under each box to find out more!

keep hydrated through the day

Sip water through the day to keep your bowels lubricated!

Eat fibre from whole food sources

Fibre helps to bind and shape your stool making it easier to excrete!

keep moving/ exercise regularly

Exercise has been shown to help keep your digestive system moving.

stress management

Stress management can help your digestion and so much more!

REST & DIGEST

Your nervous system NEEDS to be calm to properly work!

how do you know if your digestion is poor?

Your body is literally a structure complete with it’s own internal plumbing, but sometimes that plumbing moves too slow, too fast or just gets clogged up. This not only impacts the digestive system but all of the other systems that depend on the vitamins, minerals provided by the breakdown of your food.

If you are someone that has been diagnosed with IBS, Crohn’s, or Celiac disease good digestion may already be a daily struggle.

If you have not been diagnosed with a digestive disorder, but you experience any of the following, you may have poor digestion:

A QUICK COMMENT ABOUT GLUTEN

Gluten is a protein found in baked goods (wheat/white flour), dressings, marinades and pasta (wheat) and is not always easy for everyone to digest. Some people have an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten and do better avoiding it as much as possible. A very small percentage of people can’t digest gluten at all (Celiac), but this is often diagnosed during childhood. Gluten can cause bloating or abdominal discomfort after eating, so if you’re not sure if it’s the gluten or something else seek the help from a health practitioner to do some testing.

If you want to see how your body feels gluten free, give it a try for at least 6 weeks…BUT PLEASE DO NOT begin eating gluten free processed foods. Focus on clean eating, meals with lots of veggies, whole grains (that are naturally gluten free), beans, legumes, whole fruit and good quality animal product (if you’re not a vegetarian/vegan).

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About the Author
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Cindy Willems

Cindy is the owner/creator of My Fit Over 50. She is a registered acupuncturist, certified Pilates instructor, holistic nutritionist and educator. She takes a holistic approach to achieving whole body health and she believes that it is important to keep challenging the body and mind safely and efficiently as we age. Cindy also has a busy clinic called Women's Health Centre in Toronto, Ontario.