Digestion by Design  (Part 3)

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By Melanie Stewart

It might come as a surprise to learn that the number one trigger of daytime fatigue and poor performance is actually not sleep, stress or even food related – it’s dehydration.  So, before we move on to the stomach, let’s talk about how to hydrate properly. Your goal is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water daily. More if you workout and sweat! However, one of the worst things you can do is drown your meal with a lot of liquid!

To enhance digestion it is better to hydrate BETWEEN meals. When we over-drink with our meal we actually hinder digestion by diluting the gastric juices, making them less effective at breaking down food properly. As a result, nutrient absorption is compromised and symptoms of indigestion may increase.  You are better off drinking a large glass of water 15 to 30 minutes BEFORE you plan to eat. This will not only help you stay hydrated; it also helps to curb your hunger, making you less likely to over eat.

On a side note, did you know that water consumption increases the rate at which you burn calories? Even more so if it’s cold. However, if you are a fan of cold or iced drinks, it is essential that you consume them on an empty stomach ONLY, no less than 30 minutes before you eat. Drinking iced or cold liquids with a meal will not only delay the digestive function, it also solidifies fats making them harder to digest. On an empty stomach, cold liquids help curb your hunger and raise your metabolism.

To achieve your goal, try this schedule:

  • 2 glasses upon arising helps to activate internal organs and improves regular bowel function.
  • 1 glass 15 – 30 minutes BEFORE breakfast or one hour after
  • 1 glass 15 – 30 minutes BEFORE lunch
  • 1 glass mid afternoon
  • 1 glass 15 – 30 minutes BEFORE dinner
  • 1 glass before your shower helps to prevent dehydration
  • 1 glass before bed helps prevent heart attack and stroke

So what can you drink with your meal? Sipping coffee, hot tea, red wine or room temperature water with your meal is okay. Since you are hydrating between meals thirst should not be an issue. You just need enough liquid to help you swallow.

All forms of soda or flavored drinks should be eliminated if they contain refined sugar or artificial sweeteners, both a weight loss nightmare that offer zero positive contributions! Pure, fresh water has the added bonus of helping to detoxify, making your digestive system more efficient. For variety, try adding some cranberry juice, citrus, mint, cucumber, ginger, strawberry or basil to your water.

Here’s a simple recipe you can try with some amazing health benefits:

Pour 8 ounces of pure organic cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail!) into a one gallon glass container.  Add the juice (and pulp for more fiber and bioflavonoids) of 4 lemons. Fill with good clean filtered water. Add Stevia to taste (optional)

Why we drink this:

  • Cranberry’s acidity helps keep the liver’s detoxification pathways open, acts as a digestive aid for the waste material stuck in the lymphatic system (this can help with tissue saturation and help reduce cellulite), helps to reduce and clear mild urinary bladder infections and can improve the strength of connective tissue.
  • Lemon works to detoxify the liver and kidneys, aids in liquefying congested bile ducts, provides anti-oxidants and electrolytes, helps oxygenate the body, and helps to promote peristalses.  It is also a rich source of the immune boosting vitamin C, has good quantities of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium and is a tremendous source of citrus bioflavonoid anti-oxidant phytonutrients.  

Melanie Stewart provides personal coaching and corporate seminars and workshops that are relevant and empowering and will leave you with a unique blend of meaningful education and practical tools, tips and techniques. For more information, you can fill out the contact form at: https://www.yumtumnutrition.com/ or email:  melanie@yumtumnutrition.com

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