Healthy digestion and a healthy intestinal flora have a positive influence on your weight.
Have energy and be healthy
When we talk about how you eat, it’s about the process of your digestion. In this article I will discuss 3 habits that have a negative influence on your digestion: eating too much, eating too cold, and eating too quickly. I also give practical tips on how to easily change them. Because not only what you eat, but also how you eat, is of course very important for the result: having enough energy, feeling good and being healthy.
Unhealthy Eating Habit #1: Eating Too Much
One of the things that contribute to disturbed digestion and therefore an imbalance of intestinal flora ( microbiome ) is eating too much. Did you know that a balanced microbiome is directly related to a healthy weight? In other words, there is definitely a relationship between overeating and being overweight. But that relationship isn’t just about calories. Eating too many causes a delay in your digestion process: the food is in your stomach for too long. The production of enzymes can also be disrupted if you regularly eat too much.
If there is too much food in your stomach at once, it will be digested too slowly. Your stomach is like a balloon in which food is kneaded. The bigger the lump in your stomach, the less room there is to knead properly. Consider a sealable jar in which you want to mix two types of rice. If you fill the jar to the brim and seal it, you can shake it until you weigh an ounce.
The rice will barely mix. If you fill the pot up to two-thirds with the rice varieties, they will mix much easier. The same goes for your stomach. Except that your stomach does not shake the food, but kneads it. Is your stomach too full? Then it takes a very long time before the food mash is well kneaded and ready to move on to the next stage in your digestion process: your small intestine.
Bloating and Heartburn
Due to the long stay in the stomach, gas can develop, which gives you a bloated feeling. The slurry can also find its way up, towards the esophagus. That feels like heartburn. antacid in it? Not a good idea. You don’t have too much stomach acid – the cause lies elsewhere! When your food is not finely ground, it also causes all kinds of problems further down your intestines. Think, for example, of fermentation (gassing) or an overgrowth of unwanted bacteria, the bad guys. All of this is of course not conducive to a healthy intestinal flora.
Disrupted production of enzymes
As mentioned, your stomach is like a balloon. If you stuff your stomach too full, it will stretch the stomach wall. When you regularly eat too much, the stomach lining can relax – and that causes problems! If there is a stretch on your stomach wall, a signal is given to your body that there is food to digest. Your body responds to this: it produces substances that you need to properly digest the food. Those are enzymes.
You guessed it: when the stretch is gone, those fabrics are produced less well this way. Your digestive system suffers from that. Not only in your stomach but also further down in your intestines. The environment in your gut becomes less pleasant for your flora. Your intestinal flora consists of sensitive types that need a pleasant environment to flourish.
What is the right portion of food for you?
Your stomach is as big as your hand. So the size is different for everyone. A practical guideline for a healthy size of a meal: form a bowl with both hands and fill it with chewed food in mind. That’s the right amount of a meal for you. Just use your imagination.
Unhealthy Eating Habit No. 2: Eating or Drinking Too Cold
Heat is needed for digestion. Heat improves the digestion processes and your food is more easily converted or digested. Everything in your body is around 37 degrees Celsius. Also in your stomach. It’s like having a fire burning in your stomach to digest your food. In the holistic view of Ayurveda, this fire is called agni or digestive fire. If your agni is too low, your digestion will be difficult. You probably also understand that your fire is extinguished, or greatly weakened, when you add cold food or drink.
Keeping your digestive fire burning
Do you have trouble with your digestion and are you used to drinking very cold water or having a cold dessert after dinner? Try changing that. Drink (lukewarm) warm water or a cup of tea with a meal or in between and skip your cold dessert and ice-cold drinks. There is a good chance that your fire will continue to burn happily, which will improve your digestion.
Unhealthy Eating Habit No. 3: Eating Too Fast
Are you going to the table with a huge appetite? Is your blood sugar way too low because you haven’t eaten anything for too long? There is a good chance that you will eat too quickly. startle. Take, swallow, away. And then you forget to chew. Chewing is important: you already grind your food into small pieces. This way the enzymes in your mouth and further down in your intestines can reach the food well. Enzymes make your food even smaller so that it can eventually be absorbed in your gut. If you forget to chew, your digestion will go less well. And of course, your flora also suffers from this.
If you do not chew properly, the food cannot be digested properly. The enzymes do not reach everywhere so the food cannot be absorbed properly. What then arises? Chunks of poop… Your mouth is the only place in your body where there are teeth. Use them for what they are intended for!
Do you want to chew better and slower? Make a plan. Chew carefully during every meal for a few days. That means you chew each bite a minimum number of times. With every bite, you take, bring your attention to the grind to make your digestion easier. Also very effective: compete with yourself. Are you always the first to finish your meal when you eat in a group? Set yourself the goal of finishing last – and not by bragging twice, of course. After every bite, put your cutlery next to your plate and only pick it up again when the bite has been swallowed.
Healthy gut flora, healthy weight
Eating too much, too cold, or too quickly has a negative effect on your digestion. And disturbed digestion has a negative influence on the quality of your microbiome. And let an unhealthy flora also be directly linked to an unhealthy weight. Being overweight is really about much more than just an excess of calories. But you probably already know that. Otherwise, all those diets that count or restrict calories would actually work. Then not so many people would be overweight, and therefore most likely an unhealthy intestinal flora. Healthy digestion and a healthy microbiome have a positive influence on your weight.