What to do with your food BEFORE you eat it

Look at it. That’s right, just take in the sight of your food. The simple act of appreciating the way your meal looks helps to prepare your body for the act of digestion. Your brain signals your saliva and stomach to start producing digestive enzymes, which break down food into its smaller building blocks so that our bodies can process them more efficiently. Picture an assembly line building a car, but in reverse.

But admittedly, there are times when my food doesn’t look so pretty. Sometimes I hurriedly cook and plate a meal and it looks a little like the school lunches I remember from middle school. Even then, I stop and take a moment to smell the food and take a deep breath. It might sound silly, but this simple act of slowing down can make a big impact.

The second step that we all forget

Chew! I mean really chew. Many people have a tendency to chew their food mindlessly, swallowing pretty significant sized pieces of food. That results in a more difficult digestion process and can result in digested bits of food ended up further along in the pipes. Not a great scenario.

Ideally, we should chew each bite of food until it’s in a liquid state. Also, bonus: you get to spend more time eating! This can seem like a chore at first and takes some getting used to, but it can be especially beneficial when eating fibrous foods like cruciferous vegetables, or even raw greens.

It’s easy to forget to fully chew when eating in front of the computer or TV. I know, that episode of The Big Bang Theory is calling, but try to eat without distractions for a few days to see what difference it makes for you. This also adds to your ability to focus on the food and enjoy it even more!

What’s next?

If you give both of those tips a whirl and still find yourself in need of digestive help, there are many options available. Digestive enzyme supplements, digestive bitters, and apple cider vinegar are all additional tools you can use to prepare your body for a meal. It’s worth exploring options like that with a health coach or practitioner for extra support.