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Digestion is a physiological process that is controlled by the parasympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system, which means that you do not have to consciously will your body to release a number of enzymes, break down food substances into macro- and micro-nutrients, absorb those nutrients, and eliminate what was not utilized by the body. Digestion significantly depends on the physical state of the body and how the food is digested, but it goes even beyond that. Creating a peaceful and stress-free mental and emotional environment in the body will also positively influence the process of digestion. Below are some helpful guidelines on improving your eating habits and digestion:

Eat when you are hungry. Actual hunger will manifest once the previous meal has been completely digested. It is a common misconception that we are hungry, when we are actually only dehydrated. Rediscovering what it feels to be hungry is essential to begin being in tune with your body.

Eat in calmness and comfort. Many times there are too many distractions around during mealtimes. Eliminate TV, telephone, computers, and reading materials while you eat, sit down and concentrate only on the act itself. You will enjoy your food and create less stress for the body.

Eat the right amount. Being in tune to your body is a reoccurring theme, but it emphasizes the importance of listening to the body and eating only to the point where you feel satisfied. Every body is different, meeting the individual needs is important, which may depend on stomach size and metabolic speed.
Eat warm meals. Eating foods at least at the room temperature  is helpful. Freshly cooked meals are ideal, but avoiding extreme temperatures is the key, especially straight from the fridge. This allows the digestive enzymes to work efficiently and preserve the digestive power of the system.
Eat quality food. Being aware of where you food is originating may be a difficult task. Making an effort to consume fresh, organic, seasonal real foods is a good start. Also making sure that the meal is not too dry with some juiciness will facilitate digestion and improve nutrient absorption.
Take your time. Slow down, do not eat too fast. Take the time to chew each bite 10-15 times before swallowing. Chewing is an essential aspect of digestion where several digestive enzyme are released.
Be present. The act of eating requires all five senses, but most of them are often disregarded. Take time to appreciate the smell of the meal, the arrangement on the plate, the texture of the food, the combination of flavors, and the sound of eating. Engaging all the sense will be a rewarding way to enjoy the food.
Take the time for yourself and learn to enjoy your meals. Bon appetite!

Have questions? Contact me here, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comFacebook, or Twitter!

Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

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