Do you practice mindful eating or gulp down your food in a mad rush?

Proper diet involves not just what you eat, but also when, how and how much. Ineffective digestion can often stem from not following the simple concept of awareness of what you are eating, while you are eating.

Taking the time to create a ritual of nourishing intent when you eat means that your body is fortified rather than depleted due to your eating habits. You will consume less as you are present in the moment of eating and more likely to stop when you feel satiated, overeating occurs due to not being mindful or wholly present while eating. Being connected with your body at meal times is imperative for a strong mind-body connection.

The following guidelines should help you establish healthy, sensible eating habits:

1) Never eat when you’re tired, angry, upset or worried. Fatigue, negative emotions and stress impair proper digestion.

2) Don’t eat unless you’re truly hungry. If you’re not really hungry, your body isn’t really ready to receive the food.

3) Eat your largest meal at midday. When the Sun is at its height, so are our powers of pepsis, or digestion and metabolism.

4) Eat lightly for dinner, at least three hours before retiring. Eating too heavily, too late at night, will leave undigested food to putrefy in the gut and disturb sound sleep, as well as digestion.

5) A little light exercise before meals stimulates the appetite and digestion. It does this by consuming residual humoral superfluities.

6) Drink the most water between meals; sip while you sup. Drinking too much water with meals dilutes the digestive juices, but small amounts will moisten the food and lubricate its passage down the gullet.

7) Don’t overeat. Never fill your stomach past three-quarters full. Always leave some space for air, so that your stomach has some working room.

8) Chew your food well before swallowing. Digestion begins in the mouth, by masticating the food and mixing it with saliva.

9) Eat in good company; make meals a happy, joyful occasion. Excessive pensiveness and melancholy ruin digestion.

10) Never eat on the run. Always take the time to digest your food properly. Anxiety and stress interfere with proper digestion.

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About Sally James:

Sally James N.D is a Naturopathic lecturer, content health writer and naturopathic advisor, with 18 years experience working for herbal medicines companies in the areas of research, technical support and naturopathic advice.

She has a special interest in womens health seeking to provide them with advice in natural health care through supporting, informing and educating women to empower themselves through better understanding of their bodies.

Sally also runs a website called Ask a Naturopath, founded in 2008.
Ask a Naturopath provides natural health information to the wider audience via personal email consultations and over 500 pages of resources.