Updated: Aug 8, 2022
Have you heard this statement before? Maybe not, you probably have heard, "you are what you eat", which is partially true, but how do you know you are actually absorbing what you eat? Well that is a great question!
First we must understand where digestion begins?
Where does digestion begin? The intestines, stomach, mouth or brain?
If you guessed the brain, you are correct!
DOES YOUR BODY KNOW WHEN TO "TURN ON" DIGESTION? Or are you eating mindlessly?
There are two STATES of eating we can be in; sympathetic or parasympathetic.
1. SYMPATHETIC state of eating is eating when you are in a state of STRESS, a.k.a "Fight or Flight". In this state you are distracted and rushed, this leads to IMPAIRED DIGESTION. Some signs of a sympathetic state of stress and why it is harder to digest food;
more alert and responsive (survival mechanism)
no saliva produced
blood sent FROM digestive system TO muscles
increased heart rate
stomach, pancreas, gallbladder & intestines are NOT active
What are things that put you in a STATE OF STRESS?
getting ready to leave
driving in traffic
having time limit (short lunch breaks, etc)
feeling guilty for what you are eating
2. The SOLUTION, the 2nd state of eating is the PARASYMPATHETIC state, a.k.a "Rest and Digest". In this state you are CALM and INTENTIONAL and this leads to OPTIMAL DIGESTION. Some signs of a parasympathetic state of RECEIVING include;
more relaxed and present
mouth produces saliva
blood sent FROM muscles TO digestive system
decreased heart rate
stomach makes acid
pancreas makes digestive enzyme
gallbladder releases bile
intestines move food along
What are some things that put you in a STATE OF RECEIVING?
sitting at a table
taking deep breaths before beginning to eat
gratitude before eating
smelling and tasting food
chew food 20x
eating off plate/bowl
no time limit
sensing fullness levels
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