- Written by Robyn Holder Robyn Holder
- Published: 01 August 2016 01 August 2016
Taking a moment to say grace, give thanks, or just silently acknowledging your food before eating can do a world of good for your digestive system, according to Liz Lipski, Ph.D., author of Digestive Wellness. Your digestive tract, from brain to anus, is 30 feet long. That’s a lot of area that needs to be treated with care.
In today’s hectic world, we often just “dig in” to our meal, without allowing our body’s natural processes to begin working. Lipski says as soon as you just think about food, your salivary glands begin to work, preparing your intestinal tract to receive food, where other enzymes are released to assist with proper digestion. However, when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or worried, the sympathetic nervous system slows down this release, potentially creating numerous digestive ills, like heartburn, bloating, gas and constipation.
By giving yourself just a moment before a meal, you will relax, your body will prepare to eat, and you will process and enjoy the food much more. One easy way to allow your body to relax is to simply b-r-e-a-t-h-e. You can practice one of my favorite kinds of breathing, called the 5-5-5 breath. Take a deep breath in for a count of 5, hold the breath for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 5. You can do this right at your table, whether you are alone or with a group of people. Try it the next time you have a meal!
To Your Vitality!