Healthy digestive function is important as it
provides the energy necessary to fuel all your
cells with glucose. The digestive system is also
critical for detoxifying the body by providing an
exit route for unwanted waste material. This is
why poor digestion can quickly lead to other
illnesses, including rashes, eczema, and
psoriasis; fatigue; low immunity; depression; and
So what are the hallmarks of a “healthy”
digestive system? You should have a good
appetite, and when we eat, we should feel
energized from our food. The ability to eat
without acid regurgitation, bloating, belching, or
gas are other signs of a well-functioning
digestive system. Regular elimination of a formed
stool shows that your body has made good use
of the food you’ve consumed.
So how does digestion “go wrong?”
• We eat the wrong foods at the wrong times
• We eat foods that are too rich, sweet, salty, or
sour because they taste good
• We eat processed foods that the body does
not recognize as nutritious; these foods make
us feel full but don’t provide nourishment
• Emotional stress impairs the digestive
function…and often our thinking around
Here are some ways to dramatically improve your
digestion by changing the way you eat.
Choose warm, cooked foods
Cold foods, like ice cream, cool down the
digestive fire, causing your metabolism to
become sluggish. Similarly, raw food, like salad,
compromises the digestive fire. How? Your body
draws heat away from the organs of digestion to
“cook” the food you’ve ingested before it passes
through the digestive tract.
If you are low in energy already, these foods will
increase your fatigue, lower your immunity,
cause you to gain weight, and could even give
you loose stools. If you suspect your digestive
fire is weakened, switch to eating warm, cooked
foods right away.
Eat a good breakfast
The digestive system is at its peak during the
morning hours. Why? Because we need a full
meal in the morning to function throughout the
day after sleeping through the night. Eating a
good breakfast will kick-start your digestive
system, giving it something to do when it’s
primed for action.
Incorporate exercise daily,
Exercise encourages gravitational movement in
the digestive tract. Walking is particularly
effective in gently supporting this downward
motion. Also, the rhythmic breathing of exercise
massages the large intestine through the
fluctuation of the diaphragm. Not only will your
body use food more effectively when you
exercise, your organs will be less stressed.
Eat dinner before 6 p.m.
The stomach is at its weakest from 7-9 p.m. at
night and doesn’t regain full power until 7 a.m.
the next morning. Eating too late can cause food
to sit in your stomach and intestines, creating
gas, bloating, heartburn, and even insomnia.
Many patients find their sleeplessness is directly
related to when they eat their final meal of the day.