This post is sort of a part 2 to my post last Wednesday, Thoughts on Veganism & Vegetarianism. The reason why I wanted to write this type of post is because a lot of times, the reason why some people turn to veganism or vegetarianism is that they find they don't feel well after eating meat.
Like a gluten intolerance, eating meat can cause bloating, nausea, constipation, and fatigue in people who aren't able to properly digest the proteins. If you have been feeling these symptoms, there are ways to fix this issue. Please keep in mind that there are certain health issues that contribute to the inability to digest meat. I'm just covering digestion in general. Let's get right into it!
I won't reiterate my feelings on why meat is an important component to your diet, so I'll just start off by sharing why some people are less tolerant of meats. There is no one-diet-fits-all approach to this. Some people are fine eating a whole steak without any problems, however there are some that experience abdominal discomfort. Proper digestion is key.
Here are some ways to improve your digestion:
Add probiotics to your daily routine. Probiotics are healthy and beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion. These types of probiotics can be found in Kefir, fermented foods (kimchi, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, etc.), and kombucha. Having healthy gut flora is the first step to improving digestion. You can also take raw probiotics as a daily supplement (check out Garden of Life).
Change your eating habits slightly. Take your time to enjoy your meals and chew them thoroughly. Chewing is the first step to digesting your food so make sure you are doing it properly. Stress can also throw your digestion off.
Stay hydrated. Water is important for pretty much every function in your body. Without water, you cannot properly digest the food that you are eating. This can lead to constipation. Even though water is great for digestion, try to avoid drinking water during your meals. This waters down the acids in your stomach that digest. Drink plenty of water in between your meals.
Reboot your digestion for a week. Take a break from meats and foods that can create inflammation; sugar, processed dairy, gluten, and soy. Try consuming raw foods for a week to reset your digestion. I recommend lots of vegetables (lightly cooked to help digestion), fruits (limited amounts), whole forms of dairy, and fermented foods. Anything processed is going to increase inflammation, in turn increasing digestive issues.
If you don't chew your food properly, your stomach then has to do more work to break down the food. Chewing activates stomach acid. Low stomach acid can cause heartburn (surprised?). When your digestion has to work that hard, the food sits in your stomach longer, causing it to ferment. When this fermenting happens, increased pressure causes heartburn.
Try these to increase stomach acid:
Add lemon to your water in the morning before breakfast.
"Lemon juice not only encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract, it helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating."
Add 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to 4 ounces of warm water 30 minutes before every meal.
"Apple cider vinegar has long been used as an aid for digestion. It increases the acidity of the stomach, which helps digest protein, and other foods that need an acid environment. For low stomach acid or sluggish digestion, apple cider vinegar is an easy to use digestive aid."
Quote: Natural News
As you can see, your digestion is very important! I hope that these tips help you improve your digestive health. If you, or someone you know, struggles with digesting meat, this post is meant for you. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have regarding this topic below.
Have a wonderful day! Until next time,