Did you know stress and anxiety can be aggravated not only by what you eat but by the way you eat? In our modern, fast-paced society, many of us do not give ourselves the appropriate amount of time for eating. Any of the following habits have been shown to AGGRAVATE your daily level of stress:
Eating too fast or on the run
Not chewing food at least 15-20 times per mouthful- food must be partially predigested in your mouth to be adequately digested as it goes through your gut
Eating too much, to the point of feeling stuffed or bloated
Drinking too much fluid with a meal- this can dilute the stomach acid and digestive enzymes- one cup with a meal is about all you need (do not make meal time your time to get all your water for the day in)
All of the above put a strain on your stomach and intestines in their attempt to properly digest and assimilate food. This adds to your stress levels in two ways:
1. Directly- through indigestion, bloating, stomach pains, constipation/diarrhea, or cramping
2. Indirectly- through malabsorption of essential nutrients
When food is not properly digested in your mouth and stomach- much of it will pass undigested through your gut leading to the bloating, acid reflex, and other horrible GI symptoms you are experiencing. Even if you think you eat a balanced diet, from not taking time to follow these steps much of the food will be undigested leading to lack of absorption of essential micronutrients needed for the body to be healthy and feel healthy.
So, in addition to choosing what you eat wisely, you can decrease stress and GI issues by giving yourself adequate time to eat, chew thoroughly, and not be overtaxing your body by eating excessive amounts.
Studies show that it takes 15 minutes after eating for the brain to catch up with the gut and realize it is satisfied and not hungry anymore. When we eat too quickly and anxiously, we end up overeating due to the brain not having enough time to realize it is full and satisfied.
Just some food for thought for today!