Feel Bad After Eating?
Here’s Why (and What To Do About It)
Your gut, or digestive system, is responsible for breaking down all the different foods you consume and absorbing all the vital nutrients that those foods contained so your body can utilize them. Because of its important role, if your gut is experiencing any issues in the way it feels or functions, your overall health and well-being can be impacted in a variety of ways, including the way your body feels after a meal.
So this begs the question: what is happening in your gut that is resulting in this post-meal discomfort? There are a few possible reasons this could be happening. Let’s take a look at them.
Food Sensitivities 🍝
If you notice that you sometimes feel uncomfortable after eating and sometimes you don’t, then the cause of your discomfort may be a food sensitivity, which simply means that your gut has a hard time digesting that particular food. This could happen for a number of reasons. For example, your system may be reacting to a chemical, additive, or preservative found in that food, it may be sensitive to certain types of natural compounds like sugar that the food contains, or it may not have enough digestive enzymes to adequately break down that particular type of food.
If you believe you have a food sensitivity, the best way to avoid the associated discomforts is to avoid the trigger food. If you haven’t identified your trigger food yet, you may want to try keeping a food journal and taking note when your stomach becomes upset. Tracking your foods this way will help you identify potential triggers, which you can then eliminate from your diet for a while to see if you notice any improvements.
Not Properly Chewing Food 👄
We are all guilty of quickly eating our meals without paying much attention to how thoroughly we are chewing our foods. It could be because of our busy schedules or if you haven’t eaten in a while and are extra hungry. It is often recommended that we chew each bite about 30 times. While you don’t necessarily need to sit there and count to 30 every time you take a bite, the idea is that the more you chew your food, the smaller the pieces will be as they make their way through the rest of your digestive system, which in turn makes the rest of the digestive process easier. When we forget about the importance of chewing, we are more likely to swallow larger chunks of food. As a result, our stomach and small intestine will need to work harder to thoroughly break those pieces down, which can lead to various types of digestive discomfort.
The best way to deal with indigestion caused by not chewing enough is to simply chew more. When you sit down to eat a meal, slow down and be intentional about each bite. Chew a little longer than you normally would make sure the food is properly broken down before moving onto your stomach.
Shortage of Digestive Enzymes 🍯
Your digestive system needs enzymes to help it properly break down your food. These enzymes are specific types of proteins that your body produces to assist with the digestive process, and each type of digestive enzyme is responsible for breaking down a specific type of food. While your body naturally produces digestive enzymes on its own, it’s possible that this natural production is falling short of what your body needs, which leads to a shortage of enzymes. As a result, your digestive system may not have enough supply to efficiently digest your meals, which can lead to excessive gas or an upset stomach.
To combat this, find ways to get digestive enzymes from your diet. You can do this by eating certain foods like pineapple, kiwi, raw honey, and ginger, which are all known to contain plant-based enzymes. Alternatively, you can also add an all-natural digestive enzyme supplement to your daily routine to help boost your body’s supply.
A Weak Gut Barrier 💧
Your gut barrier is a thin layer of cells that covers the entire length of your digestive tract. It is designed to help keep substances from escaping the intestine and entering your bloodstream. While it may be easy to think of this barrier as a brick wall, a better way to view it is as a guarded gate because it is selectively permeable. In simple terms, this means that your gut barrier not only keeps harmful substances out of your bloodstream, but it selectively allows certain things that your body needs, like water and nutrients, through. If this barrier is weak, an occurrence that is commonly referred to as leaky gut, the ‘security around the gate’ becomes more relaxed and things that shouldn’t enter your bloodstream may make their way through and wreak havoc on your body.
When it comes to your gut barrier, the best thing you can do to strengthen and support it is properly nourish it by eating plenty of whole foods, staying properly hydrated, and generally taking steps to care for your body and your overall health.
Gut Dysbiosis 😀
Your gut microbiome is home to trillions of different types of bacteria, and each of these bacteria plays an important role in helping to regulate not only the function of your gut but also many other important functions throughout your body. If the balance of your gut bacteria gets thrown off, a situation that is known as gut dysbiosis, then your digestion can be negatively impacted. Some of these impacts can present physically as things like unexplained bloating, unusual amounts of gas, and stomach pains. There are a variety of things that can lead to gut dysbiosis, including a diet high in processed foods, chronic stress, and certain medications like antibiotics.
Because gut imbalance can stem from a number of different causes, there isn’t a single way to rebalance it. However, there are steps you can take to help reboot your gut, including things like adding more whole foods to your diet, exercising regularly, and taking gut-nourishing supplements that contain digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Anxiety and Stress 😖
Your gut is connected to your brain by something known as the gut-brain axis, which allows the two to communicate with each other. Because of this connection, your emotions, especially strong emotions like anxiety and stress, can directly impact your gut. While short-term stress about things like work deadlines or traffic isn’t likely to have a lasting impact, ongoing stress can alter the composition of your gut microbiome, impact your gut barrier, and change how quickly food moves through your GI tract.
The best way to handle this is to find stress management techniques that work for you. Activities such as exercise, meditation, journaling, and creative hobbies are often great ways to relieve stress and in turn improve your gut health.
Take Charge of Your Gut 🚶
Your gut health is an important part of your health, and taking care of it may be the secret to helping manage the discomfort you feel after eating. Taking steps to improve your diet, move your body, manage your stress, and nourish your gut can go a long way when it comes to helping you feel your best.
If you’re looking to provide your gut with as much nourishment and support as possible, then consider incorporating daily gut-supporting supplements like probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes into your routine. Better yet, get all of this in a single gut-loving product like Essentials from New Earth.
Sending You Tons of Love and Humongous Hugs,
Tina “Taking Charge” McDermott