Day after day of eating hard to digest foods, eating too fast, and eating bad ingredients takes a toll on your digestive system. That can leave you feeling bad. Dealing with pain, bloating, and either constipation or diarrhea, or both even. So how do you break the cycle?
Just like your muscles need rest after exercise, the digestive system can benefit from a rest period.
This can be accomplished with both fasting and a limited ingredient diet for a short period of time.
Overnight Recovery: Intermittent Fasting
Giving your body time to process, digest, and recover overnight is an important part of being ready for the new day. The term “breakfast” means just that, to break the fast. The time between your last meal and your first meal of the new day is considered a fasting period.
Many people are exploring the idea of “Intermittent Fasting.” The benefits are sometimes used for losing weight or for allowing more muscle development. Both of these happen because the body needs a period of rest to allow the hormones and digestive process to do their job and then return to a normal state before you eat again.
This healthy cycle of fasting gets ruined by late night eating, late evening meals, and snacking. Your body does not get the 12-15 hours of processing and rest time it wants overnight.
Eating late at night also results in food laying in your stomach longer, which means it can ferment more and cause gas and bloating. If you already have slow digestion, eating late at night can intensify this problem.
It is best to allow 3-4 hours between your last meal and the time when you go to bed. If you have that 3-4 hour window, your stomach will empty and your small intestine can do it’s job as you sleep. Then you will have a nice 12-15 hour window before your next meal in the morning.
Longer Fasting- 1-3 days
Another option for letting the digestive system rest and recover is a longer fast.
You can fast 1-3 days, avoiding solid foods, using liquids like broth and tea for your hydration and a light caloric intake.
This kind of fast can help reset those symptoms you’ve been having with eating food.
If you have any medical conditions or questions consult your doctor before fasting.
After a period of fasting you can slowly reintroduce foods that you might have eaten before. Then you will be able to tell which foods are bothering your digestion.
Limited Ingredient Diet for Bad Digestion
Eating a limited ingredient diet is one way of helping bad digestion. You can experiment with a small number of foods to see what you tolerate best.
For example when Kim was working to improve her bad digestion, she used a diet consisting of just a few foods: seafood, rice bread, hemp milk, broth, tea, honey, strawberries, and macadamia butter, for several weeks. During this time he body was able to calm. Please note that Kim’s safe foods may not be something you will tolerate well, but they happened to work for her.
A good rule of thumb is base your meals on this list:
- a simple protein- meat, fish, seafood, yogurt, or milk (seasoned only with salt or a fresh herb)
- a baked carbohydrate with no sugar (nothing boiled).
- a low fiber low sugar fruit or easy to digest vegetable.
- a healthy oil
- tea with honey
Look for food suggestions from us soon.