- If you've spent your evening
feasting on fried chicken and wine,
you might feel bloated, tired, and uncomfortable.
And perhaps you're dreading the idea of going to bed
with a mini food baby inside you.
Or maybe you are eating all the broccoli in the world,
but things just aren't moving.
Either way, you're in luck,
because in this video,
we're going to look at seven ways to digest food faster.
First, I'll show you the number one thing you can do
before eating to speed up your digestion.
Then I'll reveal the best ideas you can try while eating.
And finally, we'll look at one idea
researchers think could help after eating
so you can beat bloating and get things moving.
Now let's get into it
by looking at the number one thing you can do before eating.
And I know this might sound boring,
like the type of advice your mom might text you
while munching on her afternoon snack of prunes,
but here it is, drink enough liquids,
especially water throughout the day.
In other words, stay well-hydrated.
And I know this is probably not the revolutionary idea
you were hoping we'd start with, but here's the thing.
Drinking enough liquids can help you digest food faster
and poop it out easier.
It helps with the production
of digestive enzymes in your saliva,
so you can start digesting food
the minute it enters your mouth
and it makes food soft and slippery
so it slides down your GI tract easier.
And just as crucially, it makes your stool soft,
so it slides down your colon gently.
In fact, in a 2010 study published in Nutrition Reviews,
researchers found inadequate fluid consumption
is a common culprit in constipation.
And increasing fluid intake
is a frequently recommended treatment,
which works for people in a hypohydrated state,
meaning people who have not consumed enough liquids.
Now let's move on to the best tips to try while eating.
And this first idea
is to eat fiber rich foods during your meals,
such as vegetables, beans, or legumes.
And this idea is actually a really interesting one,
because most people think fiber slows down digestion.
So what's the truth there?
Well, it turns out fiber does slow gastric emptying,
meaning the time it takes food to leave your stomach,
something we've seen in many studies
including this one from 2014.
But once your food moves out of your stomach
and into your intestinal tract,
fiber does a fantastic job at speeding things up,
allowing you to pass a bowel movement
more quickly and easily.
In other words, it increases intestinal emptying,
and it does this in two ways.
First, soluble fiber, the kind that dissolves in water,
makes your stool moist or less dry, so it's easier to pass.
And second, insoluble fiber,
the kind that doesn't dissolve in water,
adds bulk to your stool, helping it to move along faster.
So you're probably wondering
if fiber slows digestion in the stomach,
but speed it up in the intestine,
does it have a net positive impact
on overall digestion speed?
Well, if you saw our video
on how long does food take to digest,
you'll know that the vast majority of digestion
actually takes place in the intestinal tract, like over 90%.
Meaning if fiber slows down stomach digestion a little,
it helps speed up the majority of the digestion process.
In terms of how much fiber you should aim to eat,
if you don't currently eat a lot of fiber,
adding too much all at once will likely cause bloating,
the very digestive symptoms we're trying to avoid.
So it's best to gradually increase daily fiber intake.
And we cover how to do this plus the optimal daily target
for men and women in our video on how much fiber per day.
And you can find a link to that in the description below.
Now let's look at the next big idea to try while eating,
and that is to keep stress and distraction levels low.
Now without getting to Dalai Lama on you,
if you ever experience a loss of appetite
or the need to run for the bathroom
before a nerve-wracking event, hello, public speaking,
you probably know just how much stress
can affect your digestive system.
And the reason for this
is that when you're in an adrenaline pumping state
of fight or flight, or even when you're simply distracted,
your body diverts energy away from digestion.
And as you can imagine, this slows digestion drastically,
and increases the likelihood of bloating and constipation
or even diarrhea if your body decides
it can't deal with food whatsoever.
As the authors of a 2011 paper published
in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology say quote,
"It is well known that exposure to stress
may lead to the manifestation of different symptoms
within the gastrointestinal tract, such as dyspepsia,"
meaning indigestion, "Diarrhea, or abdominal pain," unquote.
Although it's easier said than done,
eating meals in a low stress and low distraction environment
can significantly help digestion.
Some simple tips to help with this include not watching TV
or scrolling your phone while eating,
sitting down at a table for mealtime
as opposed to your desk or car,
sharing a meal with a loved one,
and focusing on each bite in a mindful way,
which leads us into our next idea,
and that is to chew your food more.
And yes, I know it sounds rather trite
like something you might see on a poster
at an age care center, but here's the thing.
If you're someone who wolfs down each bite
within milliseconds, you might be able
to win the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest,
but you certainly won't have comfortable digestion.
And that's because chewing is the first
and arguably most important step in the digestive process.
Your teeth work hard to crush up the food,
which mashes it into a pulp.
This is then sent into your GI tract where gastric juices
and digestive enzymes continue breaking it down.
And the more work your teeth do,
the less work the rest of your digestive system has to do.
In other words,
digestion can be more efficient and smoother.
And if you want another reason to chew more,
and I love this point,
we found this fascinating research published in the
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014,
and it turns out,
chewing thoroughly also prevents overeating,
which is a common cause of indigestion and bloating.
In this study, adults were asked to eat pizza for lunch
until they were full,
and to experiment with chewing it more than they usually do.
The researchers concluded that quote,
"Food intake in the sessions
between 150% and 200% of their baseline number of chews
was reduced significantly by 9.5% and 14.8%," unquote.
So in plain English, what they found
is that chewing twice as many times as usual
can reduce overeating by almost 15%,
and this means less uncomfortable bloating and indigestion.
Now onto the next idea, digestion aids.
In other words,
supplements that can help with the digestion process.
And there are four main ones to consider.
The first two, I'll show you help with proteins.
The third one helps with fats,
and the fourth one helps with carbs
as well as proteins and fats.
So the first one is betaine HCL,
and it supports stomach acid,
which in turn helps with pepsin production
to break down proteins.
So it's really helpful when eating meat,
seafood, and dairy products, for example.
You can also take supplemental pepsin with your betaine HCL
to make this even easier.
Meanwhile, when it comes to fats,
bile is the ideal supplement,
and it can help speed up digestion of fatty foods
like guacamole, salmon, and even glorious hamburgers.
And finally, digestive enzymes
can help break down all types of foods.
And while they help mainly with carbs,
they're also great for protein and fats.
So as you can see,
these supplements basically just supply your body
with more of the good guys it already uses for digestion.
And here at Essential Stacks,
while we hope all the other ideas in this video
can get your digestion up to speed,
we know that nobody is perfect.
And sometimes digestion can use a little helping hand.
And in those situations, we think these supplements
are a really simple way to support your digestion.
But since it's rather inconvenient
to take all those different supplements every time you eat,
we decided to combine or stack them.
So we created these two products.
Upgraded betaine HCL combines HCL, pepsin, and bile,
as well as ginger and digestive bitters.
While pure enzymes
combines 18 different digestive enzymes in one,
just one capsule of each with your meal
can make a big difference.
And if you want to learn more about them,
check out the links in the description below.
We even have a special offer
for all our YouTube subscribers,
which you can find there as well.
And now the last idea to try while eating
is to eat more bitter foods and herbs.
Unfortunately, in our modern world
that prioritizes sweetened fatty foods,
the taste of bitterness has fallen to the wayside.
But as research has shown,
bitter foods and herbs have been used
for thousands of years to improve digestion.
Not only do they help stimulate saliva and gastric juices,
but they also help stimulate digestive enzymes.
In other words, they help speed up digestion.
And if you want to geek out with us for a second,
let's take a look at how this happens.
So researchers in this 2015 paper noted,
bitters stimulate the nerves in your mouth,
which then increases the release of gastric juices and bile,
meaning food can be broken down more easily.
These same researchers also noted
how bitter and sour tastes
can also increase saliva production.
Bitter foods and herbs include arugula or rocket,
dandelion greens, apple cider vinegar, gentian root,
as well as mint, ginger, and parsley.
And finally, to wrap this video up,
let's look at what you can do after eating
to speed up digestion.
And the most effective idea researchers have found
is to do some light exercise.
You see, it turns out walking after a meal
can aid digestion by stimulating movement
in the stomach and intestines, which in turn helps food
to move through the digestive tract more rapidly.
This was seen in a 2008 study published
in the Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases
where men who ate a 576 calorie meal,
and then walked slowly afterward
reduced their average gastric emptying time
from 123 minutes to 107 minutes,
meaning the food left their stomach faster.
And as an interesting side note,
this study also looked at whether alcoholic digestives
like brandy also sped things up,
but unfortunately they found they did not help.
Sorry to break the bad news, Mel.
And now, if you're wondering how light
the exercise should be, we found research published
in the European Journal of Applied Physiology
which stated, "Gastric emptying is increased
during both moderate intensity walking
or running exercises as compared to resting conditions.
However, gastric emptying decreases
during high intensity exercise."
In other words, you don't have to go full Usain Bolt
after a meal and do heavy exercise,
as that might actually slow digestion.
And now to wrap up our video,
let's look at a quick summary and the main takeaways.
So as you can see from our summary table,
there are seven things you should focus on
to speed up your digestion.
Drinking enough liquids throughout the day is key,
and then when you sit down to eat your meal,
making sure it contains some fiber
and ideally even some bitters will really help.
Meanwhile, eating your food without stress or distractions,
and focusing on chewing your food more will further help.
Of course, for extra protection,
it can be worth trying digestion aids
like the supplements listed here.
And once you've finish eating,
consider getting a light walk in 20 to 30 minutes later.
Now we want to hear from you.
What's the number one thing that helps your digestion?
Let everyone know by leaving a comment below.
If you enjoyed this video as part of our digestion series,
then hit the like and subscribe button
to make sure you never miss another video.
Our team of dieticians and doctors
here at Essential Stacks are so excited
to continue researching which foods
and supplements help your gut health.
That way you can save hundreds of hours of trial and error,
and focus on what's best for your digestive health.
Thanks for watching and see you in the comments.
Bye for now.
This is not medical advice,
but rather for information purposes only,
and like with all gut health topics,
please be sure to consult with your healthcare professional
to work out what is best for you.