“You are what you digest”
Think you’re eating the healthiest foods in the world? Well, according to Ayurveda, this doesn't matter. If you're not digesting your food correctly then your body isn't absorbing the nutrients that it needs and it can create a host of problems. While your perimenopausal body is going through changes, getting your digestion on track should be your number one priority.
What's a sign of good digestion?
How often you poo and what it looks like are the best telltale signs of how well, or not, your digestion is working. Even though it varies between individuals, there is such a thing as going to the toilet too much or too little. And the shape of your poo is very insightful. Pellets? Not a good sign. Loose? Also a no no. Bit of both? Bingo.
If you feel that your digestion isn't working as it should be, read these tips and see if there’s a change you can make in your lifestyle today:
Drink room temperature water
What happens when we stand still? We get cold - right? And similarly, when we feel cold we don’t want to move. As water gets colder it turns to ice - more solid, less mobile. What do we want the food in our body to do after we eat it? You got it, the answer is move through, and not stay stuck in a lump in, our digestive system.
One of the easiest changes you can make to your diet is to drink room temperature (or warm) water. Cold or icy water stops your system from flowing as it should and it’s such a gut destroyer. Try it out. One week, only room temperature water and see how your digestion reacts to the change.
If you suffer from hot flushes, acne, rashes, irritability, frequent UTIs, dry skin, reflux, inconsistent digestion, insomnia or anxiety then listen up. I know this will make me super unpopular but I’m ready for the backlash. Coffee, and that includes decaf, could be causing you the above issues. The coffee beans are acidic - they heat up your body and heat dries things out. Both of which can cause gut issues.
Too much coffee can manifest in a host of skin problems, both from the excess heat and because the heat dries out your body. And contrary to the laxative effect that many people experience after their first coffee, coffee actually dries out your intestines and can cause constipation, leading people to drink more coffee for the laxative effect, leading to more drying out…..ok I’ll shut up now.
I challenge you!!! One week, no coffee, report back how you feel.
Alternative options: go for tea over coffee. It’s still drying but not acidic.
Split up your muesli bowl
If you’re a fan of muesli, fruit and yoghurt in the morning then this one's for you.
Ever added a squeeze of lemon to milk? It curdles, right? That's what happens in your stomach when you add a banana, or other fruit, to your morning cereal or yoghurt. The sourness in the fruit, when combined with milk or yoghurt, results in a not so pleasant curdling experience in your precious gut. This is often the cause of digestive issues, as well as sinus congestion, colds, coughs and allergies.
Alternative options: dairy-free yoghurt; oat/rice/soya/almond milk; or simply leave out the fruit
The above suggestions shouldn’t be scary changes. It’s about getting you to feel the best version of yourself as you go through perimenopause. And it all begins in your gut.
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