How do you help your food digest?

How do you help your food digest? - A picture of some nice food. Photo source: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1425/566701665_a583109152.jpg?v=0 .
Singapore
December 10, 2007 11:28am CST
Oh gosh, this is a S.O.S. :P Sometimes, it takes a really long time for my food to digest. I can have dinner now and still feel bloated hours later. The feeling is not a good one because I have to subconsciously spend energy to digest the food. And during this whole time, I will feel tired, drained and won't feel like doing anything. If you have an issue with food digestion, you will know exactly what I mean. So, how do you normally help along the digestive process? Do you eat or drink some extra special? Do you do some unorthodox exercises? Do you sing a song? Do you pray to the pixies? Well, I don't know! So pray tell how you help your food digest or if you do nothing at all. :P
16 people like this
50 responses
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
10 Dec 07
Do you eat a lot of high fiber foods? They are good for digestiion. Yogurt has some good bacteria that can aid in digestion too. Be sure to drink lots of fluids. The more fluids the easier it is to push the food through the intestine.Good luck.
6 people like this
• Singapore
10 Dec 07
Recently I have been eating more fruits than the rest of my life combined... And I drink a lot of water usually... Yogurt ok...
3 people like this
@Zelmarq (11503)
• Cebu City, Philippines
22 Feb 08
Hello lordwarwizard, thats good, eating more fiber foods could help in the digestion of food and it acts like a broom in our body cleansing us from the toxic wastes from other food.
1 person likes this
@makatas (1101)
• Greece
10 Dec 07
I dont have a single problem.Even if i have had a very long meal (we tend to do those where i live, have lunches for 5-6 hours and eat with little short breaks)i am feeling alright.That also happens if i drink a lot.What i have heard though, is you should avoid to have fruit or sweets after a meal.Some people do this to change their mouth taste, or just to have a dessert.Well, for those with digestion problems it doesnt work well instead it makes things worse.Also, better stay away from soda drinks which only give a temporary relief to the problem.
4 people like this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
GEEZ. You're not kidding? 5-6 hours are really long! Even buffets here aren't that long.:P
@patgalca (14664)
• Orangeville, Ontario
10 Dec 07
Since I have digestive problems with fibromyalgia related IBS and GERD, I have a plethora of remedies. First, my mother-in-law has a cup of boiling water (as opposed to tea) after her meals. This is supposed to aid in digestion. If I am having digestive discomfort my first remedy is to reach for the peppermints. Peppermint tea also helps. There are other teas that are digestive aids. My favourite is something called Eater's Digest which contains a variety of digestive aids - peppermint, chamomille, licorice, alfalfa, fennel and rose hip. This tea solves all my tummy troubles, even those that my be psychologically induced. For good digestion on a regular basis you can take pro-biotics (sold at health food stores). I think you are to take them before each meal, but I'm not sure. I haven't taken them in awhile.
3 people like this
@patgalca (14664)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Dec 07
Be darned if I know. Maybe someone else on here does. Or perhaps there are ingredients (natural peppermint leaves) you can get at a health food store. I do get peppermint oil which we have been known to rub on sore bellies (though should be cut with vegetable oil as it is really strong). I don't think taking a candy cane and soaking it in boiling water would do the trick. LOL! Thanks for the medal, Wiz.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
But I heard guys shouldn't drink too much peppermint.
@patgalca (14664)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Dec 07
Not being a guy, I wouldn't know about that. ROFL! Seriously, that's the first I have heard that. Should probably look it up somewhere.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26792)
• United Kingdom
10 Dec 07
That's why I never eat anything big after 8pm at night because it takes so long for the body to digest it and there's nothing worse than going to sleep on an full stomach. I crash out in front of the television or let it settle slowly whilst on the computer. Unorthodox exercises? What are they, do tell...
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
I don't know, you are supposed to enlighten me.:P Sometimes dinner is served only at about 8 or 9pm...
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jun 12
You need to stop eating 2-3hrs+ before you go to bed. Sleeping slows down your digestion greaatly.
@rx4life (1932)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I use papaya enzymes and try to avoid large meals laden with meat...and if it's a particularly immediate need, I take a slow walk for about 20 minutes!! Good luck..enzymes before and after eating really help!!!
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
I suppose talking a stroll would be helpful...
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Dec 07
I haven`t had any digestive prroblems as of yet , but when I eat I eat only a little bit then have a drink ... When I am hungry again , I will finish my meal .. I stay regular that way . I`m just guessing but it helps me / give that a try ...
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Hmm...
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
10 Dec 07
Most of the time, I have the opposite problem that you have - my food digests too fast! I'd say you have the better problem of the two since I cannot gain weight. (Maybe you should be giving me advice!) Anyway, I actually have had the bloating problem usually only during my last meal of the day, especially when it's late at night and/or right before dinner. My stomach will feel so tight like I couldn't eat another piece of food for a week. I'll feel like I have trouble getting around too! I don't know how "too much" food can make a person feel that way. I've never understood it. Here are a few suggestions that have worked for me. When I'm stuffed to the seams with food (particularly during holidays!) I try NOT to think about how full I am as that can make me feel sick just thinking about how much I ate. Get your mind on something else and get yourself comfortable. One of my favorite after-eating activities is getting on the computer or watching a movie. That's when I'm most comfortable and can relax. Relaxation really can help the food digest! (I know this probably isn't the best idea if you're trying to lose weight since the food digests and supposedly goes right to the hips, but it works for some things.) Another idea is to suck on a mint, jolly rancher, creamsaver or some other type of hard candy. (I don't know if chewing gum works since I'm allergic to it, but it's worth a try!) I find that mint-type candies relax the stomach and cause it not to be upset. I've also heard that mints in general are very good for the stomach. You could try eating one or two chewable Tums within 20 minutes after your meal also. See how those things make you feel. I know speed of digestion is the key, so if you get in the right habits, perhaps someday you won't even notice how much food you've eaten! Another idea would be to drink water or juice. I prefer either of the two because pop/soda just bloats you even more. If you drink pop/soda with your meals, that could be a reason your food isn't digesting as quickly. I stopped drinking it over a year ago and found that my stomach rarely gets upset. You will also be able to eat more because the carbonation and air bubbles from the pop/soda won't fill your stomach before the food does! If you're having circulation problems from sitting in the same spot for a while after you eat, try walking around a little bit to keep the blood flowing. That will keep your juices flowing, and the food will digest quicker automatically. If you don't have anywhere to walk in your house but have a set of stairs, try walking the stairs a few times. (If you're too full and can't do any exercises after eating, don't bother. Just try your best to relax!) Another idea would be to eat less food at each meal and eat more meals. If you're eating five or more "meals" (although these are more like snacks), your body will keep digesting all day. Your metabolism will get used to working constantly. As soon as you eat something, your body will know to digest it immediately as you'll be eating again soon! And as a last restort, read some comics and jokes online after eating because laughing actually burns more calories than we think! I hope this helps your situation. If you have any suggestions on how to slow down the metabolism, please visit my page. I'm adding a new discussion regarding that issue right now!
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Hey hey, people like you make me so jealous! :P And yup, I try not to think about it too when I am overly bloated. And thanks for those ideas! :)
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
13 Dec 07
LOL - no problem. Anytime! I can offer up so much advice about food because I'm constantly eating, but you'd never know it by looking at me...unfortunately. I have started a discussion about how to gain weight. If you'd like, feel free to offer up your advice for me! :)
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Thank you for best response, my friend! I'm glad I could help. :)
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I don't really know. I have the same problem. I don't like taking anything either so that is out! Let me know what you come up with!
2 people like this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Geez... :P
@drannhh (15241)
• United States
10 Dec 07
Ever heard of Kefir? It is like drinkable yogurt with "friendly" micro-organisms. I love the stuff and it kind of prevents digestion problems in my view (and that of quite a few others!) so I don't really have this problem, but if I did, I'd probably sip a nice cold glass of kefir: http://www.kefir.net/kefiryogurt.htm Don't worry if you have a lactose intolerance, kefir helps with that too. My favorite flavor is cherry. Yums, but it comes in peach, which is also delicious and a few other great flavors. It may be an acquired taste for some, but in my view one well worth acquiring.
2 people like this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Hehe, aren't all yogurts friendly?:P
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I just dont eat enough to feel bloated so I really do notihng at all figure it will all work out in the end .
2 people like this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Sometimes you do not need to eat "enough" to be bloated... well, for some people...
• United States
10 Dec 07
It may sound silly but for me I chew Bubble gum after every meal. It helps prevent heartburn for me and it is fun.It really helps with that "full" feeling.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Well, they are banned here.:P
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 07
You can't chew bubble gum? Bummer.Well can you sip a ginger ale after dinner. It may help.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Yea, sounds good.:P
1 person likes this
@poohgal (6848)
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Oh man, I have the same problem. I feel that my food takes forever to digest =( Other than that, I have gastric problem too. =( I have seen the doctor regarding these 2 problems before. The advice given was 1. Do not skip meals (this is for my gastric problem, may not be applicable to indigestion problem) 2. Do not take heavy meals; take many small meals throughout the day (I think this is a good advice; a heavy meal usually makes one very bloated) 3. Do not take caffeinated drinks at night(Not applicable to me because I do not drink coffee and caffeinated tea) 4. Take more fibre rich food ie. brown rice, fruits (good to relieve constipation too =P) 5. Take less deep fried food This is all I can remember. It did help me and hope it will help you too =D
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Dec 07
These are like the ideal for all people... and sad, you also kenna.:(
@poohgal (6848)
• Singapore
12 Dec 07
Skip too many meals during Uni time.. that's why =(
1 person likes this
• Singapore
13 Dec 07
I started in secondary school. Breakfast at 6am, lunch at 4pm.
• Philippines
11 Dec 07
well i do eat minimal during dinner, not much on meat, or no meat at all, just vegetables. Then i only drink water after an hour or two so as not to dilute acids from digesting the food i just ate. :-)
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Geez, I think I may die if I go vegetarian.:P
• Philippines
11 Dec 07
no don't die just yet :-) LOL ... you can always try those veggies whose textures and tastes like that of meat but are made of sea weeds. i tried those, delicious !
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
I know, gluten. Nice but not too much yea...
@peanutjar (5211)
• Canada
11 Dec 07
Hi:) Well after i eat a meal i eat an apple.Aples help with the digestive track and help from feeling bloated from a big meal.I dont know why,but it works.I also dont g sit down but move around the house abit to help get the digestive track moving instead of the food just "sitting"there,haha;) Peanutjar:)
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Really? But apples don't go with every kind of food.:P
1 person likes this
@peanutjar (5211)
• Canada
11 Dec 07
I never thought of that,i just get an apple and cut it in 4 halfs and only eat 1/4 half a slice of it and it brings up some gas,haha and gets the track moving to help break down any kind of food.I mean it goes in the same hole when we are eating and it doesnt have to be "with" the supper being served that you had ate,its not a meal but a fruit.I eat chinese food and cannot digest it good,so i eat an apple after about 5 minutes from finishing the meal and it helps me from getting gas and bloated and pain from not digesting the dingy noodles and garlic ribs,haha.:) Peanutjar:)
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
It's the conflict in tastes thingy.:P
18 Dec 07
hey! my dear friend,respected LORD. hehe.... occasionly,i also experience the terrible feeling caused by digest problem,which makes me hard to go to sleep.so i can understand how bad it feels . now,just let me tell you something useful: 1.TEA is very efficient for food digest. so,have a cup of tea after you have finished your meal for more than half an hour. and it can also help you to digest that drinking water frequently in day except for the time when you just finish meal. 2. you can notice form the first tip above that i said more than 30 minutes later .yes, it's HARMFUL to have water,tea and any other liquid AT ONCE after meal.it will affect your digest systerm in a negative way. 3.Don't often eat digestive medicine,which will bring a negative impact on your natural digestive function. 4.neither sing nor do any exercises when you just have had your meal. but you can have a slow walk to help digest. ok,that's all i can help you . i hope what above can be useful for you and other friends who need it. enjoy the rest of you day!
1 person likes this
• Singapore
22 Dec 07
Hi =) I drink quite a bit of tea but I don't find it helps... :/ Thanks for comments. ^^
23 Dec 07
that depends on tea's consistence.and also that needs time as it's a course for tea to help you with digestion. anyway, i'm sorry that i cannot help you.i hope sincerely that you can find an efficient way to solve the problem. take care. my Lord :)
1 person likes this
• Canada
21 Dec 07
When I was younger I had two eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia. Binging and purging is a very damaging compulsive coping pattern and I am very familiar with digestive discomforts you describe. After transforming those coping methods through a commitment to healthy living and the career I now have in assisting others there are a few things I can suggest. First up through I feel the need to ask you what you are eating and whether you overload your system when do eat? You mentioned in another post about keeping crazy hours...that lack of regularity in your eating/sleeping times could be throwing your system out of balance and causing some of your indigestion problems. I find it quite insightful of you when I read that you subconsciously spend energy to digest the food. The digestion process takes more energy than anything else the body does. If you are eating larger amounts of food before going to bed that could be part of the problem. It is not a good idea to eat too much within about two hours of a proposed sleep time. The body needs to finish with that before going into rest mode. So lifestyle might be a contributing factor. Also how you combine foods could be another. Biochemically different enzymes are required to break down proteins and carbohydrates. If you are eating a combination of proteins, starches and sweets all at one meal the starches and carbs will be digested first and the proteins will sit until later because they take more time to be assimilated. You might want to try combining your meat, chicken, fish, lentils, beans, nuts or whatever protein you eat with something lighter like greens. Have your starches with something similar and leave the sweets for a couple of hours before adding them to the mix. If you key work something like 'proper food combining' there might be something online about this. Not everyone agrees with this approach...but it has worked for our clients. However, everyone's metabolism works differently and in my view there are no pat answers..it is up to each of us to make friends with our bodies and let them guide us to what is best for them. The fact that your body is complaining so loudly to you is a huge cry for help and I am glad you are listening and looking for a solution. Another thing you could do is to check out a health food store or possibly pharmacy and ask for digestive enzymes. They are an over the counter supplement that assists the body in breaking down food by providing enzymes that may be missing. I would also suggest not washing food down with any beverages. Have them between meals so as not to further dilute the natural digestive process. Drinking things that are either very hot...or cold is a shock to the system as well. Acidophylis tablets can also help. They are enzymes that aid in digestion and are found in yogurt but some people are sensitive to milk products. You could also have some food allergies and wheat, products with gluten and dairy are among the things many people are sensitive to without knowing. So there are just a few healthy living perspectives...hope they help. Take care of yourself! Raia
• Singapore
22 Dec 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
My sleeping hours may be a bit irregular but my meal times are roughly fixed, at least for dinner lol. My dinner time is many hours before sleep. I don't know anything about combining... I just eat whatever my cook cooks. :P Thanks for all.
@squaretile (3833)
• Singapore
14 Dec 07
i think eating roughage regularly (like from celery) should help. It keeps the digestive system going well. alternatively there are always eno tablets and the like. or take a walk around, that should help take your mind off the food. and the bloated feeling.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
14 Dec 07
Oh no, no vegs.:P
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
12 Dec 07
hehe i somehow doubt praying to the pixies will help at all! but i am pregnant right now, so i DO know how you feel COMPLETELY! I usually take a digestive aid with my supper to help everything along. I believe it is called colace, but is probably something different where you live, unless you live in canada. It is a natural type stool softener, and helps with digestion as well. Doctors will probably tell you to eat fiber with every meal to help, or drink prune juice. BOTH ARE NASTY! but i guess you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes! What about trying to eat FRUIT with your meals ? i hear that helps. I always forget about fruit if i buy it and stick it in the fridge!
1 person likes this
• Singapore
13 Dec 07
Doesn't fiber just make you fuller?
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
12 Dec 07
I don't have this problem but my husband does. You could try drinking lots of water whilst you are eating, as this is likely to help with digestion. Or, you could try one of those fibre drinks, such as benefibre. Failing all that,. I suspect you have an intolerance to certain foods. I can not suggest what foods this could be, as I dont know what you eat. You may need to go on an elimination diet, to find the source of your problem.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Dec 07
Won't the water make me more full... ?
11 Dec 07
I actually chew my food. Instead of taking something and swallowing it whole, making it quicker and nicer to digest. ;) Joey
1 person likes this
• Singapore
12 Dec 07
Yup. Ideally, you should chew slowly for effective digestion.:)