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We all deal with bouts of indigestion and bloating. And while it’s never too long before symptoms pass, there are simple and effective ways to speed up the digestive process. The following five secrets to boosting digestion will show you just how to relieve constipation, decrease bloating, and flatten you stomach without the fuss.

1. Greens at Every Meal

Before each meal, prepare a small green leaf salad. It’s more than just additional nutrients and fiber – it’s the timing that counts. Salad acts as roughage, clearing the way through your digestive track for heavier foods to follow. Salad greens also contain lots of water, which will help to shepherd other foods through your system that are dry, such as breads, pastas, and proteins typically low in moisture.

2. Drink Your Solids, Chew Your Liquids

One of the first steps to optimal digestion is one of the most effective – thorough chewing and proper drinking. By “drink your solids”, I mean that you should be chewing them thoroughly enough that when you swallow, they go down easily, much like a liquid would. In this same vein, by “chew your liquids,” I mean that you should take your time drinking, swishing the liquids in your mouth, because digestion starts with the release of digestive enzymes via saliva. Improper chewing can lead to material entering your stomach that is hard for digestive juices to break down, thus causing indigestion and bloating. By chugging your liquids, you acquire a “water belly” that could have been avoided had you sipped conscientiously.

3. Massage Tummy

If you’re dealing with constipation, sometimes the solution is in the palm of your hand – literally. Every morning upon waking, and on an empty stomach, use your fingers and palms to rub from the bottom right of your abdomen upwards to under your ribcage along the ascending colon, left in a horizontal motion to under the left side of your ribcage along the transcending colon, and then down towards the bottom left of your abdomen along the descending colon. This clockwise motion mimics the trek of digested food in your large intestine. By massaging in this way, you are stimulating the muscles, breaking up gas pockets

4. Supplements

Every morning, on an empty stomach, take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are supplements that provide the body with healthy intestinal flora, which is necessary for proper elimination of bodily wastes through the colon. Especially if you are taking other prescription drugs, which can often lead to constipation, probiotics are an excellent complement to your lifestyle.

5. Rebounder

NASA has itself claimed that rebounding is “the most efficient and effective exercise yet devised by man”, and for good reason. According to the study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 1980, the Biomechanical Research Division of NASA-Ames Research Center states that “…for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running.” Rebounding boosts energy, inspires lymph flow, contributes to weight loss, tones muscles, alkalizes the body, and is an overall body workout. These benefits aside, rebounding is beneficial for digestion. The exercise puts the body in a state of weightlessness as you jump, which relieves the burden on the intestines weighed down by gravity on a daily basis. The impact also helps to stimulate digestive processes.

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