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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

Simple Tips for Better Gut Health

By Caryn Willens

There are many variables that contribute to digestive disorders and their accompanying symptoms. Thankfully, there are many practices we can implement in our daily lives to alleviate, and oftentimes eliminate them. Below are a few things to keep in mind.  

Chew your food: How we chew our food can either create digestive ease or distress. Due to our modern, fast-paced lives, many of us tend to eat in a rush. However, good digestion begins in the mouth so it’s imperative for us to slow down and savor what we’re eating. Our digestive tracts will thank us.  

Resolve structural issues: Many people experience jaw joint problems. Some of the symptoms include clicking/popping of the joint, tightness in the muscles of the face, and fatigue or achiness in the head, neck or shoulders. Taking care of structural issues with a massage, chiropractic adjustment or Craniosacral Therapy can help ease digestion. 

Remain hydrated:  The digestive system needs pure, clean water to process food properly. Flavored drinks don’t count; they must be digested before water is extracted. The recommended amount is half your body weight in ounces per day. More might be necessary during strenuous activity and extreme climate conditions.

Eat real food:  The foods we eat are important as well. Our bodies recognize what to do with real food. Processed foods, fast foods, refined foods, and food sensitivities, however, can all put a strain on the digestive process. If it comes in a box, has an unpronounceable ingredient list, or causes any kind of digestive discomfort, refrain from eating it. 

Reduce stress: Reducing daily stressors in life is critical for healthy digestion. The short story is that during stress, the digestive system shuts down. When this happens, food can sit in the gut, ferment (aka rot), and cause those uncomfortable symptoms we all dread.

To minimize digestive distress, consider all of the above and remember to chew carefully, eat slowly, manage stress, be mindful of your body’s response after eating, stretch, exercise, meditate and deep breathe. 

Caryn Willens, ND, RDH, CYT, is the founder of Wellness Inspirations. For more information, call 608-738-5221 or visit

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