The gut where a large part of our developing immune system is and can be affected by several factors:
Timing of meals – having late dinners, skipping breakfast and ignoring hunger cues from the body can disrupt the digestion process and release of necessary enzymes for digestion. Keeping regularity in the meal times can be a huge help whenever possible. Also late night meals where bed time within 2 hours of a meal can also create a sluggish digestion.
Food combining – having liquids with meals, especially cold drinks or carbonated beverages can dilute the digestion process and cause the gut to form more gas. Some of this gas may be trapped and cause pain, whereas other times, there is the constant need to pass gas or an overall bloated feeling.
Eating practices - Rushed eating, eating on the go, and emotional upset when having meals all contribute to indigestion. In order to have healthy digestion, we require the “parasympathetic state” (Rest and Digest state) of the body to focus energy from our extremities and provide innervation to the gut, the contractions and release of enzymes & bile. When we are stressed or rushed the gut is now functioning in the “sympathetic state” (Fight or Flight) and is focusing on releasing cortisol and taking away from the digestion process.
Chewing food thoroughly – When in doubt, chew! Did you know cows chew their food through two rounds of digestion? Now we don't need to chew like they do, but chewing your food is the first signal that tells the brain to release the necessary acids in the stomach. Chewing allows for a greater surface area of food to be available for nutrient absorption, so when in doubt, chew your food!
Poor gut flora – this is a common culprit we know all too well. The gut requires adequate good bacteria in the billions present in order to break down food adequately. With poor diet/takeout/processed foods this can sometimes be affected as the bad bacteria is seen to overgrow. Antibiotic use is also another reason why this can occur. Replenishing the gut with fermented foods, kefir/yogurt and a good probiotic supplement makes a big difference in the quality of digestion.
These factors are some of the top reasons we experience gas, but there a many other factors including leaky gut, food sensitivity, sluggish bowels.