Do you eat on the run, gulp down a quick meal, then proceed with your day? An hour or two later, an upset stomach, heartburn, bloating or gas become your unwanted companions. Popping antacids as a regular habit only makes matters worse by removing important stomach acids that are meant to help digest foods. Digestion problems result. You can improve digestion naturally with a few simple changes.

Change Poor Eating Habits

1. Make time to eat lunch. Choose wisely. Instead of gulping a pizza while driving, stop and eat a proper meal. Resist the urge of balancing the steering wheel of your car with one hand while chomping down fast food. Digestion starts with a calm demeanor. Either bring a brown bag lunch with a sandwich and some veggies and a piece of fruit from home or choose a healthy choice at a restaurant. Avoid food covered in creamy sauces or deep fried fare. Grilled chicken and vegetables, a tuna salad, or even a plain burger with a salad are better alternatives.

2. Don’t stuff yourself. Respect your body’s signals that tell that you’re full. Eating binges are a sure fire way to feel sick and bloated.

3. Notice if you have a private stash of food (like chocolate cookies, chocolate bars, bags of chips or other junk food). Work on eliminating those foods to improve digestion.

4. Try digestive aids such as lactobacillus acidophilus for digestion support. This friendly bacteria is found in yogurt. You can eat yogurt for breakfast or as snacks. You can also try taking acidophilus capsules once or twice a day to help the digestion process. These capsules can be found in most pharmacies or health food stores.

A digestive enzyme complex taken with food can also help boost digestion. Some digestive aids contain HCl (hydrochloric acid) in their formulas. HCl is naturally found in your stomach to help digest proteins, but through poor diet, quantities can become too low or missing. HCl also kills many bacteria that get in the stomach with food. DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) is another digestive aid. Studies show that DGL stimulates the natural protective factors in the digestive tract, which can help relieve stomach discomfort quickly.

5. Notice if certain foods cause you digestion problems or get tested for food allergies. Many people have food sensitivities to common foods that can cause poor absorption. Foods such as milk, wheat or eggs can be culprits.

6. Make sure you drink enough water during the day to help digestion (between 6 and 8 glasses daily).

It’s all about being aware, taking time for meals and encouraging healthy digestion by choosing healthier foods to suit your body. Certainly, your health is worth the effort.