Medicine to Move You

Dinnertime at my house was always different as compared to the typical house in Suburbia, USA.  As Asian Indians, we ate a vegetarian diet complete with grains, veggies, legumes and yoghurt.  We ate with our hands and did many things just as my ancestors did.  But there was something my parents did (or did not do, in this case) that never really occurred to me until I began understanding the importance of digestive health in my Integrative Medicine studies.

They never drank liquids during their meal.  Maybe some sips of water if the food was a little too dry, but never the standard American 8-16 oz of fluid served at the onset of dinner, drank throughout the meal, and bottomed out at the completion of the meal.

Ancient cultures and modern medicine both know that the stomach relies on an acidic environment to complete a critical part of digestion.  If that acid is diluted by water, iced tea, juice or whatever other customary dinner fluid you might enjoy, then your food is only partially digested. This is the prime set up for a multitude of problems downstream, many of which can lead to indigestion.  Bloating, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain could all stem from that maldigestion rooted in the stomach.

So, do an experiment, especially if you have any gastrointestinal symptoms.  Eat all your meals with minimal fluids.  Drink 30 minutes after your meal to avoid diluting your stomach acid.  Compare this against your routine belly signals after a liquid filled meal and see if this change made a difference.  Perhaps it could be a simple, inexpensive way to treat your tummy aches, or at the least, a way to support your stomach in its important role in digestion.

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