Getting healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s totally normal to feel nervous and anxious before a date, however this can wreak havoc on your digestion. Eating late at night, eating the wrong foods and feeling stressed can all play a part in interrupting your digestion.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, here at Digestive Advantage® we wanted to spread the love and put together the ultimate guide to help you feel at your best before your big date. After all, it’s important to love yourself before loving anyone else.
Choose your meals wisely
Every once in a while, people can feel bloated and uncomfortable. Gas is the most common cause of bloating, it builds up in the digestive tract when undigested food gets broken down (Healthline, 2017).
There are many things that contribute to your body retaining water including too much salt and too many carbohydrates. Most of us consume more salt than we need, and salt makes your body retain water which contributes to bloating. If you’re looking to reduce salt intake, try to avoid fast foods and check the labels on your next shopping trip (Web MD, 2017).
Too many carbohydrates all at once can make you retain water and the faster they get in to your blood, the more likely it is that you will suffer from bloating. Carbohydrates are an important nutrient and they are made up of three components, fiber, starch and sugar. Fiber and starch are complex carbs, whereas sugar is a simple carb (Healthline, 2015).
When you’re out on your dinner date, try and avoid simple carbs like pie and soda. Stick to complex carbs such as fiber-rich vegetables, grains and beans. These foods pack in more nutrients and digest more slowly (Healthline, 2015).
Overeating can play a big part in feeling bloated. To combat this, eat smaller portions and take your time to eat your food. Chewing is the essential first step of digestion and you need to leave food small enough for the gastric juices in the stomach to further degrade it and reduce its size (Web MD, 2005).
If you’re hoping for a kiss at the end of your date, try to stay clear of foods such as honey, onions and garlic (Web MD, 2017). After all, you wouldn’t want your breath smelling come the big moment, would you?
Improve your posture
When you’re out on your dinner date, remember to sit upright to ensure you have good posture. This position can help alleviate stomach discomfort related to reflux. When you’re slouching after eating a meal, it can encourage food to move back up and out of your stomach in to your esophagus (Everyday Health, 2013).
Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. The body is composed of about 60% water and these bodily fluids play an important role for digestion. They also help improve circulation, create saliva, transport nutrients and maintain the temperature of your body (Web MD, 2008).
Hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation (Web MD, 2008). It can also hydrate the skin cells and plump them up, making your skin look younger. Water replenishes skin tissues, moisturizes your skin and increases its elasticity (Brain MD, 2015).
Glowing skin is an important factor to anyone’s beauty to-do list. Ensure your skin maintains that healthy look by staying hydrated. By drinking plenty of water, it can improve circulation and blood flow, all important factors to improve your skin.
Increase your energy levels
Cardiovascular exercise wakes us up, speeds mental processes and enhances our memory, regardless of our fitness or fatigue levels (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017). It causes your body to release the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine that in modest amounts can make you feel energized (Harvard Health Publishing, undated).
Yoga focuses on mindfulness, breathing and stretching. It connects yourself to your body and helps create a positive outlook for yourself. The activity engages the body, improving your energy levels, reducing stress levels and improving posture. So, when your mind and body is relaxed, so is your gut (Web MD, 2015). Why not enjoy a yoga session before your date and get your mind and body prepared?
If you’re struggling for date ideas, why not try something completely different this Valentine’s? Whether it’s your first date, or you’ve been married a while, there are lots of ‘out of the box’ ideas to make your Valentine’s Day a bit more interesting.
Suggest taking your date on a run and catch some gorgeous views on route or take a romantic bike ride to explore your neighborhood. Perhaps you could find a rock climbing place to get your heart rate up. Even better, try working out as a couple, operate your partner’s climbing rope and help build stronger foundations through teamwork and communication. By having this clear communication, it can push barriers you may come across over a dinner table.
Take probiotics and prebiotics
Sometimes you want a little more from your digestive support. The Digestive Advantage® Prebiotic Fiber + Daily Probiotic work by fueling the natural bacteria in your digestive tract, while our probiotic survives the stomach acid better to deliver more live good bacteria to your digestive tract, to support your overall digestive health*.
Brain MD (2016) 6 Amazing health benefits of drinking water
Harvard Health Publishing (2017) Exercise versus caffeine: Which is your best ally to fight fatigue?
Harvard Health Publishing (undated) 9 tips to boost your energy – naturally
Healthline (2015) Simple Carbohydrates vs. Complex Carbohydrates
Healthline (2017) What causes abdominal bloating?
Everyday Health (2013) The best moves to aid digestion
Web MD (2011) Bloating 101: Why you feel bloated?
Wed MD (2005) Crunch! Chew your way to healthier eating
Web MD (2008) 6 reasons to drink water
Web MD (2015) Stress Management: Relaxing your mind and body
Web MD (2017) Why am I bloated?