Acidic and bitter flavour One function of saliva is to get rid of bad tastes or harmful substances from the mouth. Therefore, high flow should be expected when trying out foods with such flavours. Acidic foods like lemon and other citruses, apple cider vinegar, stimulate the CPRs and hence support the digestive process. Anyone with digestive challenges related to suspected indigestion or trouble digesting food can benefit from acidic or bitter herbs being used 15 minutes before eating, such as Swedish Bitters. Deep breathing For many of us deep breathing seems unnatural since nowadays a flat stomach is considered attractive, so women (and men) tend to hold in their stomach muscles. But actually if you practice proper deep breathing this will put a large amount of oxygen into your lungs, thus avoiding stress, slowing your heartbeat and lowering or stabilizing your blood pressure. All these benefits go hand in hand with keeping optimal CPRs and the digestive system working properly as I described in the previous article, ’How important is optimal digestion for health’. Some deep breaths 10 minutes before meals can therefore help to stimulate the vagus nerve – the main nerve that travels from the brain to the digestive tract. This can mean much more effective and efficient digestive capability. Conclusion What should be clear by now is that optimal digestion is perhaps one of the most important factors for long-term wellbeing. But optimal digestion starts in the brain – you have to get body and mind into a state ready to accept, digest and assimilate nutrients. To do this you have to master the CPR’s. What is apparent is there needs to be a consumption of foods you enjoy, a rotation of foods to stimulate the senses, sights, smells, and the use of bitters and acids to help the process start. To prepare the body for digestion – there must be a ‘switch’ to more of a relaxed state and this can be achieved through deep breathing and leaving phones out of the eating environment. Eating in a busy, bustling place with lots of loud noise may also not be the best idea. Reducing overall stressors is also a necessity – look at the bigger picture and understand where emotional and psychological stressors are coming from. Also restraining from certain foods and regular food behaviours may be beneficial for the CPRs. This may be a reflection of our hunter-gather days – if food was not abundant, the body would activate digestion much more effectively once it was Do this well and you are on your way to better digestion. Easy to remember tips for great cephalic response 1. Try to always prepare your own food and be fully present with the food when doing so. 2. Think about what you are going to eat for a few minutes. Look at your food, smell it imagine the tastes and textures before you start to eat. 3. Sit at a table to eat. Your work desk is not appropriate 4. Eat in a relax, calm environment 5. If digestion is a challenged utilise betaine, pepsin gentian capsules or Swedish bitters 15 minutes before you intend to eat. 6. Chew each mouthful of food to liquid 7. Eat slowly give yourself time to chew, digest and absorb 8. Avoid doing anything else when eating, multitasking is not conducive to good digestion. That means not checking, emails, face book and finishing off some work. So be mindful of your food and your environment in order to create great cephalic responses! References: Lane E. Holistic Approaches to a Fully Functional Gut. Course manual. 2015. Karhuen LJ, Lappalainen RI, Tammela L, Turpeinen AK, Uusitupa MI. Subjective and physiological cephalic phase responses to food in obese binge-eating women. Int J Eat Disord. 1997 May;21(4):321-8. Mattes RD. Nutritional implications of the cephalic-phase salivary response. Appetite. 2000 Apr;34(2):177-83. Karhunen LJ, Lappalainen RI, Tammela L, Turpeinen AK, Uusitupa MI. Subjective and physiological cephalic phase responses to food in obese binge-eating women. Int J Eat Disord. 1997 May;21(4):321-8. Jansen, A. (1998). A Learning model of binge eating: Cue reactivity and cue exposure. Behaviour Research and Therapy QT, 257±272.]]>
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