Morning beauty rituals – why make your digestion number one
Before I met my husband, I wasn’t much of a morning person. Five years of University studies combined with a few too many nights out doesn’t leave one rushing to get out of bed in the morning.
But these days, you’ll find me relishing those early hours as time to get both my body and mind prepared for the day ahead.
You know what makes me value these rituals so much?
I walk out the door in the morning feeling relaxed, grounded and at ease.
And yes, there are certainly days where I simply don’t have time to fit in every little practice, but one that I very rarely pass up is guzzling down a good old digestive tonic. Whether it be as simple as warm water and lemon, apple cider vinegar or a probiotic. And chances are I will typically do at least one or two of these shared below.
So lets start with the basics.
Why is so important to kick-start your digestion upon rising?
One of my favourite reference texts at the moment, is Dr Libby’s e-Book aptly titled ‘Beauty From The Inside Out’. This comprehensive guide examines several of our favourite topics from beauty foods to inner beauty and self-love.
In the chapter Beautiful Digestion, Dr Libby talks about ‘waking up your stomach acid pH’, in particular the connection between your ability to digest food and pH level in your stomach. Dr Libby notes that the pH level of most people’s stomachs is generally too high for the type of food we are putting in our mouths. Combined with modern issues like ‘harsh’ foods that aren’t prepared in a way that make it easy to digest (such as dehydrating, high temperature frying and barbequing) combined with an inability to properly chew our food, we are walking around bloated and therefore, unhappy.
So what can we do about it?
The great news is, it doesn’t take expensive potions or drastic lifestyle changes to help support one of the body’s vital systems. Even one of these three quick and easy changes to your morning routine will get you set up for the day.
1. Fresh lemon and warm water:
- Combined together, the benefits of warm water and lemon are two fold – the warm water helps to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis (expansion and contraction of digestive muscles) to help move food through the digestive tract, and the lemons help loosen the toxins and eliminate them from the body.
- The pectin fibre in lemon supports the colon, as well as being an antibacterial agent.
- In addition to supporting your digestive system, lemons also contain large amounts of Vitamin C which help to support the immune system.
- Tip: to avoid potential build up of acid on the teeth, ensure you follow with large amounts of water or dilute the lemon water
- Finally, our Beauty Food expert Lizzy of Primal Junction wrote about the anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects of drinking a lemon and ginger tonic
2. Warm water and apple cider vinegar (ACV):
- One of the primary benefits of ACV is to promote alkalinity in the body and counteract highly acidic foods such as caffeine or alcohol. An alkaline state may assist in lowering blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol and ward off disease.
- Apple cider vinegar works hand in hand with a balanced and healthy diet, you won’t reap the full benefits without it!
- Work on a ratio of 1 tablespoon to a glass of warm filtered water.
- Look for raw, organic, unpasturised apple cider vinegar to ensure you are getting quality nutrients – the ACV should contain a healthy does of ‘mother’ – the dark and floaty substance at the bottom. The mother contains both enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria essential for a healthy digestive system.
- ACV is important for detoxification through the acids it contains, providing it with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
3. A dose of Probiotics:
- Consuming probiotics in the morning before food ensures that the gastrointestinal tract is filled will all that good bacteria to help you digest your food.
- The source of the probiotic should be quality, and it is worth considering a) how many billion strains per capsule b) how many different types of strains are included and c) what are the types of strains
- Probiotics are essential in the following cases as good gut bacteria is often severely depleted – post surgery (general anaesthetic), post antibiotics or sickness and while taking an oral contraceptive (the lovely Dr Nat Kringoudis talks about this in length on her blog)
- A healthy gut will go a long way to achieving healthy skin by reducing systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. Check out one of our favourite A Conscious Beauty posts here, to find out more on the connection between a healthy gut and your skin.
So beauties, have any of you started integrating any of the above into your morning routine? Have you found amazing, good or bad effects after trying a digestive kick? Comment below and tell us more!