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Kai Jerke/Unsplash
Kai Jerke/Unsplash
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Welcome to the launch of Wellness Council, our handpicked holistic health squad: a tightly curated group that gives the best advice this side of your own personal guru. 

In her debut article, celebrity nutritionist, entrepreneur, and best-selling author Kimberly Snyder, drops some serious Ayurveda knowledge. What she writes about next is up to you—tell us what what you’re dying to know! Send questions and ideas to [email protected].

You have undoubtedly heard the saying “You are what you eat” countless times. But guess what? That simply isn’t true. Not the whole truth anyways.

If you spend a lot of money and care eating organic foods (and hopefully lots of Beauty Detox foods!), but aren’t actually absorbing the nutrients from them, then you aren’t getting the benefits you think you are.

In other words, it’s not “you are what you eat.” It’s “you are what you digest.”

Chronic bloating, gassiness and other signs of poor digestion are also signs that you may not be absorbing the maximum amount of nutrition from your food.

When you do maximize nutrition absorption, circulation improves, your skin becomes more healthful and glowing, your hair becomes thicker and shinier. Your energy goes up, and it becomes easier to maintain your weight. Who doesn’t want all that?

Here are some great ways to improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, and boost your natural beauty.

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1. Add cumin to your cooking.

In Ayurvedic medicine (which is of personal great interest to me as I’m just finishing up the first year of a doctoral program in it), spices like cumin promote graahi (nutrient absorption) and deepana, or the normalizing of metabolic activity and promotion of digestion.

How to do that at home? Try heating up a little coconut oil, and sautéing cumin seeds for a few moments, before adding in broccoli or your favorite veggies. Add cumin powder to stir-­fries and soups.

And check out my Raw Gorilla Taco recipe, which calls for cumin.

2. Sip hot water during meals.

Sipping hot water or hot herbal tea while eating is believed in Eastern traditions to help promote digestion.

This simple practice can help prevent stagnation and keep digestion running smoothly, which improves nutrient absorption.

3. Conversely, don’t drink cold water during meals.

Steer clear of ice water, especially when eating. Very cold water and ice can cool the digestive fire and arrest or delay proper digestion.

In general, don’t drink huge quantities of any liquids, either cold or hot, during meals because it can dilute the digestive enzymes.

Photo: Kimberly Snyder
Photo: Kimberly Snyder

4. Eat more ginger.

Ginger has warming, digestion- and metabolism­-promoting properties and can help cleanse out toxicity and promote more efficient digestion, and therefore beauty nutrient absorption. Try adding sliced ginger to soups and stews, or making simple Detox Tea, a beloved Beauty Detox recipe classic!

5. Take digestive enzymes.

Enzymes are the “worker bees” in your body’s cells, creating chemical reactions that allow them to break down existing materials or create new ones. They also serve as the “spark” for cell growth and renewal. In other words, nothing in your body happens without the action of enzymes.

You can take digestive enzymes right before meals to help enhance digestion and ensure optimal nutrient uptake from whatever you are eating.

6. Chew better

It’s basic, but believe me…most all of us don’t chew well enough. Don’t just expect your poor stomach to grind everything down to the maximum levels where you absorb all the nutrients. Take the time to chew each bite far more than you usually do, and you will get the most out of each bite!

Kimberly Snyder is a celebrity nutritionist and the New York Times best‐selling author of The Beauty Detox Solution, The Beauty Detox Foods and The Beauty Detox Powerand co-author of the upcoming Radical Beauty with Deepak Chopra (September 2016). Her popular beauty blog, KimberlySnyder.com, features recipes and her signature products, including probiotics, nutraceuticals, and yoga DVD. She is also the creator of Glow Bio, an organic juice, smoothie, and cleanse company.

What should Kimberly write about next? Send your questions and suggestions to [email protected]