Feeling bloated, too full, or constipated is never fun. There are lots of factors that affect our digestion, such as if we're traveling or under stress. And whether you regularly struggle with digestive issues or only experience occasional discomfort, that stomach pain can range from inconvenient to unbearable. Thankfully, there are healthy, natural ways we can improve our digestion and help keep things moving.

If your mom ever told you to slow down at the dinner table, she had a point. "Digestion is the process of breaking down food as you eat it into the smallest particles (molecules) that can be absorbed into your body for nourishment," dietitian Joanne Larsen said. That process begins with your mouth, and when you chew your food thoroughly, your stomach has less work to do when food reaches it. This means food spends less time being broken down in your stomach because it's already in small pieces by the time it gets there. This can also help prevent bloating.

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