6 meaningful ways to improve your digestion
Your gut’s health is vital to your overall health. Good digestion determines which nutrients are absorbed. Good digestion will also get rid of toxins. In essence, gut health is directly linked to the health of your entire body.
Your gut ecosystem
Your gut is responsible for breaking down and absorbing your food. That is a very important job that requires a lot of work! For you to have optimal health, look to great digestion.
First, the bugs in your gut are like a rainforest, a large ecosystem. It contains 3 pounds of bacteria that include some 500 different species like a chemical factory. These chemicals include the “happy hormones” your body needs such as serotonin and dopamine. That factory also helps you digest your food, produce vitamins, balance hormones and get rid of toxins.
The lining of the gut is extremely delicate
Your entire immune system and the rest of your body are protected from the toxic environment in the gut but remember it is only one cell layer thick. That layer, if you stretch it out, covers an area the size of a tennis court! When that barrier is damaged, you will get sick and your immune system will become overactive, producing inflammation throughout the body.
Your gut is really your second brain
The ”brain” in your gut contains more neurotransmitters than the brain in your head. Ever heard of a “gut feeling?” The intestinal nervous system is wired to your brain, and messages travel between them. When those messages are not working well your health will suffer. This is often seen as depression and anxiety.
Your gut also has to get rid of all the toxins
If things get backed up, your entire body can have a toxin overload.
Your gut must break down all the food you eat
When digestion is working well, vitamins and minerals will be taken from the food and dumped into the bloodstream to help keep you in good health. As you can see you really aren’t what you EAT but what you DIGEST.
Even in a perfect world, our gut has a hard time keeping things in balance. Many things can make our digestive system off-balance. Our Standard American Diet (SAD) contains a lot of empty food-like substances that are low in nutrients we need. It is filled with chemicals and additives which damage the ecosystem inside our guts. Frequent use of acid-blocking drugs inhibit our digestive process since we cannot extract our nutrients in a “low-acid” environment.
One round of antibiotics can disrupt the balance in our gut, wiping out beneficial bacteria for two years. Chronic stress alters our gut’s nervous system. This causes leaky gut which allows bacteria and toxins to get outside of the gut into the bloodstream. Many of us also lack the enzymes to properly breakdown our foods.
Digestive problems do not stay confined to the gut. A damaged gut lining harms our ability to tolerate food that we are normally able to eat. We end up becoming sensitive or allergic to more and more foods. This is called leaky gut. Leaky gut is when we have partially digested food particles traveling through a damaged gut lining leaking into our bloodstream.
In addtion, since about 60 percent of our immune system is located in the gut, (remember it’s only one cell layer thick) our bodies react by increasing our immune response and creating inflammation. Our immune system, normally used to seeing fully digested foods now “sees” the large food particles as the enemy and starts attacking it!
When this happens our bodies attack and defend! That is how we develop IgG allergies to common foods. Leaky gut is what makes you inflamed, anxious, sick, fat and toxic.
So what can we do to assist our digestion?
Here is a video for a few quick tips that you can start today to help optimize your digestion which is your key to great health.
If you are interested to learn more about our Digestive Reset Program or how to improve your digestive health, contact us at (480) 771-7771.
Functional Medicine & Cellular Health