Are you suffering from constipation, mood swings, fatigue, skin problems, allergies, bad breath or food intolerance? These problems may be rooted in your digestive system.
The digestive system has a direct impact on the overall health. Digestion is the mechanical and chemical process of breaking down food into molecules small enough to be absorbed through your intestinal lining. Built-up old waste and hardened mucus can hinder absorption. It is very important to have a healthy, clean and intact intestinal lining to absorb the maximum nutrients possible.
Our gut is home to about 100 trillion bacteria that digest our food, regulate our hormones, eliminate toxins and produce key nutrients.That’s more than 10 times the number of cells in the entire human body. With over 400 species of these ‘bugs’ in our gut, our health depends on maintaining the critical balance between the good and harmful intestinal bacteria.”
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body depends on nutrient absorption and assimilation of food through healthy digestion. That’s why it’s so important to eat foods or supplement with adequate amounts of probiotics, enzymes, and fiber for digestive and immune health.
As important as it is to digest and absorb, it is equally important to eliminate. Once digestion and absorption are completed, undigested food, bacteria, metabolic wastes, hormones, cholesterol, and environmental toxins need to be removed from the body to prevent autointoxication. This happens through bowel movements. If you don’t have daily bowel movements, you may experience a host of uncomfortable symptoms, from bloating to low energy.
When the immune system is compromised, such as is the case when gut health is compromised, we are at increased risk for autoimmune diseases, bacterial overgrowth, colds, flus, cancer, allergies and many other conditions.
8 Amazing Benefits of a Good Digestion System
When your GI tract is healthy and your digestion is functioning well you can expect the following benefits:
Healthy Weight Loss: When toxins are eliminated efficiently and not trapped inside of us, our stool passes much of the waste out of our bodies, thereby “lightening our load.” Eating enough fiber and drinking enough water assists this process.
Increased Energy and Stamina: When you clean out the gunk in your gut, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest the foods you eat. Energy that would have gone into digestion can now be used to live life.
Enhanced Elimination of Toxins: Our bodies do an excellent job (when the digestive system is in working order) taking care of the many toxins and waste we build up inside of us. We get rid of by-products every time we urinate, expel a breath, blow our nose, release tears when we cry, sweat and have bowel movements. Our body targets these toxins and eliminates them.
Heightened Mental Clarity: Healthy digestion combined with a highly nutritious diet is the essence of long-term vitality. Your diet affects every system in the body, but especially the brain. Research has found an abundance of neuropeptides (molecules that transmit brain signals) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and have also shown that the beneficial bacteria in our GI tracts influence brain health, mood, and much more.
Regular, Consistent and Optimal Bowel Movements: You will realize regularity when your digestive system is functioning properly. This is defined as a bowel movement one to three times a day and one that is not too soft or hard. (Everyone has a different number of bowel movements, despite popular belief.)
Improved Absorption of Nutrients: When you have a healthy digestive system, what you consume is properly digested, and then the beneficial nutrients are immersed into the bloodstream via the small intestine. Nutrient absorption gets a boost when a healthy intestinal lining provides a large surface for absorption.
Increased Immune System: Did you know that 80% of our immune system is contained in our digestive system? When all is running smoothly, our immune responses increase.
Relief from Mood Disorders: Our GI tract, often called our body’s “second brain,” is responsible for producing 95% of the serotonin (the “feel good” hormone) in our bodies. The Mayo Clinic found that serotonin plays a key role in controlling depression. Feelings of relaxation, optimism and an overall sense of well-being can be attributed to the neurotransmitter, serotonin.
In a nutshell, If you want better immunity, improved digestion and better mental clarity put your focus on rebuilding your gastrointestinal health.
How to improve digestion will be covered separately in the forthcoming blog post.