How To Have Good Digestive System And Digestive Health
Few people think about their digestive system or digestive health. Thus, it may surprise you to hear that the state of that little-discussed system significantly determines of your overall health. Many health professionals agree that you cannot be truly healthy without well-functioning digestive organs and overall healthy digestive system.
Interestingly, of all the over-the-counter medication, pills that help relieve digestive tract discomfort, are among the most bought products. That makes it quite obvious that digestive system problems are an issue for many people. The problem with over-the-counter medications, however, is that they mostly do help relieve digestive problems like heartburn, flatulence, and bloating and gas, yet, they only deal with the symptoms but not with the cause of the digestive diseases. By treating the symptoms and neglecting the cause, your digestive tract can seriously suffer, which can lead to impaired overall health and low energy.
The digestive system is one of the most complex systems of the body. Its job is to turn food into energy by transforming it into nutrients that the body can use. Not that anyone would seriously consider doing that, but if you stretched the entire digestive tract out, it would measure 25 to 35 feet. So, clearly, within such a large organ there are a number of issues that may need help at one time or another.
Digestive diseases can occur at any stage and at ant age. Not chewing well and devouring large pieces of food slows down digesting food and puts extra work on our digestive organs. If food particles cannot be properly broken down, one may get heartburn or feel as if there was a heavy rock in the stomach.
As we get older our bodies naturally produce less digestive enzymes, especially hydrochloric acid, bile acid, and lactic acid. This decrease starts between 25 and 30 years of age. By the time a person celebrates his 60th birthday, his body produces less than 50 percent of the enzymes it used to before it started slowing down. Drinking iced drinks, or very hot beverages, especially before or with a meal kills furthermore many valuable enzymes. The healthiest way to consume water is at room temperature or warm in teas and broths.
Having enough digestive enzymes is absolutely crucial to break down nutrients, for proper absorption, assimilation and elimination.
When the body does not have enough enzymes to break food down, and nutrients cannot get properly absorbed, the cells will not get adequately fed. As a result the body receives less energy, less valuable building blocks to build and repair cells and less important anti-bodies, that affect your immunity.
If elimination is impaired you are calling for serious trouble. Imagine a warm spot that holds foods and harbors bacteria. If that place does not get cleansed regularly, the bacteria are going to have a feast. As a result, not only will that place soon smell very bad, it will even produce more toxic substances which can ultimately toxin the entire body. It is estimated that the average person carries about 10 lbs of waste in his or her colon. No wonder that we are seeing so many diseases in this country.
Not being able to digest food properly can obviously lead to undesired weight gain and impaired quality of life.
Different food enzymes are necessary to digest the different kinds of nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats as well as starches and fibers of various vegetables and legumes) and improve the digestion process. Most people react with discomfort to some kinds of food. Because of that discomfort, they avoid wholesome foods, such as broccoli, onions, garlic, beans and peas and settle for a less nutritious diet. Unless people are allergic due to an immune response, they simply lack food enzymes. Their bodies are not able to break down certain nutrients causing food to sit halfway digested somewhere in the stomach or in the intestines where it starts to rot and cause trouble. As a result the person may feel as if he had a huge rock in his stomach, stomach bloating and gas, or may even get severe abdominal cramps and become nauseous or very tired.
This problem of enzyme deficiency can often be solved easily. A high quality enzyme supplement will mostly do the job pretty fast. Even better is to consume a food enzyme supplement that will actually nourish and strengthen the whole digestive system so that it can produce the right kind and amount of enzymes needed to avoid discomfort.
Some people, even though they eat well and healthy, frequently complain about low energy. There are various factors that could be causing that condition. One reason, besides enzyme deficiency, could be that those persons may not be absorbing food properly. Absorption of nutrients happens through the intestinal linings. When the blood cannot get enough food nutrients to supply the cells, the body will ask for energy, which the brain typically translates into sugar and starches. Sugar and starches feed yeast.
Overgrowth of Candida yeast could be a further possible cause that interferes with proper absorption. There are good and bad microorganisms in our intestinal tract. If the bad ones are out-weighting the positive microorganisms, that could mean serious trouble and should not be taken lightly.
The answer to a yeast problem is to detox the digestive tract and to rid the body of sugars, thus starve the yeast. Furthermore, in addition to plenty of plain yoghurt, kefir, and other cultured milk and vegetable products (e.g. sauerkraut), a strong acidophilus supplement usually brings effective results. The acidophilus supplement, however, must be strong enough to withstand the digestive juices (gastric juices) and only dissolve where needed, namely in the intestinal tract.
Whether you suffer from a yeast condition or from other digestive ailments, you may want to consider enhancing your healthy diet with lots of vegetables fibrous fruits and gluten-free or low-gluten high-fiber products like quinoa, amaranth, rye, buckwheat. Avoid sugar and all processed foods. You will benefit from a regular intake of pro-biotics, garlic as well as digestive enzymes with any big meal, especially if you are older than 35 years of age, or even earlier if you notice intestinal disturbances.
Finally, there are a few simple rules on proper food combining for digesting food and good digestive health:
- Simpler meals digest better
- Eat foods with the highest protein content at the beginning of the meal as they require significant amounts of stomach acids. Starches, on the other hand, use very little stomach acids to digest.
- Salty foods should be eaten before foods of other flavors since salt tends to gravitate towards the bottom of the stomach and stimulates digestive juices that facilitate the digestion of the rest of the food that follows.
- Green vegetables are the food best eaten at the same time proteins and starches are eaten.
- Sweet food, including fruit, should be eaten alone and preferably at the end of the meal as fruits and sweeteners mix poorly with proteins and starches.
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