As the saying goes, “you are what you eat,” which begs the question: How healthy is your digestion? If you’re someone who often experiences symptoms such as heartburn, gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, or irregularity in your bowel movements, it may be time to take a look at improving your digestive capacity. Daily practices such as regular exercise and mindful eating can help promote better digestive health. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at several simple ways that, when implemented consistently into our daily routine, have been shown to improve digestion, so these bothersome abdominal issues become things of the past!
The Alimentary Tract
Symptoms of indigestion, like
- Abdominal pain after eating
- Having a lot of reflux without warning
- Frequent diarrhea or constipation
.. could all be a result of your digestive system not working efficiently.
You could also have symptoms like fatigue. You could have skin and hair changes and hormonal imbalances from your digestive system not functioning well.
Our amazing digestive journey begins with the first bite and ends at our exit door! Starting from chewing in your mouth to breaking down further down the line until it is finally excreted out. It’s a scientific miracle we all experience daily. Our incredible body always has its guard up, with organs like the liver and pancreas acting as powerhouses for digestion. They’re working around the clock to keep us healthy.
Succumbing to digestive issues such as indigestion, gas, flatulence, or bloating may seem like an inconvenience. However, these concerns can be connected with more serious underlying conditions that cause symptoms seemingly unrelated—from skin lesions and hair loss to bone weakening. If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it could mean something less benign than just a passing problem.
The Food Road
Starting in the mouth, we have salivary glands, which produce an enzyme known as amylase. This helpful substance breaks down food and mixes it up to make sure everything is properly digested along its journey through our digestive system.
Chewing your food for a full 20 seconds before swallowing not only helps transport it smoothly down your food pipe (aka esophagus or gullet) but can also make the digestion process easier.
Our stomach is like a mini-machine, providing an impressive array of services. It’s got our back when we’re in need with its reservoir capabilities and mixmasters—the powerful enzymes that churn up food to get it ready for transport! Not only that, but these enzymes are also busy breaking down proteins in preparation for further digestion by your small intestine.
Then the food goes to your small intestines (duodenum and jejunum) or small gut, which contain a lot of enzymes that come from the pancreas and liver and help digest your food. This is also the part of the alimentary tract where most nutrients and minerals are absorbed.
Once the food reaches your large intestine, it’s on to its final destination—absorption. Here, a plethora of minerals like potassium, magnesium, and even water are taken in for an extra nutritional boost.
Your large intestine performs the vital role of converting liquid waste into solid stool. Peristalsis, a rhythmic wavelike motion, then assists in pushing it through your digestive system and ultimately packing it away for safe disposal.
The Bristol Stool Chart
Have you ever thought about the form of your stool? Well, you should!
The Bristol Stool Chart can tell us a lot about our digestive health. Discovered in the early 1990s by professor Stephen Lewis and Dr. Ken Heaton at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, this chart maps seven different stool types that can help us understand what is happening inside our bodies when it comes to digestion.
Taking a gander at it can give you some great insight into what may be going on internally. After all, so much of our health and wellness begins with proper digestion, and knowing what stool form you have can give us a strong starting point.
If your stool is not quite up to par, follow the Bristol stool chart—it may just be the key to unlocking better digestion.
GI (GastroIntestinal) Tests
There are many tests we can do.
Gut Zoomer or the GI Eval Test
You can find out exactly what’s going on in your digestive system with this simple test. It will identify if you have any enzyme deficiencies, bacterial or fungal imbalances, or even point to nutritional issues.
GI Mapping tests offer a comprehensive overview of the bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal tract. You can understand the balance between good and bad bacteria during digestion, allowing you to make lifestyle changes that are better tailored to your microbiome. This knowledge helps keep your gut healthy, so it’s well worth understanding more about your digestive system with this useful test. Easy-to-access tests like GI Mapping help you improve and maintain gut health, allowing you to react quickly if something isn’t quite right.
Improve Digestion With These Tips
1. Make a shift towards anti-inflammatory cuisine – your body and taste buds will thank you.
Let’s take a stand against fast food and junk food-they not only damage our bodies but can also be harmful to us in the long run. It’s time for us to make healthier choices that support our physical well-being. We need to replace it with good foods that we don’t have to open a packet to eat. Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to nourish your body. Aim to consume plenty of vegetables and fruits, while keeping grains in moderation. For meat eaters, try opting for grass-fed organic proteins; they provide essential nutrients without taking away from their health benefits.
2. Supplement the deficiency.
Supplementing deficiencies is an important part of maintaining good health and nutrition. If your body is lacking any proper nutrients, supplementing can help you get them back on track as well as potentially prevent future medical conditions. Keep in mind that supplements should not be used as a substitute for healthy eating but rather as a complement or addition to your regular diet in order to maintain the right levels of proper nutrients within the body. Remember that supplementing without consulting with a medical professional can be dangerous or even fatal, which is why doing your own research on the supplement and talking with a doctor before taking anything can save you from unwanted consequences.
Finding the right supplements to support a healthy digestive system can be beneficial for getting the most out of your meals. Consider adding some quality enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics into your routine; they’ll help ensure that you safely harness all the energy from what you eat.
3. Timely Eating
Eat within a certain window. You should not be eating all the time, so it gives your system ample time to digest the food effectively. Don’t let late-night snacking go unchecked; it can lead to uncomfortable digestion issues and even heartburn. To protect your health, aim for an early dinner so you have plenty of time for proper rest.
4. A Restful Slumber
Sleep plays an integral part in taking care of our health. Not only does it help us rest, but it’s also critical for proper digestion. While we’re enjoying our nightly sleep, our liver has important work to do—aiding digestion by filtering out toxins and expelling unhealthy substances. That’s why consistently ensuring we get enough rest each night is so beneficial for achieving a clean, healthy digestive system.
5. Less stress, More Balance, please.
When your cortisol is high, it interferes with the digestion of food. Maintaining a balanced hormone level is not only beneficial for proper digestion, but it can also help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Make sure you’re looking out for both your gut and your hormones.
Now that you understand how the digestive system works and what can help or hinder optimal digestion, it’s time to take action. Remember, you are in control of your health destiny. Implementing even a few of these tips should help improve your overall gut health and capacity to digest food efficiently. When it comes to optimizing your digestion, there is no “one size fits all” approach; each person will experience different results based on their unique circumstances. But don’t let that stop you from trying! If you need personalized help creating a Digestive Health Plan that meets your specific needs, we invite you to schedule a discovery call with us today. We’ll create a tailored plan to get your digestive system working like clockwork in no time.
Struggling with digestive issues? Take the first step to feeling relief and getting your questions answered. With our no-pressure discovery call, we can work together to determine if this approach is right for you – get back control of your well-being today!
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional