How can we improve digestive health?

Digestive HealthAs per Dr Monica Lewis many people who suffer varying health issues have an underlying problem with their digestive system. Digestive problems may cause deterioration to your general health and well being. It is important to take time to think about your digestive system and do what you can to ensure it is functioning at its best, so that you get the full value of your food and supplements.

What is Digestion:

Digestion begins in the mouth, when you chew and swallow, breaking up food and digesting sugars. The food then moves to the acidic area of the stomach and starts the breakdown of proteins. Next, food passes to the c-shaped duodenum, where it starts the important process of breaking down fats with help from the liver and bile salts. This process is similar to the way detergent acts to break down grease on dirty dishes.

The liver is where a complicated process of detoxification occurs that changes everything we consume – food, medications or toxins – and eliminates it or renders it safe for the body. Many different nutrients and antioxidants that are needed for this detox process in the liver. We cannot live without our liver! In the colon more nutrients and water are absorbed and fibre keeps the contents moving along so the toxins don’t damage the bowel wall. By now digestion is occurring in all the different areas and is then completed in the colon. To get the nutrients and the value of what you eat, you need to be utilising the full surface area of the small intestine, which should be about the size of a tennis court.

Essentially, digestion involves breaking food down from large molecules into smaller molecules of nutrients so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy throughout the body. Every step of the digestion process is important and essential to good health and well being.

What happens if we don’t digest our food properly?

If the digestion process is not successfully completed, we may not get the full nutrient value of our food or supplements and we start to feel tired and listless with a subsequent loss of well being. Toxins are not properly processed or eliminated, and later we may experience serious bowel problems and other health issues.

We can improve our digestive health in a number of ways:

1. Nutrients:

With increasing stress, pollution, and nutrient deficient foods our liver experiences greater difficulty in detoxifying. To assist your liver, digestion and detoxification, make sure you are adding enough essential vitamins, nutrients and specific compounds to your diet.

2. Probiotics:

Good bacteria struggle to survive in the intestines if they are overwhelmed by bad bacteria, which, as they thrive, encourage the development of moulds and parasites. Probiotics restore the balance. Dr Monica Lewis recommend using a course of probiotics for improved digestion, especially after taking antibiotics, and then occasionally for maintenance.

3. Fibre:

Support overall bowel health by adding fibre to your diet. Different types of fibre have specific benefits, including acting like a fertiliser to create an environment where good bacteria can thrive; helping to eliminate cholesterol; and promote faster passage through the bowel and better elimination of toxins.

High quality multivitamin supplements, combined with probiotics and fibre help provide a comprehensive package of nutrients, probiotics and fibre to support our digestive system and ensure that we get the full benefit from other supplements we may take like fish oil, calcium, and vitamin D. Never neglect the bowel!

Resources and Recommendations:

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One Response to “How can we improve digestive health?”

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