The Solution to Good Health is in Your Stomach
There's a saying in the natural wellness community- "Good health starts with good digestion."
When our digestive system isn't working properly, it throws everything off. Bothersome and life-interrupting ailments like acid
reflux, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and even chronic fatigue-just to name a few-don't originate by themselves. They all can be caused by poor digestive health. What's more, upper and lower digestive tract problems may start small but contribute to very serious diseases.
How Digestion Works
Food is digested with the help of the body's digestive juices and enzymes in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine. The digestive juices break food down into smaller molecules of nutrients that the body can use for energy and cell reproduction. Digestive health also depends on intestinal flora, or good bacteria. Two of the most important intestinal bacteria are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium, which both assist in the breakdown of food and help protect the body from various infection- and disease-causing bacteria. Finally, the health of your digestive system relies on a number of enzymes that facilitate the metabolizing of food, not only in the stomach and small intestine, but also the mouth.
The highly processed food we eat-plus our stressed and rushed lifestyles-have disturbed the enzymatic processes necessary for easy digestion and overall digestive health. Then, as we age, digestive activities will become more labor-intensive because our bodies are deprived of proper energy and nutrition.
Optimum Nutrition: One Bite at a Time
By achieving a proper balance of digestive enzymes, your body will be able to process foods and beverages the way nature intended. For example, everyone wants to get the greatest benefit from food proteins, and the protease
enzyme is what helps your body digest proteins. Your body also needs carbohydrates, and carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with the salivary amylase enzyme. By making your carbohydrate digestion more thorough and efficient, you could lessen allergic reactions to food. Fats are also required for health, and by helping your body digest fats and oils properly with the lipase enzyme, you might be able to reduce the storage of fat in your body.
Along with these essential enzymes, choosing foods for digestive health - such as leafy greens, oats and grains, and cod liver oil - can help regulate your digestive processes. Sometimes, it's difficult to ensure that you are getting the right amount of nutrients from your diet, but you can improve your digestive health with the help of probiotic foods and supplements, which can introduce additional friendly bacteria to your digestive system and help you maintain a healthy balance.
If you're interested in learning more about how to improve your digestive health, read some of our other informational articles about digestive disorders, food sensitivities, and more.