Did you know that digestive problems can inflict damage to your entire body? Did you also know that digestive problems may be making you sick and overweight?
A healthy digestion is essential for excellent health. Hippocrates once said “All disease begins in the gut”.
So how does digestion really work?RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Your digestion starts with what you put in your mouth. It is an intricate combination of natural chemical reactions that take place along your broad digestive tract.
In a nutshell, the food you put in your mouth is swallowed and your digestive system breaks it down into smaller bits that your body can absorb.
Your body takes out what it needs from the food you eat by digesting it well.
The bits not used by your body are excreted out of your body as waste. Your digestive system also protects you against dangerous invaders from the external surroundings.
It is vital for your digestive system to be working properly.
Here are 5 things to do for better digestion
1) Get rid of stress
Getting rid of stress is one of the things that will aid digestion. Stress is your body’s way of reacting to any kind of pressing situation or threat.
Stress can be acute or chronic.
Acute stress is like an ‘on the spot’ kind of stress, for example giving a speech in front of a large audience, stress hormones are released by your adrenal glands to help your body ‘fight or flee’ the situation. Eventually everything returns back to normal.
On the other hand, when the pressing situation is prolonged and ongoing, stress becomes chronic.
Chronic stress is damaging to your body. It will shut down your digestive system so that energy is available to help ‘fight or flee’ the pressing situation or threat.
This will prevent your digestive system from working properly.
If this continues, eventually your adrenal glands are burnt out and stop working properly, causing more health problems.
A review published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 2011 found that exposure to prolonged ongoing stress caused changes to the brain-gut axis which led to the development of extensive range of digestive illnesses including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), ulcers and many more.
2) Cut down on processed foods
Cutting down on processed foods is one of the things to do for a better digestion. Processed foods are often packed with sugar,sweeteners, artificial preservatives, artificial colours and unhealthy fat which can lead to digestive problems and other health issues.
The food you eat can either trigger or prevent inflammation.
Processed foods will trigger inflammation.
Inflammation is the root cause of almost all chronic diseases and it can have a negative effect on the health of your digestive system.
90% of your immune system is also found in your digestive system.
A review published in the Nutrition Journal (2014) explained that a diet high in processed and junk foods sets the stage for inflammation which affects the function of your immune and digestive system.
There are about 100 trillion bacteria living in your digestive system, mainly in your large intestine. You have the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria.
A diet high in processed and junk food feeds the “bad” bacteria in the large intestine of your digestive system. The ‘bad’ bacteria multiplies and its level increases, it eventually outnumbers the ‘good’ bacteria.
This imbalance in bacteria leads to poor digestive health which can cause a lot of health problems. Replace processed food with real, whole natural food.
Connect with Expert Awele Anyia.