Digestion, Gut and Bowel Health

Think of your body as a tree, and your digestive system as your roots. You’ve seen what happens when a tree is starved for nutrients—the blooms fade, the leaves shrivel, and the limbs droop. Proper digestion is like having good “roots.” It means your body is getting the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat. With healthy digestion, your body thrives! The function of the digestive system is to extract all useful nutrients from whatever is swallowed and excrete whatever is left over.

Did you know!!!!

  • Our skin, appearance, energy and vitality is usually a reflection of our inner digestive and bowel health
  • Many health conditions can be traced to intestinal problems
  • Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in the gut as well as the bad bacteria
  • 1 in 3 people regularly suffer digestive upsets like irregularity, bloating & wind
  • By middle-age people often have between 1-7 kilograms of undigested faecal matter stuck in their colon

Digestion begins the moment food enters your mouth. Saliva contains digestive enzymes which assist in the breakdown of carbohydrates and the success of your digestive system is largely dependent on what happens next.

Do you wolf down your food?

Chewing and grinding your food with your teeth and then mixing the food with plenty of saliva are the first steps to successful digestion. The smaller the food particles that are swallowed or the more paste-like the particles swallowed, the easier it is for the stomach to start its job.

Because the stomach contains hydrochloric acid, it is kept at a very acidic level. The stomach also contains pepsin, a digestive enzyme which assists with protein assimilation. The stomach is where protein digestions begins. From the stomach, the digested food (or chyme) is then passed through the duodenum into the small intestine. This is where nutrient absorption begins.

The nutrients Bile from the liver, gallbladder and pancreas break down nutrients into particles which are small enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Bile also helps to break down fats.

The liver helps process carbohydrates, alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, hormones and aids the metabolism of protein. The liver also helps the body cleanse itself of toxins, such as preservatives, heavy metals, saturated fats and alcohol.

which are extracted from food are absorbed across the gastrointestinal tract (GIT or gut) wall into the bloodstream, to be carried to the various body parts that need them. It is easy to see that if your digestion is not working adequately, your nutrient absorption will be compromised. If your nutrient absorption is compromised, you may get ill, feel tired, run down and struggle with bowel abnormalities!

Indigestible particles and insoluble fibre move to the large intestine where any remaining water is absorbed and waste is then eliminated via the rectum.

Some symptoms which could indicate your digestive system is not working adequately:

  • Bloating, Flatulence
  • Reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Arthritic pain
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy

Dietary Tips to assist with your digestion:

  • Eat smaller meals
  • Chew your food well
  • Don’t eat unless you are hungry
  • Don’t drink at mealtimes (this dilutes digestive enzymes)
  • Before mealtimes help to stimulate digestive juices with bitter herbs, lemon, cider vinegar, or aloe vera
  • Limit takeaways, fried and fatty foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, caffeine

Some Conditions which can be caused by compromised Digestive Systems: 

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Leaky Gut
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Gastric & Peptic Ulcers
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Reflux
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Bowel complications, e.g. diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloating and Flatulence
  • Diverticulitis
  • Constipation or Diarrhea

Conatct Us to learn more.