digestionIs our gut health fundamental to our overall health?

Digestion can be an intricate balance, and for many of us, this simple human function is off balance most of the time.

Digestion may be something you think about a lot. We have all been sold on the idea that eating a daily sugary yogurt will solve our digestive problems. The Jamie Lee Curtis commercials for yogurt have been followed by many other marketing efforts to promote dairy items with probiotics. Where do you stand on the notion that your regularity and your success in life are connected?

The health of our digestive system does impact the health of the rest of our body. When digestion is not optimal, whether from a digestive disorder, inadequate nutrition, or even a silent digestive imbalance, the rest of the body misses out on that which helps us thrive, but it also receives toxins that can adversely affect our entire body: even the part of our body above the neck. Our brain does need a regular supply of healthy blood, so what we eat and how we digest is vitally important.

The Gut-Brain connection is widely understood to include the supposition that there is a brain, or inherent nervous system, in the bowel. This nervous system is able to control reflexes in the digestive system without input from the brain or spinal cord. Because of this, our digestive system is able to accomplish important bio-chemical functions without conscious thought or the control of our brain.

digestionIf you think about all of this from the opposite direction, our feelings like anger, fear and stress responses also have a profound effect upon our digestive tract: perhaps even a greater effect than the food we eat. Unresolved conflicts, residual effects of trauma, or excessive daily stress, can negatively impact our digestive system, and in turn, the health of our entire body.

So what is the holistic health response to all of this Digestion/Thriving connection, aside from buying lots of yogurt and crossing your fingers?

 

  • Choosing a well-balanced diet is again at the top of the list. Do you know what that is and how to accomplish it?
  • Avoid eating three hours before bed. Give you body a full 12 hours to digest before your breakfast meal.
  • Many of us are sensitive to or allergic to some foods. Know what works best for your body.
  • Regular exercise does have an impact on your digestion. All of your body systems benefit from healthy activity.
  • Avoid drinking lots of fluids as you eat; especially carbonated beverages.
  • Think through the stresses in your life. Get real about using food as a stress-reliever. Avoid eating when upset.
  • Understand the foods you love that are high-fiber. Increasing your fiber to 35-grams per day is ideal.
  • Drink clean water throughout your day. Set you phone to chime with water times to create a habit.