Lets talk digestion. It’s something most of us don’t really think much about, but it is foundational to our health. Learning about digestion drastically changed how I view my body and the food I eat.
So, what is digestion for anyway?
Very simply, it’s to get nutrients from food into our bodies so that we can live. To get a little more detailed, it breaks down the food we eat into tiny molecules so that our cells can absorb the nutrients that food provides. These cells (we are made up of about 70-100 trillion of these little guys) are made of, and run on, the nutrients we give them through food.
Every cell that makes up every tissue, that makes up every organ, which makes up our bodies relies on our digestive system to provide nutrients from our food to keep functioning. It’s kind of a big deal!
To be full of healthy happy cells, and have a healthy body you must have healthy digestion!
I would love to nerd out on all of you and explain the knitty gritty details of how exactly digestion works, but I will refrain because I understand that not everyone will think it is quite as thrilling as I do. And I don’t want to scare you all away!
Instead here are 10 nuggets of knowledge about digestion to get you thinking when you sit down for your next meal.
1. Digestion begins even before you put any food in your mouth!
It starts in your brain.
2. Where and how you eat is as important as what you eat.
You must be in a relaxed state of mind to properly digest. No eating in the car or on the run! Relax, taste and enjoy your food.
3. The digestive system needs four times as much oxygen as other tissues in your body.
Take a couple of deep breathes, and slow down when you eat (I still have some trouble with this one)!
4. Acid Reflux is usually caused from not enough acid in your stomach, as opposed to too much.
So please stay away from those acid blockers, it's really only making the problem worse, despite the temporary relief.
5. If your food is not broken down properly large particles of food can leak out of your gut lining and trigger an immune response.
This is what causes many food sensitivities.
6. The acid in our stomach digests bacteria, viruses, and parasites just like it does our food, helping to protect us from getting sick.
The gut is the location for 70-80% of our entire immune system.
7. A lack of friendly bacteria in the gut leads to an increase in pathogenic bacteria (the kind that will make you sick).
So drink your kombucha, eat some kraut and take your probiotics!
8. Your digestion affects all of your bodies systems.
Poor digestions has an impact on your heart health, your hormone balance and even your emotional well being.
9. That smelly gas, the burping, and the uncomfortable bloat that we sometimes experience is actually a sign your digestive system is not working properly.
It’s quite literally your food rotting in your body. (yuck!)
10. Drinking too much liquid while eating can dilute your digestive juices and inhibit proper digestion
So no chugging beverages at meal time!
There is so much misinformation, or noninformation given to us in regards to our digestion and it's an essential part of our body to understand. Which of these was most surprising to you? Let me know in the comments below!
ALSO, TRY THIS!
Figs. SO delish, and versatile! This is one of my favorite treats, figs with tahini and cinnamon. Simple and healthy :)
Try it and let me know if you like it as much as I do. It's also really good with coconut oil or coconut butter.