I have been all about the food I put in my own mouth and recommend to others, because I’ve always believed getting the food part “right”Â would make a huge difference inÂ reaching health goals. Yes, the emotional and spiritual aspects are definitelyÂ involved in health and healing, but the physical is also more than exercise and the right food – it actually relies on how my body and yours absorbs the food we choose to eat.Â Let me say that another way…You are what you absorb.
So, let me mention a couple things that will help ensure better breakdown and absorption. If the food isn’t broken down properly, it will not get properly absorbed. First, the food starts in the mouth, where salivaÂ is critical to begin the breakdown of carbs and fats. And chewing starts the process. Did you know that chewing for at least 35 times can increase nutrient absorption and even help with weight loss? Count how many times you typically chew a bite of food and then take anotherÂ bite and count to 35 before you swallow.Â And swish drinks andÂ smoothies around your mouth to blend it with saliva before swallowing. Â Try to make this a habit.Â The second thingÂ that can help improve absorption is making sure you have a good supply of stomach acid. How do you do that? Well, one way to tell if you needÂ to support yourÂ stomach acidÂ is if you have reflux, bloating, burping, orÂ bad breath. One way to support your stomach acid is to takeÂ about a tablespoon ofÂ lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in a cup of water before you eat. Doing this will help the natural production of stomach acid. The hydrochloric acid and pepsin produced in the stomach is paramount to the breakdown of proteins. Proteins break down into amino acids and they form the building blocks of every tissue and enzyme neededÂ for the functioning ofÂ the body. Sometimes, enzyme supplements and raw foods are also recommended to increase the enzyme activity in the stomach to ensure proper digestion. (When food does not digest properly and completely break down into absorbable compounds, nutritional deficiencies and disorders occur.)Â And finally, supporting the micro-biome or “good bacteria” in the intestines is essential to absorbing nutrients and getting the most out of the food we eat. You can support this area of the body by incorporating cultured and fermented foods into the diet, which would include raw cultured vegetables, fruitsÂ and krauts, kimchi, miso, kefir, rejuvelac, kombucha, cultured nut cheeses, and the like. You can also take a probiotic supplement toÂ build up the good bacteria colonies.Â Here’s an interesting and eerie fact: there are tens of thousands more bacteria residing in our bodiesÂ than the number of cells that make up our body and there isÂ more bacterial DNA than human DNA in US.Â But these bacteria are vital to our survival because of the influence they have on our nutrient absorption, immune activity and brain function.Â So, chewing, drinking a little lemon juiceÂ or ACV before meals and incorporating foods high in probiotics can make a significant impact onÂ our body’sÂ ability to absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. And if you are eating real whole foods, another name for food without a box or label, then you will get a bigger bang for your buck if you digest those foods more completely. (And if you’re eating food from boxes and packages, you wont get anything more, because they are primarily devoid of nutrients in the first place) So, choose foods that are nutrient dense and make sure you are doing everything you canÂ to improve your digestion so that youÂ absorbÂ as much asÂ possible. Remember, the body counts nutrients, not calories.
I know there mayÂ be otherÂ things that need to be addressed to heal the digestive tract for some people, but for many people these three steps can be a great starting point to bring about greater health.Â Contact me if I can support you inÂ reaching your health goals.