Digestive Health

All living things need some form of nourishment to survive. For animals like humans, we get our main energy source from the food we eat. The digestive system is mainly responsible for converting complex food forms into simpler substances that the body can use to fuel its many processes. The body parts and organs that are included in the digestive system are: the mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, and small and large intestines, among many others.

With North America’s obesity rate on the rise, one seriously needs to consider now how their digestive system works, and how best to use it properly and take care of it properly. The general population already knows that the digestive system breaks down the food we take into our body into a semi-liquid state, which then works its way down to its exit through the anus after all of the nutrients have been absorbed and distributed through their proper channels to different parts of the body. What a lot of people don’t know is that an unhealthy digestive system can create havoc on the entire body, ranging from anxiety to diabetes. An unhealthy digestive system can be caused by a poor diet, stress, chronic infections, and certain deficiencies that prevent the digestive system from doing its job. There are ways for restoring your digestive health, improve digestive health and bring back your vigor for life. Cut down on alcohol, introduce probiotics into your diet (available in natural health and vitamin stores), don’t fall asleep on a full stomach, and increase your intake of Omega 3 oils.

Digestive Health Care

Digestive Health and Nutrition/ Foods for Digestive Health

Because we are dependent on the food we eat, there is also a need to carefully select the type of diet we adapt. When we eat too little or too much, the digestive system becomes unable to cope, leading to more serious digestive health problems that affect the rest of the body later on. Water is also a necessary item that should not be taken for granted when digestive system health is being considered. When there is not enough water, most of the substances like nutrients in the body are not dissolved, becoming unusable and eventually ending up as waste.

There are many conditions that are associated with the digestive system, and a lot of their causes are from the kinds and amounts of food that are being taken in. For example, hyperacidity occurs in the stomach when high amounts of gastric juice are produced. The stomach naturally creates acids that help digest food effectively, but taking in too much acidic food like carbonated beverages can lead to overproduction of stomach acids.

Excessive alcohol intake poses serious problems for the liver. The liver is a large organ that is responsible for secreting substances that help detoxify the body. It also produces enzymes that help break down large molecules into simpler ones, to be readily absorbed by the body’s cells. If the liver is unable to function, there will be ineffective fat and lipid digestion in the body, so fat build-ups happen. Controlling alcohol is an important step towards restoring digestive health.

Colon and Digestive Health

A person feels constipated when there is not enough water included in his diet. Because the colon or large intestine is one of the last sites for digestion, it is responsible for reabsorbing the water which is used in the process. When not enough water is present, the waste material is more difficult to excrete. Eating contaminated foods can introduce bacteria and other microbes into the digestive system. When someone experiences food poisoning, he or she gets nauseous and may have diarrhea. A way to remedy this problem is to take in a lot of fluids, to prevent dehydration and to detoxify the system.

Children's Digestive Health

In children, and even infants, a poor digestive system will create problems instantly. Kids health digestive system problems are especially troublesome. Many infants get eczema which is very irritating for the child, disturbing to see, and disrupts sleep patterns at night. Flare-ups intensify at night, and cause the tired infant to constantly wake and scratch their skin until they bleed. After constant visits to a children's center for digestive health care or a pediatrician, the parents of the child become worried about the effects of prescription steroid cream, and lack of help in clearing the reaction. A spontaneous visit to a naturopath may lead parents to discover that there is help out there for infant eczema. Lo and behold! The naturopath starts asking questions about the infant’s diet and state of digestion. The correlation between the gas, eczema, and poor feces development, has led the naturopath to conclude that leaky gut syndrome may be the cause. What is leaky gut syndrome? It’s a condition in which the lining of the intestinal walls are irritated, or torn in some way, and it allows the foodstuff to leak out of the intestines, and into the blood stream. The blood stream recognizes the food particles as a foreign substance, and reacts as an allergy, hence eczema. Right away, the naturopath recommends introducing omega oils into the child’s diet, as well as probiotic powder, both of which can be added to the child’s morning cereal or bottle. Staying away from homogenized milk for a little while longer is another suggestion, to be replaced by rice milk. What do you think happened? Within a month, the child’s eczema starts to ease up, her stool is regular, and the gas has disappeared. The above scenario is based on a true event based in this writer’s life.

While combating environmental pollutants, and learning about good nutrition, we also have to defend ourselves against rogue chemicals within our foods, such as trans fat, artificial components and plain old everyday germs.

Digestive Health Management

Natural digestive health should be one of the primary health concerns of an individual. In order for the body to get the nutrients it needs, one has to observe the proper diet and regulate the amount of food that he eats. The importance of having good digestive health is so vital that everyone should consider taking a good long look at their lifestyle, and see if there are more ways to treat your digestive system better. The rewards are boundless when you have good digestive health.

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