Did you know you may be losing out on up to half the nutrients you are consuming? If you are trying to create a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising, there are some basics about digestion you need to understand.
In addition to getting the right quantity and quality of nutrients, your digestive system has to be in the best health to create the enzymes needed to extract essential nutrients from the foods you eat. Eradicate anything that is compromising your gut health or hindering nutrient absorption.
While most of us chew the food enough to swallow, most don’t chew it enough to be acted upon by the gut enzymes. When you chew your food into tiny chunks and pieces, it makes it easier for your gut to further digest and absorb the nutrients. Eat your food slowly and try to chew it as many as 20 to 30 times before swallowing.
Don’t drink water while eating
Drinking too much water hampers nutrient absorption in many ways. First, water dilutes the gastric juice (a secretion of the stomach) such that it can’t digest the food efficiently. Second, the stomach can’t hold the food long enough and empties it into the intestines as soon as you drink water- this compromises food digestion and nutrient absorption. That’s why, it is better if you drink water before meals.
Improve your lifestyle
Your gut health is closely linked to the well-being of your body and mind. It can’t possibly function well if something is ailing other body systems. Be proactive, both physically and mentally. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly and tend to any other disease. This way, your body can work as one strong unit- with your gut being a part of it.
Make friends with healthy bacteria
Bacteria don’t always mean trouble, some bacteria are good too. These good bacteria, or probiotics, help us in many ways. They cleanse the digestive system, maximize nutrient absorption and even synthesize couple of vital nutrients like B complex vitamins. As per FDA guidelines, probiotics with lactobacilli and bifidobacterium species are the best and safest to use.
If you could manage following these tips for as much as 70% of the time, you can improve your nutrients absorption- and in turn your health- immensely!