Cooking with Chris

Cooking with Chris

21-03-2022

18:12

DIGESTION: HOW IT WORKS & HOW TO OPTIMIZE IT (Thread)

Proper digestion is vital for nutrient absorption, energy production, waste release and much more The problem is, due to lifestyle, modern environment and lack of knowledge, poor digestion is very common In this thread I’ll take a look at how it works and how you can improve it

Digestion is the process both mechanically and chemically breaking down food so it can be absorbed in the bloodstream. It begins when the food enters your mouth and you begin to chew.

Your teeth start to grind down food and your saliva begins to digest starches & bind chewed food into a slippery bolus that easily slides through your esophagus. No digestion actually occurs in the esophagus, but it will then enter the stomach for more breakdown.

Glands in the stomach lining make stomach acid and enzymes, and the muscles of your stomach mix the food with these digestive juices. Your small intestine makes digestive juice and mixes with juices produced in the liver and pancreas to complete the breakdown of food.

Bacteria in your large intestine then break down the remaining nutrients, synthesize vitamin K, and turn any waste products into stool.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into digesting your food and turning it into nutrients that can be absorbed. If one part of the process is off, you will not be getting the most out of your food.

Your digestive system also plays a vital role in protecting your body from harmful substances. “Leaky gut” is becoming extremely common, which is when gaps in the intestinal walls allow bacteria and toxins to be released into the blood stream. This causes chronic inflammation.

The good news is there are many things that can be done to improve your digestion, and thus improve your nutrient absorption and overall health. Here they are:

1. Eat real food. It sounds obvious, but the more processed foods and additives you consume, the harder it will be for your body to digest them. Many of these foods will cause gut inflammation and increase chance of leaky gut. Read more about what causes gut inflammation here:

2. Manage stress. When you are stressed, your body doesn’t think you have time to rest or digest. Blood and energy are diverted away from your stomach during times of stress, negatively impacting your digestion. Read more about the gut and brain connection here:

Things like meditation & breath work, exercise, magnesium and theanine can all help during times of stress.

3. Probiotics These beneficial bacteria help by breaking down indigestible fibers than can irritate the gut. Kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi are all great sources. Fermented foods also contain enzymes that help you break down food.

4. Bone broth & glutamine The collagen and gelatin in bone broth as well glutamine supplementation can help repair the intestinal wall and therefore reducing risk of leaky gut. Read more about bone broth here:

5. Chew your food WELL and eat mindfully I put these 2 together because they usually go hand in hand. In today’s modern environment, most people are scarfing down food quickly while scrolling through their phones or doing work on the computer.

The more you chew your food, the less work your stomach has to do and the easier it will be to break down the food. Eating mindfully means taking your time, turning off the screens, and actually consciously eating, which is rare these days.

6. Stay hydrated but avoid drinking tons of water with food Being hydrated with proper water & mineral intake is vital to make sure everything is flowing smoothly. Dehydration is a huge factor of constipation.

However, if you are chugging water with a meal, this can dilute stomach acid and digestive enzymes, making it harder to digest your food.

7. Fix your posture! Poor posture can compress your organs, including the GI tract, resulting in poor digestion. Slouching can actually push stomach acid in the wrong direction, causing acid reflux. For more on this, follow @JulianaLung and @BodyOptic

8. Supplementing with digestive enzymes If you are struggling with digestion, supplementing with digestive enzymes can help break down the carbs, proteins and fats. Papaya enzymes are a good, natural source.

There are many other things that contribute to good digestion including fiber intake, sunlight, exercise, apple cider vinegar, limiting alcohol and drug intake, eating healthy fats, and more!

Even if you are eating nutritious foods, you won’t be getting the most out them if you’re digestion is impaired. Make sure to focus on optimizing your digestion!

PS, If you need a completely custom plan to optimize digestion, resolve gut issues, and restore your energy levels, my meal plans are for you! GUARANTEED results or your money back!

Lastly, if you liked this thread, you’ll love my newsletter! Sign up here:



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