TRUST YOUR GUT
By Christine Anne Schmieden
Poor digestion affects 70 million people every day. Think about it. Our digestive system manages a number of important processes from the breakdown of our food to nutrient absorption to running a two lane highway for communication to and from the brain. If our digestive system is in order, we feel great.
If it’s not, well…
A QUICK LESSON IN ANATOMY
Your “gut” is the series of organs — mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon — that transform the food you eat into the nutrients your body needs to live and flourish.
Ever feel “butterflies” in your tummy or have a “gut-wrenching” experience? It’s all for a reason – the GI is sensitive to emotion – and our emotions can cause problems in our gut.
THE SINGLE BIGGEST TRIGGER
The single biggest trigger outside of food is stress. Stress can hinder the natural movement in the gut, cause inflammation, or make you more prone to getting sick.
It’s really no wonder scientists refer to our gut as the “little brain” but …it’s not so little. That communication highway is made up of more than 500 million neurons lining your GI and that’s more than five times the amount in the spinal column.
So what can we do to ensure our bodies have good internal health, and can absorb all the awesome nutrients we’re feeding it? Enlist support.
Here are a few extremely powerful tools to add to your daily armamentarium for stellar digestion and gut support.
YOUR GUT’S TOOLBOX
Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote healthy digestion, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and support healthy immune function.
Consider incorporating them daily and take first thing in the morning to aid in proper digestion throughout the day.
According to a new study in the Journal Nature Immunology, greens can play an important role in controlling immune cells vital to a healthy digestive system. In addition, they can:
- Support overall health and immunity
- Aids natural digestive functions
- Naturally balances and increases alkalinity
- Naturally and safely boost energy
Antioxidants are natural substances that can counteract oxidative stress, or the process that triggers cell damage and releases free radicals. So, why should you care? You’ve probably heard of free radicals before as it relates to cancer – they are carcinogenic. And, free radicals are naturally formed when you exercise. Antioxidants eliminate those free radicals from the body.
Digestive enzymes, which are produced in the pancreas and small intestine, break down our food into nutrients so that our bodies can absorb them.
If we don’t have enough digestive enzymes, we can’t break down our food—which means even though we’re eating well, we aren’t absorbing all that good nutrition.
I like to take digestive enzymes with heavier meals to help take the burden off my GI.
Dietary fiber is the part of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. Since fiber isn’t digested, it passes through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.
Fiber is commonly classified as soluble or insoluble:
- Soluble fiber: dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
- Insoluble fiber: promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases bulk. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber.
Eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods like dark, leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli).
A high-fiber diet has many benefits, which include:
- Normalizes bowel movements
- Helps maintain GI health
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Helps control blood sugar levels
- Aids in achieving healthy weight
Now that you’re armed and ready to take care of your inside your body can reap the rewards and maximize the nutritional benefit of the food you take in day-to-day to perform at your best on the outside.
She has roots in Wisconsin and currently resides in Colorado where you can find her hard at work in the Orthopedics Department at UCHealth. Christine is a Women’s Physique Competitor of 6 years.
She is an avid “14er” summiting the peaks of the Southern Rocky Mountain Front Range in her spare time. She has her sights on completing all of Colorado’s 14ers (the mountain peaks above 14,000 feet of which there are 58) in the next two years. A strong advocate for women’s health, she is also a personal trainer with special interest in pediatric and women’s fitness, nutrition and bodybuilding. Christine attributes much of her success to having built a strong foundation of knowledge from her peers, mentors and experts as well as her fellow athletes.
Christine loves participating in the success of others and does everything she can to help them smash their goals!
We are very proud to have her as an exclusive HerSUPPZ Brand Ambassador!
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More articles you may enjoy…
Harvard Healthbeat: http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-gut-brain-connection
Institute of Medicine
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants/introduction.htm?lang=enX-