- Gas and bloating
Your digestion (and the ability to absorb nutrients efficiently) play a role in all of them!
You have over 8 feet of intestines, divided into the large and small intestines. Your intestines are responsible to absorbing much of the nutrients from the foods you eat.
I like to think of your intestines being like your skin. If you think about it, we are one big tube with our mouths being one end and our anuses being the other. Technically, the inside surface of our intestines is like our skin - the barrier between us and the outside world! Take a moment to think about that - it's wild, huh? :)
So what happens if your skin or intestines aren't healthy and can't provide an effect barrier? On our skin, bacteria can cause an infection. In our intestines, we can either absorb things that aren't supposed to make it through, or be unable to absorb nutrients that we should be able to. This can lead to increased allergies, in the case of absorbing things we shouldn't; or nutritional deficiencies in the case of being unable to absorb vitamins and minerals properly.
Improper diets, antibiotic use, and stress can all lead to an unhealthy digestive system. Poor digestion can also be complicated by Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance), Irritable Bowel Disorder and Chron's Disease which all damage the absorptive lining of the intestines.
So what can you do to help keep your intestines happy and healthy on your own?
- Probiotics - If you've ever taken antibiotics, the natural balance of bacteria in your gut has been altered. A good, high potency probiotic can help bring it back into balance.
- Drink plenty of water - This will help keep everything moving smoothly and help flush your system.
- Eat a clean diet - Avoid sugars and processed foods. The chemicals that are found in so many of our foods are irritants to our intestines. In small doses, in a healthy intestine this might not be as much of a problem, but many of us have weakened digestion and we're overwhelming our systems with processed foods.
- In addition to eating a clean diet - eat plenty of fruits and veggies! The fiber in them will help your intestines move unwanted compounds through more quickly!
Keeping your intestines healthy is absolutely necessary for maintaining your health. Without an effective barrier against the outside, your immune system will have to work overtime to protect your body. Without a proper absorptive surface, your body won't get the building blocks for maintaining your body!