It's what's on the inside that counts! Literally. Did you know the food that you eat has to make it through digestion, absorption, and then we get to metabolize it and use it for energy?
Our digestive system plays such a huge impact on our health, without it we would not get the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and energy from food. How about some fun facts about your GI tract?
1. The small intestine is named that because it's smaller opening. The small intestine is actually 21-22 feet, about the size of a tennis court when stretched out!
2. Intramural Nerve Plexus. The brain in your gut, sometimes referred to as the second brain. Similar in size, complexity, and similarity when it comes to neurotransmitters and signaling molecules. Brings whole new meaning to the phrase gut feeling.
3. There is twice as much bacteria in the colon compared to other organs. Your stomach and small have intestine have small amounts of bacteria.
4. Digestion of carbohydrates begins with smell. The smell of carbohydrates will start the secretion of enzymes from our salivary glands...guess dogs are not the only ones whose mouths water!
So, the digestive system is obviously an incredibly complex and amazing thing. What happens if it is not functionally ideally?
Think that you might need to improve your digestive health?
1. Try to avoid foods that irritate, inflame, or that you are allergic to.
2. Include bacteria forming foods in your diet-yogurt, fermented foods, etc.
3. Drink water. Water is a catalyst for all chemical reactions in your digestive system and is key in forming bowel movements.
4. Eat plenty of leafy, green vegetables. Plant fiber is an important component of being able to get rid of waste within your GI tract.
5. Lower your sugar intake. A diet high in sugar can promote bacteria overgrowth.
6. Try a rotation or elimination diet. Rotation diet-rotate your proteins, avoid eating the exact same foods each day. Elimination diet-remove one food that you think is irritating you for 7-14 days. Journal and track changes. Reintroduce the food and note any differences, symptoms, etc.