Role of Nutrition in Maintaining Digestive Health


The stomach is a critical part of the human anatomy, as it controls the entire digestive process.

The “belly region” plays a pivotal role in maintaining at least 50% of the body’s immune response, along with 25% of the body’s immune cells. The anatomical “gut” contains millions of bacteria which amount to about ten times of the cumber of human cells.

Thus, it is imperative that the human digestive system is taken seriously to sustain a disease-free life. GI health is directly related to physical and emotional wellness. Bad diet, lack of exercise, stress or fatigue can cause havoc on our precious body.

The NIH Nutrition Research Report: 2013-2014, noted that diet and heredity jointly play a strong role in sustaining human health and disease-free life. The recent findings of this report are included as follows:

1. A protein associated diabetic or overweight conditions may play a role in the development of aggressive forms of breast cancer.
2. There is an established link between red-meat consumption and heart disease.
3. Vitamin D supplement helps prevent or delay type-2 diabetes in adults who have pre-diabetes.
4. Extensive study on dietary patterns suggests that adults who eat a more plant-based diet may be increasing longevity.
5. A high-protein diet during middle age increases the risk of higher mortality rate.
6. Genetics may influence obesity
7. Overweight and obese adults who drink diet beverages consume significantly more solid-food calories than those who drink sugary beverages.

Digestive disorders are common among people of all age groups, especially in this era of readily available “junk food.” Do not for a moment think that you are alone in your gastronomical troubles. An alarming 2012 health statistic established that close to 70% Indians suffer from digestive disorders with a significant portion of cases leading to digestive-tract cancer!

The Ultra Wellness Lesson 4: Gut & Digestive Health indicates that few people realize that common digestive problems, if ignored, can lead to serious ailments like allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, dementia, cancer and more.

The “gut’s” nervous system is highly sensitive and can easily detect any malfunction in the entire digestive system instantly. When the nervous system starts sending panic signals to the brain, that means your health is in big trouble.

The simple regimen provided by A Healthy Belly: Tips for Improving Digestive Health includes a high-fiber, low fat, low salt diet, regular exercise, belly message and avoiding food that cause bloating. It is not difficult or complicated for any average person to follow these simple instructions, and yet most people are either too lazy or too busy to pay attention.

In 10 Steps to Build and Maintain Digestive Health, the author recounts that GI health is probably as important as heart health or bone health for maintaining optimum health. What this means for the average person is a series of simple lifestyle changes that can ensure balanced lifestyle leading to overall wellness.

The 10 vital lifestyle steps suggested in the above article are:

1. Include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet
2. Consume lots of fiber
3. Drink plenty of water & fluids
4. Consume moderate animal protein and more vegetable protein
5. Take the required food supplements like Vitamin A & D, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and Folic Acid
6. Limit the consumption of fatty foods and sweets
7. Eat slowly till you feel full and eat healthy snacks between meals
8. Indulge in daily physical exercise
9. Learn to manage mental stress
10. Constantly monitor your diet, physical activities, and energy levels.

Your lifestyle and your choice of foods can affect the way your body digests the foods you eat. Drinking water, adding fiber, and exercising all contribute to better digestive health.

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