Good digestion is a big player in our overall health, and it’s something that we can all (fairly easily) work towards achieving.
However, most people rarely talk about good digestion. This could be for one of two (or both) reasons:
- Few people know what good digestion is, and
- Even fewer understand why it is so important
What is Good Digestion?
Digestion in general can be defined as the body’s ability to eliminate waste. This process of eliminating waste (and passing food through the digestive tract) should take about 12 to 24 hours – this is TOTAL transit time.
A person with healthy digestive habits will have a large bowel movement (what I like to call a “complete elimination”) at least once a day. A complete elimination happens when ALL waste is eliminated from the bowel. (Hint: If you wipe and it’s not clean, you didn’t get it all. It’s not a complete elimination).
I know you’ve heard the saying, “what goes up, must come down.” Well, I’ve come to know and believe in a similar saying: “what goes in, must come out!” Input should equal output, and if all is running (or should I say, “moving”) smoothly, output should equal input! Meaning, what you eat, should pass through the digestive tract….completely.
Good Digestion Is…
- The body’s ability to completely (and timely) eliminate waste!
Now that you have a much better understanding of what good digestion is, I want to give you 3 specific reasons why it matters; 3 good reasons why you should focus more of your energy on improving your digestion and eliminating your bowel.
Why Good Digestion Matters:
1. 70-80% of the immune system is found in the gastrointestinal tract (gut).
The immune system is just that, a system, which is primarily located within the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a large system as well and, as you might expect, is primarily located within the gut! The gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is the specific name of the lymph tissue that lives in the gut.
What Does it Matter? Well, the immune system is the body’s defense system and is responsible for fighting off bacteria, viruses, illness and all foreign invaders in the body. Poor digestion directly affects our immune system, and can result in the body’s defense system not being able to respond to foreign invaders.
Related Post: Good Gut Bacteria: Why Do We Need It?
2. The gut is where almost all nutrients are absorbed from the food you eat.
Many people use the saying, “you are what you eat.” However, I’ve come to find out this isn’t entirely true; You are not what you eat –you are what you absorb. Even if you’re eating a spinach salad with a side of asparagus every night for dinner, you’re only as healthy as the number of nutrients your gut is capable of absorbing.
Nearly 90% of nutrient absorption happens in the small intestines. At this point, the nutrients are deposited into the bloodstream where they are used by the body. When waste isn’t moving through the intestines, it is blocking the ability of the intestines to properly absorb nutrients. A healthy gut and good digestion will lead to better nutrient absorption!
This leads me to the next reason why good digestion is so important…
3. What you do not eliminate, you accumulate!
It is very important to eliminate waste from the body. This is because waste doesn’t simply stay in the bowel when it is not eliminated from the body. Instead of just staying in the bowel, it recirculates through the body. This leads to more toxicity, inflammation and stress on the body and organs.
Still Not Convinced? Here’s Even More Reasons…
I hope you’re starting to see that improving your digestion REALLY IS one of the greatest things you can do for your health! And if I haven’t convinced you yet, let me leave you with one more thought. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said, “ALL disease begins in the gut.”
I believe this to be true for many different reasons, but primarily for the reasons listed above.
- When the gut is unhealthy, leading to poor digestion, the body is incapable of absorbing the nutrients it needs.
- As if that isn’t bad enough, our immune system is also much more likely to become compromised, considering the large majority of the immune system is located within the gut.
- On top of all that, when we aren’t eliminating our stool, it begins to recirculate throughout our body, leading to unwanted stress, toxicity and inflammation.
Related Post: How to Improve Digestion: Heal Your Gut
As I’ve stated, 96-99% of the population suffers from some sort of digestive issue.
If you don’t know whether or not you suffer from digestive issues, err on the side of caution (actually, err on the side of health) and just assume that you do! At least assume that your digestion could probably be improved! Better digestion is for all people, not just those with cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
Digestion Remedies Include (but are not limited to):
- Drinking more water (64 ounces per day), as this helps to “soften” the waste in your colon and helps it to pass through.
- Adding Kombucha (a sweet and tangy fermented tea beverage) to your daily regimen; Kombucha is rich in probiotics.
- Taking a Probiotic supplement.
- Adding Magnesium into your daily routine, which is loaded with health benefits (and is a natural remedy for constipation).
- Taking Digestive Enzymes with your meals, which help to break down the food you consume so the nutrients can be better absorbed and waste better eliminated.
THERE’S MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE: