Ever heard the saying that you are what you eat?
Well, more often than not, this proves to be more true. The food that goes into a body determines how healthy an individual is.
Food consumption affects a person’s weight, internal organs, potential for disease and nutritional levels. Although grabbing French fries at a drive-through may seem tempting, it is important to understand what these decisions do to your health and wellbeing.
Beyond what you eat, you are what you absorb.
Frequently, you do not receive all of the benefits of your healthy food choices when your digestive system is not absorbing the nutrients efficiently. The digestive system is a key element in the body. It is in control of the gallbladder, liver and pancreas. What passes through the mouth eventually travels down through the stomach and out of the anus. It is clear that healthy digestion is essential since it influences several parts of the body. The digestive system’s sole responsibility is to break down food into nutrients for an individual to use as energy. Without this, it is impossible to develop and grow healthily.
A poor digestive system can be a result of malnourishment, anxiety or stress, environmental contaminants, medications and other pollutants. Diet, however, has the largest impact on the digestive track; healthy foods enable healthy digestion. Without this, a person becomes more likely to obtain an illness.
Diseases derived from improper digestive health include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Stomach ulcers
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Acid reflux
These are serious issues that can lead to pain, immobility and other ailments. If individuals are already experiencing such illnesses, it is particularly important to consider a lifestyle change.
However, restoring and maintaining a healthy digestive system must be done correctly. For instance, strong digestion is not achieved through a fast-acting pill. Rather, it should be encouraged naturally with the consumption of whole foods.
First, it is essential to understand what whole foods are.
What are whole foods?
Whole foods are nutrients that refrain from additives and other artificial ingredients. With whole foods, the consumer avoids processed goods because these can damage the digestive track. Focusing on more organic choices will help your overall digestion. Whole foods include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh seafood
- Fresh poultry
- Nuts and seeds
These foods help feed the body naturally and healthily. Rather than processed goods or fast food meals, whole foods provide the necessary nourishment to boost digestion.
How do whole foods encourage a healthy digestive system?
To begin, foods that are rich in fiber help keep a consistent and moving digestive track. Fiber increases regularity and helps to prevent problematic issues such as constipation. High-fiber foods include whole grain bread, avocados, beans, bran, nuts and flaxseed. A digestive system that has a regular flow is a strong one.
Additionally, water-based foods help encourage healthy digestion. Water provides the necessary elements to promote a regular flow through the digestive tract, and the fiber absorbed from the grains and beans require water in order to perform their jobs. Foods that are high in water are effectively help to fill up the stomach without the need for unnecessary calories, such as celery, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini amongst others.
Whole foods also offer a variety of probiotics. Cultured nutrients are foods containing actual live microorganisms that help to support the immune system. Although not all of them provide this benefit, the best whole food that possesses probiotics is yogurt. Therefore, you should always search for yogurts that specifically state that they contain live cultures.
Finally, specific meal toppings promote healthy digestion. For instance, some can help relieve the buildup of gas. Ginger and cinnamon are two great foods for this, while others include pepper, sage and horseradish. These aforementioned natural foods not only alleviate digestive problems, but can also help prevent diseases in the future.
Digestive health is extremely important as it manages the entire digestive track. An individual’s diet acts as the root source of digestion, and strong digestion helps to promote a healthy body. Whole foods encourage regularity, proper functioning and disease prevention, and eating healthy, delicious foods that nourish the human body offers everybody a healthier, more enjoyable lifestyle.
About the author:At Longevity Healthcare, we are firm believers in the consumption of whole foods to avoid internal ailments. We practice functional, alternative medicine that offers natural healing. Doctors Peter and Sandy Muran have partnered together to create a place for patients to heal through natural therapies and conventional medicine. Dr. Peter Muran uses his impressive skills as a Founding Member of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, while Dr. Sandy Muran utilizes her talents as a successful nutrition professional.