It can feel frustrating when you're doing everything you can to live a health life and then still feel crappy sometimes. Let’s take a deeper look into why that might be happening.
When it really comes down to it, it’s less about what you eat and more about how your body absorbs the nutrients from the things you eat. So even if you’re eating all the right things, your body may not be able to completely absorb all the good things your putting into it. That’s bad news for your overall health...and your wallet!
Here are a few of the main reasons your body may be having trouble absorbing your nutrients.
Your gut has a team of trillions of bacterias working hard to support your body.
Did you know your gut microbes provide almost a third of your body's vital chemicals and vitamins? A lot of things we do and eat such as too much stress, too much exercise, eating refined sugar, too much caffeine, antibiotics are all things that disrupts your gut health.
One easy thing you can do to take care of your team of bacteria is add fermented foods to your diet. This helps add to and support the good bacteria needed for optimal gut health.
Probiotic-rich foods support the immune system, digestive system and can even reduce cravings for unhealthy foods like sugar and refined grains because they bring the good bacteria into balance and starve the bad bacteria.
Bad gut bacteria feeds on refined sugar. So that craving for cake and cookies is just your bad gut bacteria asking for food to keep growing (ew!).
To help bring your gut bacteria back into balance add into your diet are kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
Read the labels on your food!
It doesn’t matter what the front of the label claims, the important part of the food packaging is the ingredient list. So many foods that are labeled in some way or another as “healthy” are really not healthy at all. They can be filled with processed ingredients, hidden sugars and sweeteners, chemicals, dyes and artificial ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it...you shouldn’t eat it.
Being aware of your stress levels & manage your stress.
In our world that's always “on”, it takes a lot of work to chill out (how crazy is that?!).
Here's an interesting fact for you: The state of our body's nervous system determines how well we digest our food.
That means if your body is always feeling stressed, it’s constantly living in “fight or flight” mode, meaning your body is constantly ready to fight a tiger or run away from a bear. In order for you to always live in that fight or flight mode, your body begins to slow down or even stop the functions that aren’t essential to your immediate survival—like digestion—that way your body can focus on it’s survival skills like increasing your heart rate.
So the big problem is that if you are constantly under stress, your entire system starts to become depleted and exhausted. It starts to affect your sleep, hormones, brain function and even your digestion.
But don’t let that stress you out! You have the ability to activate the branch of your nervous system that calms you. Doing so allows your body to move in "rest and digest" mode, which is associated with the release of all-important digestive enzymes, increased saliva, muscle relaxation, and even healthier gut bacteria.
Here’s one super simple thing that you can do right now to start activating that calming part of your nervous system.
Take just a moment to tune into your body. If you’d like you can place on hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Now breathe in through your nose and allow your chest and belly rise as you breathe deep and expand your belly out. Hold for just a moment and release your breath until your lungs are empty. Then repeat.
You can do it sitting down, eyes closed,eyes open, lying down, before bed, while you drive, while you walk the dog, anywhere, anytime. The more you do it the better. You’ll begin to feel calmer and the anxiety will begin to fall away.
Take time to CHEW!
Digestion actually begins the moment you start chewing and your saliva starts to be released. Your saliva has enzymes that start to break down your food before it even reaches your stomach. If you eat on the run, or scarf down your food too quickly, chances are you aren’t chewing your food enough to allow your saliva to work or even chew your food enough for your stomach to properly digest it. If your body is working overtime to breakdown the unchewed food, it’s not absorbing to it’s full potential. It’s not what you eat—it’s what you absorb.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help boost your bodies absorption of the vital nutrients you need from your food.