The Key to Supporting Healthy Digestion – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 94
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
On today’s episode, I will be discussing digestive health and making sure that we are maintaining a healthy intestinal environment from dietary intake from foods and even Probiotics. Let’s focus on certain things that you should be doing in order to maintain proper digestive health.
How Sugar Impacts the Gut-Brain Connection
One study from the Howard Hues Medical Institute discussed the gut-brain connection. We know that an unhealthy gut can lead to an unhealthy brain, in the sense of mood disorders, anxiety, depression, lack of focus and cognitive decline. Researchers were specifically talking about the sensation of sweetness that starts on the tongue, but sugar molecules also trip sensors in the gut that directly signal the brain. This could explain why things like artificial sweeteners fail to satisfy the insatiable craving for sugar.
In the Journal of Nature, a recently published study discussed the connections within the intestines and how the bacteria in the gut is sending signals to the brain. This gut to brain pathway can be extremely problematic when we are dealing with sugar molecules. Scientists already knew that sugar exerted this control over the brain. There was a 2008 study that showed that mice, without the ability to taste sweetness, can still prefer sugar. This shows that a sort of “sugar circuit” exists in the body.
Inflammation in the Gut
What people oftentimes do not recognize about inflammation going on within the intestinal environment is that people expect it to be inflammation that you can actually see. Many may think that this will show in the form of bloating, which can be true. But generally speaking, you may have no idea in a state of high inflammatory response. This is because this kind of inflammation is different than an acute inflammatory reaction, where you can visibly see redness, swelling or hot to the touch. Chronic inflammation is very different. Chronic inflammation is shown internally, with bile acid being produced or bacteria living within the gut and intestines for example. This is why digestive enzymes as so critical for our bodies as we age.
What you can do to support healthy digestion
The body is equipped with enzymes to aid in the breakdown of food, including pepsin and betain. But the foods that you are supposed to be consuming are supposed to be healthy, not high-processed, high-sugar foods. A Mediterranean Diet is a perfect diet to literally feed your body the vitamins and minerals it needs. Learn more about the Mediterranean Diet by clicking here!
If you cannot follow a perfect Mediterranean Diet, there are some minerals and nutrients that can help support healthy digestion. You can find these minerals and nutrients in our formulas, Digestive Hx and Digestive Plus Hx. These formulas contain important digestive-supporting ingredients, including:
- Digestive enzymes like Lipase, Protease and Amylase, which aid in the breakdown of food†
- Betaine is one of the first enzymes that help initiate protein digestion†
- Bromelain is a natural enzyme that comes from the stem of pineapple and helps to stimulate the body’s digestive processes†
- Lactase is essential for digestion, as it breaks down lactose sugar (this is why it’s called Lactose milk)†
- Alpha-Galactosidase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down the carbohydrates into simpler sugars to make them easier to digest†
- Papain is a digestive enzyme that has been shown in studies to help ease digestive symptoms like constipation and bloating†
- Pepsin is another digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins into smaller amino acids for easier digestion†
- Blue agave is high in inulin, which helps the digestive system grow good bacteria †
- L-Glutamine helps to boost immune cell activity in the gut which can help against infection and inflammation†
- Zinc L-Carnosine has been shown to help enhance the stomach’s defenses. PepZin GI®, a trademarked Zinc L-Carnosine) has been the focus of numerous clinical trials studying its benefit for digestion†
Questions about digestive enzymes of nutrients you should incorporate into your diet? Leave a comment below to join the discussion.
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