What is the Digestive System?
DID YOU KNOW
Glucomannan can help you lose weight! It is a type of fiber found in elephant yam roots, also called konjac. Glucomannan sits in your gut and makes you feel full by absorbing water and becoming gel-like. This helps you eat less thereby promoting weight loss. Three studies showed that glucomannan, combined with a healthy diet, can help you lose 8-10 pounds in 5 weeks. Glucomannan is a fiber that can feed the friendly bacteria in the intestine while lowering blood sugar, blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and is extremely effective for combating constipation.
FACT: There are numerous genetic variables that are associated with obesity, along with specific medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, depression, and PCOS that can increase your risk of unwanted weight gain. There are various hormones and biological pathways that help regulate body weight that tend to be dysfunctional in people with obesity, making it harder to lose weight and keep it off.
FACT: IBS is the most common functional digestive system disorder and is most prevalent among working women. People with IBS take twice as many days off work compared to the general population. Most people with IBS will experience abdominal discomfort and pain for an average of 8 days per month. No wonder IBS is responsible for $1.6 billion a year in health care cost in the U.S.!
FACT: One study found that consuming vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer and many other studies have shown that eating fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
How can lifestyle affect your Digestive System?
Stress! Stress puts our nervous system into sympathetic mode, fight or flight mode, which significantly affects our digestion. Our nervous system has two modes, sympathetic, more of a stress mode, and parasympathetic, more of a relaxation mode.
To understand sympathetic mode better, think of how you feel when you are nervous or frightened. Your heart rate goes up and you begin to breathe faster. Both are noticeable, however, what we don’t notice is at the same time, our ability to digest is slowing down. Digestion slowing is no big deal if we are nervous to give a speech or running from a bear. However, when we are stressed out, sitting in traffic eating a hamburger and fries, now we have a problem.
So, what can you do about it? For many of us stress has become a normal part of our everyday life. We start by being aware of how we feel, realizing that we are in sympathetic mode. There is an easy trick to bring your body into parasympathetic mode, even while sitting in rush hour traffic. Breathe in and out at a regular pace, five seconds in through your nose, five seconds out through your mouth and repeat for at least 5 minutes. Your nervous system will begin to go from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode, just like that!
It’s a good idea to eat in a relaxing environment, to avoid unnecessary digestive complications. To understand parasympathetic mode, think about how you would feel after meditation or a long hot bath. Our heart rate goes down, our breathing rate normalizes, and you guessed it, our digestive juices start to flow again! If we can help it, we want to be in parasympathetic mode when we are eating. So, put on some soothing music, take a few deep breaths, relax, and enjoy your meal at a table. Avoid eating on the go or when you are upset or worried. Your tummy will thank you for it!
“Slow down and take a deep breath” is actually evidence-based advice. Who knew!
Supplement recommendations for optimal digestive health:
IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Ulcerative Colitis and more!
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The statements made herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and Natural Health Solutions are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. If you have any concerns about your own health, your child’s health, or your pet’s health, you should always consult with a physician, veterinarian or healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise or supplement routine, especially if you are pregnant or taking other medications.