Look after your digestion like your life

Through our daily eating habits we very often indirectly refer to our digestion. Can you recall sometimes saying, “I feel stuffed”, “My stomach hurts”, “The beans caused me gas”, “I feel the food coming up”. These are signs that you are not taking enough care of your digestion.

Digestion overview

  • The digestion process starts even before the food enters your mouth! Quality of food and the exogenous enzymes in the food you are about to eat are crucial factors for digestion.
  • Once the food enters the mouth, the saliva which contains enzymes such amylase is already starting the digestion process.
  • Once in the stomach, we are still in the pre-digestion phase with the help of the right acidity (PH level of 1-3).
  • In the upper part of the small intestine the digestive juice of the pancreas continues the digestion of all the nutrients. But even this cannot be acknowledged to be complete digestion, but only an advanced phase of predigestion.
  • Finally digestion of food is accomplished by the cells lining the small intestine.

Why is digestion important for our overall health?

  • Digesting food is a very taxing process for the body

The sleepy effect, after a meal when you have overeaten or the quality of food is bad, is due to the fact that the whole body (like the pancreas) is recruiting resources (the little workers called enzymes) to help with the digestion. This diverts focus from other key health metabolic activities and puts the whole body in halt. We will start looking very closely into the role of exogenous enzymes in one of the following posts, and talk about enzyme deficient diets, but I highly recommend start reading the suggested content at the end of the post.

  • Improper digestion can lead to nutrient deficiency

Not being able to properly break-down food in the long digestive process is an area where most of us suffer. This can lead to not being able to trigger the necessary processes to absorb the needed nutrients. Some reasons can be low stomach acid, low enzyme secretion, not proper bacteria balance, and many more which can result in all the “well known” bloating, gas, burping, constipation etc.

  • Inflammation

Improper digestion will eventually also result into a leaky gut which is responsible for allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream.

So where do we start?

  1. Give your gut some breathing space, by starting intermittent fasting.
  2. Eat your meals slowly and chew your food properly. Take your time and enjoy your meal. I am only starting to appreciate the importance of this point.
  3. Eat until satisfied but not full. The body has a certain rate of producing digestive enzymes and will not be able to cope with the demand if you overeat.
  4. Drink a tablespoon of Apple-Cider Vinegar (ACV) before every meal to help activate the digestive enzymes and make your stomach more acidic. Put some lemon juice as well!
  5. Cut out processed food and increase fermented ones, like blue cheese, tofu, sauerkraut.

Key Takeaways

  • Enzymes are the little workers in our body involved for most if not all activities in our body. Don’t waste them only on the digestion.
  • Start Intermittent fasting.
  • Record your digestion daily. It is very important to start being aware of your your body and the effects that your actions have on it.
  • By subscribing to our newsletter you will get a 2-week plan along side with a great daily blog template to use!

Suggested Reading (or viewing)

A hard slog

I’m now on my fourth week of dieting, and it hasn’t been getting any easier.

The monotony of the meals is wearing me down, but I can’t quite bring myself to start cooking for one. I opt instead for the same options: the salads, the eggs, the fish that have become my staples. At times I even choose to skip a meal, rather than have yet another tasteless avocado salad. Strangely, I don’t feel hungry.

I sometimes indulge myself and have an orange, or a sesame bar. They momentarily reawaken my taste buds, enough to remind me of the flavors I used to relish and must now forgo in my quest for leanness.

What about results then?

  • Depends on who you ask. According to the scales, I’m well on my way to getting rid of that pesky fat. According to the mirror though, I’m still in square one. Being of a rather gloomy disposition, it’s not hard to guess which of the two I believe. I do not feel lighter, and I do not look lighter.
  • On the flip side my cravings are gone and i can easily go through the morning fasting schedule.

For now I continue to slog away. I do want this to work, but I’m starting to believe that I won’t make it to the finish line.

My first week!

Ioanna Leousi

Hi, I’m Ioanna! I have lost (and gained) weight several times so far, and I felt ready to try a different approach. I will be blogging here regularly about my experiences with a ketogenic diet, sharing the highs and the lows, the wins and the disappointments. This is my first post.

I started a week ago.
The pleasant surprise was that, while earlier I ate a lot, and often unhealthy/low quality food, I was able to adjust quickly to the new diet, from the very first day. Normally, when I haven’t eaten for a while, I get cravings for food and if I don’t have something to eat I feel dizzy and it’s like I’m about to faint. This time though, I did not feel hungry despite the reduction in calories and the extended periods without food. As a result of the diet, I managed to lose 2.8kg in a week. On the other hand, food has always been one of the major pleasures of life for me, in particular desserts and carb-based foods. Forgoing all of the foods that give me pleasure gives me a feeling of emptiness and deprives me of the little slices of happiness that dotted otherwise drab days. Sometimes I feel like I’d rather not eat at all rather than have yet another salad. I’m still trying to make exercise and diet a part of my daily life, and so far I’ve been unable to invest the time and effort needed to prepare more pleasing meals.