GI Tract

Your digestive system is made up of several body parts. They are otherwise known as the GI or Gastrointestinal Tract. The main parts are your stomach and intestines. Their job is to get rid of waste and also to do something useful with the nutrients you give them. What you eat, how you eat, and health issues all contribute to how effectively the GI tract works.

Common Complaints

These days it’s increasingly common for individuals to notice they suffer from food sensitivities which cause inflammation in the GI tract. Typically, these foods include milk products, wheat, fat, and sugar.

Together or alone they cause a person to experience cramps, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive issues. Problems will sometimes arise later in life after years of happily consuming anything and everything without trouble. Instances of celiac disease are on the rise (a serious intolerance to all foods containing gluten).

Lifestyle Choices

Consumers also notice these complaints when they continually choose to eat foods that are bad for their gut. These include highly processed and fatty foods. Good fats contribute to the health of muscles, the nervous system, and “good” cholesterol.

Greasy foods like French fries, onion rings, and potato chips contain a lot of bad fat. Your gut will often rebel against these food selections with the onset of sharp pain in the upper abdomen (your stomach), nausea, and gas.

Nutritional Uptake

While bloating, weight gain, lethargy, and depression can ensue as a result of GI troubles, there is another, bigger problem at work. Your digestive system is designed to absorb nutrients and expel waste.

When your bowel movements are no longer regular and your abdomen is constantly under assault from within, there is a good chance you are not absorbing vitamins and minerals to the fullest extent possible. You might be eating them alongside foods you can’t handle (healthy for some but not for you) or beside junk food that is full of sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Fortified Foods

One myth is that cereal and bread fortified with vitamins and minerals is healthy. This isn’t the case: apart from muesli, all cold cereals are full of simple carbs which either start out as sugar or become sugar and are then stored as fat when your body doesn’t need all that energy. Any sugar contributes to overload: barley, brown rice, agave, honey, and regular table sugar. When you receive this sugar you have to either use it up or expect to store it as fat.

Moods

Bodies that don’t absorb nutrients properly are prone to the strains of mental and physical ailments. Depression is common among individuals with poor nutrition because they lack essential B vitamins which contribute to healthy metabolism, overall hormone control, energy, and moods. It is even noticeable in people with autism that poor digestion (a side effect of autism) is partly responsible for erratic and extreme mood swings. When brought under control, these swings could become less dramatic.

Controlling GI Function

Healthy eating is the primary means of achieving regularity and helping a body to absorb calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, omega fatty acids, and more. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables of all colors to obtain a full range of vitamins and minerals to fight bone loss and viral diseases. Consume probiotics: good bacteria that destroy unhealthy bacteria living in the stomach. Drink water and cut back on refined foods including soda pop and bread.

GI Tract
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Jana Evans

Janet Evans is our resident Health Nut and aspiring chef. She can shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's with her eyes closed.