How to Get More Nutrients from the Food You Eat

You know you need to reduce/eliminate sugar and artificial sweetners.  You know you need to eliminate gluten and reduce or eliminate grains. You know your plate should be mostly vegetables. You get that and you’re working on it. (Pause for proud moment for you…go ahead and pat yourself on the back!!).  You are eliminating processed foods (non-foods really).  You are trying to get your diet to the Cadillac of diets.  But wait… there’s more you can do?

You’ve heard you are what you eat, right?  Well, there is also the phrase, you are what you absorb.  You see if you put all of the effort into eating the best diet possible, you had better be getting the nutrients out of all that effort as well.  How do you do that?

Put simply, take digestive enzymes and probiotics to increase your nutrient absorption.  Let me explain.

Why take digestive enzymes?  Doesn’t the body produce enzymes?  Yes, the body does produce some enzymes to break your food down so that you can absorb  the nutrients.  However, we produce less & less as we age.  Notice that very few 16 year olds have chronic heartburn and other digestive symptoms, but a 65 year old probably has a few issues. Am I right? Genetics plays a role as well.  Some are destined to just not produce the amount that others do.  Also at play here is that we were made to eat a raw diet. Live foods have enzymes in them to break them down. Think about a banana.  If you let it sit on the counter for a few weeks, it will break itself down.  Anything that is alive has enzymes to break itself down. (Just a note here, don’t think if you start with a salad that you have enough enzymes to break down the entire meal.  The enzymes present in foods are enough to break themselves down, but not everything else on the plate.)  Our problem is that we cook everything which kills the enzymes. Now our body has to break the food down without the help of the built-in digestive enzymes present in natural raw food.  We weren’t meant to eat this much cooked and processed food, so our bodies work much harder than they were designed to in order to digest this food. Therefore, we sort of wear out as we age.  The answer here is digestive enzymes.

Beware, not all digestive enzymes are the same.  The goal here is to predigest the food as much as possible. Cheaper pancreatic enzymes don’t start working until they hit the small intestines.  We want the food digesting long before it hits the small intestines, just like would happen if we ate everything raw.  So, digestive enzymes should be plant based and broad spectrum, meaning they digest all kinds of foods, fats, carbs, protein, fiber, etc. I carry two of my favorites here in the clinic so just ask me about them.

Probiotics are the other side of the coin.  There is a misconception that probiotics are enzymes.  They are not.  Probiotics don’t digest food.  Probiotics are good bacteria for your gut.  If you have an imbalance in gut bacteria, you don’t absorb nutrients as well. Among other problems. So, by supplementing probiotics you ensure you are in balance and absorbing nutrients from the food you just broke down. Probiotics are key to keeping your immune system on track as well, nice side effect!   There are a million probiotic formulas, so if you have questions, just send me a message. I have several formulas that I choose from based on each persons situation.

Remember if you want to optimize the nutrition from your diet, you’ll add these.  If you want to eliminate digestive distress like heartburn, acid reflux and gas, you’ll add these.  If you want to have regular bowel movements, that’s 2-3 times a day, then you’ll add these.  If you want to get strong like Superman, you’ll add these.

Again let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Happy Digesting!



This entry was written by Dr. Shelly Masters , posted on Tuesday August 06 2013at 02:08 pm , filed under Health News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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