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Poor Digestion & Unhealthy Eating

Poor Digestion & Unhealthy Eating Poor Digestion & Unhealthy Eating

Overview

Digestion is the process the breaks food down into smaller molecules of nutrients that are absorbed into your bloodstream, delivered to your cells and tissues where they repair, build, nourish and provide energy. If you have poor digestion, your body has a decreased ability to absorb these nutrients. Indigestion is a common symptom of poor digestion and unhealthy eating is a common cause.

Unhealthy Eating

Eating fatty, greasy, spicy foods, eating too much, eating too fast and drinking too much alcohol are types of unhealthy eating and drinking habits that are triggers of poor digestion and indigestion, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Physical symptoms like abdominal discomfort, gas, belching, bloating, constipation and diarrhea are familiar signs of indigestion.

Consequences of Poor Digestion

Poor digestion equals poor health. If your body is not absorbing the protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and macronutrients from your foods, it is improperly nourished and fed. Over time, poor digestion leads to malnutrition and, according to the Mayo Clinic, can lead to various health problems, including fatigue, depression, weakened immune system, anemia, muscular weakness, digestive, lung and heart problems and poor skin integrity.

Improving Digestion

Make healthier eating choices to improve your digestion like avoiding fatty, greasy and spicy foods, limiting portion sizes, eating more slowly and limiting alcohol consumption. Michael Pico, M.D., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, recommends eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and drinking water when eating or afterwards. He said drinking water this way "can actually improve digestion. It does not dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion, but instead helps break down the food in your stomach and keep your digestive system on track."

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes, the catalysts that break down foods into smaller nutrient molecules, are found in saliva, pancreatic, stomach and intestinal juices. They can also be taken in supplement form. James F. Balch, M.D., in his book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," recommends that for maximum benefit, digestive enzyme supplements should contain all the major enzymes groups --- amylase, protease, and lipase --- and be taken during or after every meal.

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