Healthy Digestion

Healthy Digestion

The digestive system is a group of organs that aid with the digestion of food and the release of essential nutrients and energy needed for healthy bodily functions.

The Digestive System

The digestive system consists of the digestive tract and associated organs. The digestive tract is the path food takes from initial consumption to passing as a waste product. First the mouth cuts and chews the food, the oesophagus then links the mouth to the stomach where the food is then churned with stomach acid. Finally food then passes through the small and large intestines where fats, proteins and carbohydrates are absorbed before the final product of undigested residue is excreted from the body as faeces.

As well as the tract, your organs also have an important role in digestion, these being the salivary glands, liver and pancreas which secrete digestive juices such as enzymes, acids and salts which chemically breakdown the food further as it passes through the tract.

Healthy Digestion

The digestive system is important as it works to release important substances needed by the body for healthy function and energy. For example carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, proteins into polypeptides, peptide, amino acids and fats into glycerol, glycerides and fatty acids. A good healthy diet will help to keep all of these by-products in balance. However, sometimes what we eat may cause some temporary digestive disorders.

Common Digestive Concerns

There are many digestive disorders; many are temporary and tend to settle within a short time, others may need medical attention. Some common disorders include:

  • Flatulence: Caused by an excess gas build up in the digestive tract and expelled through the rectum. Some trigger foods include brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and beans.
  • Indigestion: This is when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus causing heartburn, stomach discomfort and abdominal cramps. Being overweight, pregnant or a smoker can increase your risk as well as stress and anxiety disrupting normal processes.
  • Nausea & Vomiting: Often caused by bacteria or viruses entering the body. Un-cooked or decaying food may contain harmful bacteria, but also overeating or rich foods may trigger vomiting which is a quick way for the body to expel the toxic matter. Symptoms accompanying vomiting may include sweating, dizziness, weakness, excess saliva, loss of appetite and abdominal pain.
  • Gallstones: These are pellets of cholesterol, calcium or other substances which have formed in the gallbladder. Causes could include a low-fibre, high fat diet, obesity or intestinal surgery. Symptoms include intermittent pain on the right side of the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting and flatulence.

In many cases digestive disorders can be prevented by simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Dietary supplements may also be used to support the digestive system.

Our Top Pick: Fenugreek Seed

Fenugreek Seed has long been established as one of the most useful herbs on the planet. The leaves, sprouts and seeds of the Fenugreek plant can all be put to good culinary uses, and the Fenugreek Seed can also be utilised for its supportive health qualities. Fenugreek is produced all over the world, with India just one of the countries of production. As well as the dried variety of the Fenugreek Seed being great in curries, the capsule orientated supplement of Fenugreek may provide a natural support to the maintenance of good health.

Fenugreek Seed & Digestion

When taken as a compliment to a healthy, balanced diet, Fenugreek seed has a variety of important and highly valued qualities, making it one of the most popular herbs used to compliment all-round wellbeing.

Reported natural properties of Fenugreek Seed include:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Fenugreek Seed may have naturally supportive qualities that help maintain a healthy body.
  • Digestive aid: Fenugreek Seed may support the role of the digestive system.

 

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