How Digestion is Key to Our Well Being
It has long been said that Our Health is Our Wealth, and I believe that is true. Nothing is more valuable than our health. To be healthy is to live better and to be unhealthy may result in not living at all. In a lot of basic, concrete ways, health is life. Viva Vita!
People have a lot of excuses for their poor health such as genetics, hormones, fast foods being more affordable, among others. Regardless of the reason, they all play their part in the downward spiral of modern health. However, there’s a lot more to it than that and almost all of it comes down to one single word: Choice.
Whether this choice is conscious or unconscious every man, woman, and child must take responsibility for their choices, since it’s these same choices that will change the shape of one’s lives. We MUST begin making the right choices, and we MUST do so immediately. This is not a “could’ve”, “would’ve”, “should’ve” matter.
When making a dietary choice, there is one essential rule: Digestion is key to good health. Have you ever wondered why after trying so hard you are not losing weight? Why you wake up feeling tired? Why you feel bloated after a meal? The reason may not be as obvious as you may think, sometimes digestion gets ignored and it plays a major role in our overall health. As a matter of fact in eastern medicine, one of the secrets to health, energy and well-being is gut health. With good digestion comes great nutrition for our bodies and the functions our bodies need to do become more efficient. One of these functions is removal. When a food is processed for its nutritional value, it separates the compounds into elements that will nurture the body and parts that are not needed. These parts that aren’t need are rejected to help the body detox and thrive. When either of digestion/detox processes malfunction, either by malnutrition on one end or by purification on the other, the result is dis-ease or even death.
If you’ve ever been to China or have eaten real Chinese food you will notice that you never feel bloated. Real Chinese food is centered around digestion and their secret ingredients are only fresh foods from their local farmers and herbs that they mix in while preparing the food which aide digestion. As an interesting fact, in the Chinese cuisine burping is considered one of the highest compliments to the chef because the body is naturally expressing DIGESTION.
Something to consider, which is a third, middle step in the digestion process is storage. Excess nutrients and toxic chemicals which aren’t necessary are stored, which turns into a cycle of always feeling bloated after a meal or full but never being sensitive enough to allow the body to crave on its own certain foods that are necessary for it to thrive. Since your body has been efficient at digesting certain nutrients in foods, it will physically start to crave a food because it needs a specific nutrient from it to keep a healthy metabolism. These cravings come in a specific food that can be from any food category such as beef or lamb from meats; salmon or tuna from fish; crab and oysters from sea food; chicken and turkey from poultry, etc.
These cravings can go on for days or weeks depending on everybody’s eating habits. If one never eats red meat, then they will crave this food for days or even weeks. The same happens on the contrary, if one eats a type of food every day, the body has enough of these nutrients, so the cravings end up subsiding and the bloating and digestive issues start.
The best approach thus far, to combat digestive issues, metabolism problems or any other nutrient deficiency is the paleo template. This lifestyle (not just a diet) takes us back to our instinctive ways of craving foods by eating nutrient dense foods. Regarding the diet component, eating TRUE paleo means eating whole foods that are produced locally, seasonally and without preservatives. One of the benefits of the paleo template is that it allows some flexibility as to which foods to eat as long as they are wholesome. On the contrary, some other diets and lifestyles under the vegetarian, vegan, raw and even 100% paleo labels are generally limited and deficient in nutrients that are accessed by eating a diversity of foods. This is what makes an extreme diet hard to keep up for too long.
Eating better doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to aware of your body and have the intelligence to differentiate the foods you will eat. When you really have that connection to translate a craving into a thought and thought into action you evaluate your options and make better choices. Next time when you are sitting at a restaurant, try to really ask yourself what you really feel like. There may be many options in the menu, but before jumping to a first option, listen to the messages your body sends you.
When you create that connection, you tap into mindfulness, which then gives you the power to wisely select what is best for your body based on the seasons, climate and what is locally produced. This is a rule for everywhere you go, whenever you travel, eat seasonally and locally, because those are the foods that have the best nutrients to keep your body healthy in that place and with that climate.
The best places to get these foods from are through local farmers. They grow and harvest locally. Become friends with a farmer, get to know their practices and help them continue offering clean products.
When we realize we are what we eat, one comes to the realization that it’s not only what we eat and how we eat it, but also how we canalize those energies that are nurturing our body. Every food we eat is a message for our body to do something. When we eat fast, our bodies don’t take time to digest the food. Mindful eating is another must to digest properly and keep their bodies healthy.
Remember, making the best choice is making the best choice for yourself, your loved ones and the planet. Always support your local farmers and small natural health stores. Our health is our wealth.