The digestive system plays a major role in your body's overall health. It's the control center for everything from your weight, mood, brain health, inflammation and immune system.
Research also shows that 90% of the happy hormone serotonin is produced in the digestive system.
Good digestive health is very important because your body needs nutrients from food and drink to work properly and stay healthy. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins NIH external link, minerals NIH external link, and water are nutrients. Your digestive system breaks nutrients into parts small enough for your body to absorb and use for energy, growth, and cell repair. So if your digestive health is off balance, you won’t get the proper nutrients needed to maintain good health. This could lead to many other health problems.
Benefits of Good Digestive Health
When bad and unwanted toxins are eliminated efficiently and not trapped inside of us, our stool passes much of the waste out of our bodies, thereby “lightening our load.” Eating enough fiber and drinking enough water assists this process.
Good digestive health combined with a highly nutritious diet is the essence of long-term vitality. Your diet affects every system in the body, but to a higher degree the brain. Research has found an abundance of neuropeptides (molecules that transmit brain signals) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and have also shown that the beneficial bacteria in our GI tracts influence brain health, mood, and much more.
Increased Energy and Stamina
When you clean out the gunk in your gut, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest the foods you eat. Energy that would have gone into digestion can now be used to live life.
Regular, Consistent and Optimal Bowel Movements
You will realize regularity when your digestive system is functioning properly. This is defined as a bowel movement one to three times a day and one that is not too soft or hard. (Everyone has a different number of bowel movements, despite popular belief.)
Improved Absorption of Nutrients
When you have a healthy digestive system, what you consume is properly digested, and then the beneficial nutrients are immersed into the bloodstream via the small intestine. Nutrient absorption gets a boost when a healthy intestinal lining provides a large surface for absorption.
Increased Immune System and Disease Defenses
Did you know that 80% of our immune system is contained in our digestive system? When everything is running smoothly, our immune responses increase.
Relief from Mood Swings
Our GI tract, often called our body’s “second brain,” is responsible for producing 95% of the serotonin (the “feel good” hormone) in our bodies. The Mayo Clinic found that serotonin plays a key role in controlling depression. Feelings of relaxation, optimism and an overall sense of well-being can be attributed to the neurotransmitter, serotonin.
- Travis Gittens