Your digestive system, along with your immune system, is a first line of defense against disease. It is crucial to maintain gastrointestinal health and protect your body from attack in this area.
I thought I would share with you a good way to help you remember the importance of keeping digestive health at the forefront of your mind with regard to ANY health issue that I picked up from a nutritional reference magazine. You may find it interesting...
Your digestive system actually encompasses four major processes, which can be thought of as the "DEAN" of digestion.
D – digesting food
E – eliminating waste
A – absorbing nutrients
N – normalizing the bacteria
All four processes must be operating successfully to prevent or treat gastrointestinal disorders.
There are three main categories of natural compounds that support the digestive system in its digesting, eliminating, absorbing and normalizing functions.
“You are what you eat”, but only if your body can absorb it! Enzymes break down the food that we eat so it can be absorbed by our body. There are key enzymes that are crucial to maintaining digestive health, because between them they make the nutrients from all four major food groups available to us. These include:
- Amylase enzymes, which break down carbohydrates
- Lipase enzymes, which break down fats
- Protelytic enzymes, which break down proteins
- Lactase (an amylase enzyme), which breaks down lactose in milk
- Cellulase (an amylase enzyme), which breaks down various vegetables
The above enzymes are produced by our body, but often not in adequate levels to accommodate the 21st century diet.
There are also enzymes found in fruit, such as bromelain (from pineapple) and papain (from papaya) that aid in breaking down proteins.
There are two types of dietary fibre – soluble and insoluble – and both are needed for digestive health. Soluble fibre binds to blood cholesterol and delays glucose absorption, while insoluble fibre speeds the transit time of food passing through the intestinal tract.
Fruits (such as apples, prunes and dates) and grains (such as oats) provide both soluble and insoluble fibre. These fibres create bulk for healthy elimination and regularity and also promote healthy blood sugar levels. A fibre complex containing these substances can supplement what is taken in through the diet.
There are additional fibres and fibre-like substances that actually fall into the prebiotic category. These nutrients feed the natural probiotic organisms already in your system and help them thrive in your intestinal tract.
Indigestible starches and certain types of fibre contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS); they are not digested by humans, so the oligosaccharides remain in the digestive tract and stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Arabinogalactan is another fibre that promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract.
To help in this process, we are soon to release a new product called Digesten-K (now Kiwi-Klenz). We believe that this is going to be key to everyone's foundational digestion. It is proven that the cause of many diseases are due to undigested proteins accumulating in the colon and releasing toxins into the blood stream. Digesten-K (now Kiwi-Klenz) has been proven to significantly improve digestion.
Digesten-K (now Kiwi-Klenz) amongst other things is a natural prebiotic and eliminates the need for taking lesser-acting probiotic supplements. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of pathogens and promote the growth of good bacteria. In turn this helps the body improve the bio-availability of nutrients ingested either in food or supplement form.
This product will be released during May this year, and works ideally as a foundation to our Total Balance and Omega 3/DHA range nutrients for a 'whole' approach to healthy digestion, nutrient absorption and hence a defense and barrier against degenerative disease.