How to Improve the Nutritional Value of your Food?
It can be quite a bummer spending hundreds (or possibly thousands) of dollars a month on quality food to craft a balanced diet, only for the most critical nutrients to go unabsorbed by your gut. At the end of the day, food is what a good chunk of the average person's salary goes towards. Therefore, it only makes sense to want to get a handsome return of investment other than just a full belly, of course. So, where are vitamins absorbed and what can one do to improve the efficiency of the assimilation system behind this important process? Let's find out, shall we?
Reasons for Malabsorption of Important Nutrients
Whether it is you or your budding toddler, suffering from malabsorption is always a cause for concern taking into account how devastating a deficiency can prove to be. Treating malabsorption is not a walk in the park either. And not unless you get to the bottom of the problem; treatment attempts can prove to be a futile exercise. There are, nonetheless, several known factors that influence or worsen malabsorption of nutrients, some of which include;
- Prolonged use of prescribed antibiotics
- Lactose intolerance
- Intestinal damage either due to inflammation, trauma, infection or surgery
- Conditions such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis
- Congenital disabilities such as biliary atresia
- Diseases of the pancreas, gallbladder or liver
- Parasitic diseases
- Certain drugs that may injure or damage one's intestinal lining such as colchicine, cholestyramine or tetracycline
- Radiation therapy
Malabsorption can also be caused by one of the numerous digestive problems known to man. It could be that your stomach is unable to produce the enzymes that it requires to digest a specific class of foods. Either way, there are a few easy fixes that you can employ to increase the bioavailability of the critical vitamins and nutrients in foods that form your dietary regimen. Here's a quick premise to that.
1. Take a Glass of Water with Lemon Before Eating a Protein Rich Meal
Lemon and water have for ages been advocated as a readily accessible way of boosting digestion and subsequent assimilation of the resulting nutrients. The idea stems from the observation that taking a slightly acidic concoction before eating a sizeable proteinous meal can stimulate the production of digestive juices to enable your stomach to be better poised to break down food. What's more, researchers believe that it also has a net positive effect on the improvement of symptoms such as excess gas, bloating, and constipation. In case you are not aware, all this can seriously impair how efficiently you can extract nutrients from your food.
Besides, taking a cocktail of lemon water before a meal can reduce the severity of gastric reflux in people who routinely suffer from it. You see, reflux is mainly caused by the low or inadequate production of stomach acid. And when this happens, the stomach is typically unable to break food down properly, which triggers a reflexive action that pushes these undigested lumps out of the stomach leading to debilitating heartburns. The acid in lemon water aids the digestive action of your stomach's acid by strengthening its overall pH.
2. Drinking Warm Water Before and After Meals
It's no secret that taking warm water can ease symptoms of constipation. Actually, experts believe that hot water aids in bowel movement by breaking down all that clogged-up digestive waste in your colon. And, as you may have guessed, hot water is several times better at breaking down stuff than cold or water at room temperature.
Moreover, warm water is generally good for your overall digestive system as it smooths out the dissolution and uptake of nutrients from food eaten. This is particularly helpful when you are dealing with foodstuff that your body would otherwise struggle to get a handle on. Which, of course, explains why taking hot water can help with dry skin considering that healthy fats found in food are better digested and subsequently absorbed.
3. Add Prebiotics to Your Eating Regimen
Probiotics are a useful type of bacteria that are found nestled in some supplements and foods. Although they may be bacteria in the strictest definition of the word, their role is to keep your system healthy by lowering the number of harmful bacteria that can cause inflammation or illness. So how is taking prebiotics useful for your digestive system? One may ask.
- May help with diarrhea: Prebiotics could help in lowering the severity and frequency of infectious diarrhea, particularly in children.
- May tackle IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease): This includes the likes of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease which regular probiotic intake can help keep in remission. It can also aid in preventing Crohn's disease from getting progressively worse.
- Eases irritable bowel syndrome: Probiotics may help in easing the symptoms that characterize irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating, constipation, unexplained stomach pain, gas and diarrhea.
Overall, probiotics are known to support the integrity of the cells that line your gut. If not for anything else, this enhances how well your gut is adapted to breaking down hard-to-digest food to release those rare vitamins that are hard to access.
Improving the nutrition value of food may not necessarily involve making drastic changes to your eating routine. Sometimes, you need to adopt a few healthy habits to get the total value for money from the everyday food you purchase from your local supermarket or grocery store. This way, you can keep malabsorption at bay and reduce your chances of suffering serious deficiencies that could otherwise hamper your capacity to live life to your fullest potential.