You’ve probably heard, “You are what you eat,” and I’m going to challenge that even further and say, “You are what you digest.” You need to digest the foods you eat and absorb the nutrients in these foods so it doesn’t just pass right through you. I see clients who don’t feel themselves, complain of brain fog, fatigue, anxiety/depression, etc., regardless of the clean diet they are following. A clean diet is going to be good for you however, if you aren’t getting the nutrition from these foods due to an underlying cause, it’s going to inhibit you from your health potential.
What are some reasons for this? There are many factors that can affect your digestion and ultimately absorption. If you have GI inflammation, food sensitivities, infection, decreased enzyme activity, medication use, imbalance of microbiome, bad diet, etc. – this can affect your gut and your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. For example, if you’re eating gluten (which is one of the top causes of leaky gut) that’s damaging the lining of your gut leading to leaky gut, thus causing GI inflammation and affecting your body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients. Some people may have an underlying gut infection such as candida (yeast), parasite, or SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth).
Another factor potentially affecting your ability to absorb nutrients is your stomach acid/digestive enzymes. Your stomach acid (or HCL) and digestive enzymes work to break down food to help you properly absorb it. It will break down proteins into amino acids – amino acids are building blocks used to make neurotransmitters which are the chemicals in your brain to control mood. If you ask me, that’s important for more reasons than one to have proper stomach acid and digestive enzymes!
If you’re having difficulty with your gut, there’s a good chance you aren’t absorbing all the nutrients you’re eating. With that, you probably have some deficiencies to address. I think it’s important for you to know your micronutrient status because I see a lot of deficiencies in people regardless of how ‘healthy’ they are. Your nutrient status is important. Deficiencies can create the potential for long-term chronic disease, inflammation, and illness therefore affecting your mental and physical health and ultimately, your quality of life.
What to do? First and foremost, eliminate foods you are reacting to and intolerant to (check out my post on food sensitivities) and remove gluten from your diet. Next and very crucial, heal your gut through diet and supplementation. After you’ve healed your gut from infections and eliminated food sensitivities/gluten from your diet, you may still notice symptoms. You may benefit from supplementing with digestive enzymes and stomach acid (HCL). Keep in mind that everyone is different and sometimes there is more going on that needs to be addressed so don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or are interested in any testing, such as a micronutrient panel.
In good health,