4 Key Factors that AFFECT nutrient absorption
4 Key Factors that AFFECT nutrient absorption are:
- Levels of good gut bacteria in the gut
- Cell integrity of the gut
- Chewing Food properly
- Maintain healthy stomach acid levels
Eating a balanced diet is very important to get as many nutrients as we can from our diet. However, even if we are doing all the right things we may become nutrient deficient.
Our organs, heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and thyroid need nutrients for healthy functioning. Without sufficient nutrients, you can get yourself into trouble.
Deficiency may present themselves in subtle ways. Including fatigue, dry skin, dull hair, thin hair, unhealthy complexion. However, left for years unchecked these deficiencies can turn into serious problems and potentially even disease.
How does the body absorb nutrients?
After food is consumed through our mouth digestive enzymes break the food down into smaller molecules. This process begins with salvia and the process of chewing in the mouth. If we don’t chew our food properly we reduce the number of nutrients we get from our food.
Macro nutrients get broken down into micronutrients. For example, protein is broken down into various amino acids. Glucose is created from breaking down carbohydrates. This is turn is used as energy or stored by the body for later use. If not stored turns to fat.
After food is broken down by the stomach acid it passes into the small intestine and is absorbed into the bloodstream. Nutrients are transported by the blood to various parts of the body.
What is not used is stored or turned to waste.
To ensure nutrients are absorbed our digestive system must be working properly. If it is not working properly we may not absorb the nutrients.
What can you do to improve the 4 factors that affect nutrient absorption
- Improve good gut bacteria
- Improve and maintain good cell integrity
- Chew food well
- Maintain healthy stomach acid levels
1. Take a probiotic to improve good gut bacteria
2. Take a break from caffeine and alcohol to improve cell integrity
Gastrointestinal issues can negatively affect our nutritional absorption and compromise cell integrity (also known as leaky gut).
Alcohol and coffee, which are both diuretics meaning they make the body lose water affects digestion. Not in a good way. They both reduce the number of digestive enzymes in your systems. It is also noted that it damages the stomach and intestines making it harder for nutrients to be absorbed.
Alcohol also reduces digestive enzymes, so people who drink heavily may not be able to break down the nutrients from the food in the first place.
3. Chew your food well
When we are stressed we may not chew our food properly. Particularly if we are in a rush. If food is not chewed properly our body will not absorb the nutrients needed.
Stress can increase nutrient requirements. — particularly vitamin C, the B vitamins and magnesium. If you become depleted you can become irritable.
When we are stressed are digestion is affected. The increase in cortisol slows digestion in food and can leave some of it undigested.
Chew your food slowly to get better nutrient absorption. Deep diaphragmatic breathing may help to relieve stress.
4. Maintain healthy stomach acid levels. Be aware medications can reduce stomach acid
Medications can also interfere with nutrient absorption. People taking acid-blocking medication for acid reflux are at greater risk. Some nutrients, such as B-12, calcium, and iron, (and others) depend on the high acidity of your gastric juices to release them from foods. Those who habitually take acid-blocking drugs often have impaired nutrient absorption and—as a result—can actually develop nutrient deficiencies.
To help apple cider vinegar can be added to meals. Digestive enzymes may also help. However it is better to work on balancing hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach. Speak to your doctor is you are concerned. Often eating fatty food or food intolerances cause acid reflux. A dietitian may be able to help you get to the root cause.
Also, eat a variety of foods in one meal and include healthy fats with each meal
In addition to the 4 factors that affect nutrient absorption, remember to eat a variety of foods. Go for a rainbow of colours in you diet with lots of vegetables and fruits.
Fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K in vegetables can only be absorbed in the presence of fat. Using Oil-based salad dressings such as flaxseed or olive oil to increase absorption.
Consider reducing sugar levels
Another factor that affects nutrition absorption is what is called anti nutrient products. When you eat that are high in sugar and low in nutrients they can rob the body of nutrients because the body requires nutrients to break them down. One example is magnesium. A high sugar intake with elevated insulin levels increases the demand for magnesium. The body needs extra magnesium for insulin levels to increase.
Finally, drink water and stay hydrated
If you lack water the body cannot transport nutrients in our blood. Also, water-soluble vitamins like B and C require sufficient water to be activated and used by the body.
In conclusion if you were worried about nutrient absorption check with doctor. You doctor can test for nutrient deficiency. If you are suffering from digestive issues, have lots of stress, drink coffee and alcohol or take medication you are more likely to suffer from nutrient deficiencies. So it is definitely worth getting tested.
Supplements may be of assistance. I love taking Sisel’s Encompass 360 along with Spectramaxx as I know I am getting a well-rounded supply of 74 + trace minerals and key vitamins. If nutrient absorption is compromised in my body then in theory adding supplements will increase my levels. I feel more confident I am getting closer to optimum levels for vitamins and minerals by adding Sisel supplements.
Recently I have added Balance D to my regiment after reading that it makes a massive difference to the immune system according to medical studies. I even found a study that shows the use of probiotics would decrease the number of antibiotics prescribed. Finally, I added Sisel’s body-shield to my daily intake as well. It contains fulvic acid. Studies show that fulvic acid helps to improve cell integrity and supports the removal of toxins.