The largest blood supply in the body is in the GI tract using at least 1/3 of the blood flow from the heart. The transit time in the intestine from mouth to rectum should be 24-30 hours. In the US it is about 48 hours. 80% of the lymph nodes in the body are in the GI tract giving it immune function. The gut flora is extremely important. It has a 100,000 bacterial count with 400 microbial species! The gut has a massive amount of influence on your metabolism. The cells of the intestinal tract are shed and replaced every 3-6 days. They are therefore very sensitive to nutrition and lifestyle choices. Intestinal dysfunction is omnipresent!

Being low in B vitamins can promote maldigestion. Excess alcohol stresses the body’s ability to digest. Emotional trauma can affect digestion negatively. And almost half the adults in the US experience intestinal illness at sometime during their lives. Signs of poor digestion include less than one bowel movement daily, undigested food in stools, foul smelling stools, chronic indigestion after eating, poor sleeping habits and feeling frequently cold for no reason. Other signs of poor digestion include depression, burping passing gas and frequent bloating, chronically coated tongue and the need to loosen your belt after eating even though there was no overeating!

Signs of optimal digestion include two bowel movements daily, feeling good after eating and several hours later, warm extremities, good energy levels, no extreme food cravings and no frequent mood swings there are nutrients in the gut associated with optimal function. These include the B vitamins, Vitamins A,C,D and E, zinc, selenium, manganese and arginine. So really, you ARE what you eat and it is reflected daily in your digestion!

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