Nutrients are necessary for our bodies to function and operate correctly. They’re required to live.
If you don’t get the appropriate amount of nutrients each day, you could end up feeling moody, tired and even depressed.
If it persists for too long, you end up with chronic problems like heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and anxiety. Even depression is linked to nutrient deficiency.
How Deficient Are We?
According to the CDC and scientific studies, 92% of Americans are deficient in important nutrients. Even when eating a lot or taking supplements, the problem is our bodies are not absorbing them properly. For example, here are some common deficiencies:
- 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in potassium
- 7 out of 10 are deficient in calcium
- 8 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin E
- 50 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium
- More 50 percent of the general population is vitamin D deficient, regardless of age
- 90 percent of Americans of darker skin color are vitamin D deficient
- and 70 percent of elderly Americans are vitamin D deficient
The Good News
With a little bit of knowledge you can begin making changes to help your body absorb more of the nutrients from food and supplements.
How Do I Start Improving My Absorption?
Understanding the common habits that hurt your chances of absorbing nutrients from food is a perfect start.
- Eating at your desk or while working
- Eating while on-the-run
- Eating while multitasking
- Eating while standing or walking
How Do These Things Hurt Us?
Its important to understand that your body is one of two states all the time, a sympathetic state also called the “fight-or-flight state” or parasympathetic state also known as the “calm-absorption state”. It matters what state you are in when eating.
This understanding is fundamentally the start of health.
Sympathetic “Fight-or-Flight” State
This is the state we are in most of the time when we are awake. From the moment we wake up and begin standing, walking and thinking our body is in the sympathetic state. It prepares us for the day and all the challenges that come with it. A special hormone called cortisol is secreted to ensure that our muscles have the blood flow and oxygen necessary to move, think– and perform necessary daily duties.
While in this state, your body is not thinking about digesting food or absorbing nutrients.
The mere act of standing or walking can put you in this state. And if you are stressed thinking about bills, problems or issues, cortisol increases even more and your body becomes incapable of digesting or absorbing.
So if you are eating while thinking, analyzing, stressed or “on-the-run”, chances are your body is not digesting the food or absorbing nutrients properly.
Parasympathetic “Calm-Absorption” State
This is the state our bodies enter into when sitting down and relaxed. Our heart beat relaxes, our mind stops racing, and the blood moves from our muscles to our organs.
Now we are ready to digest food and absorb.
It takes a lot for our bodies to break down some of the food we consume. Meats require more work and can take as much as 1-2 days to fully digest. Bacon, whole milk, hard cheese and nuts being the harder foods for our body to digest. Whereas, fruits like melons, oranges, grapefruit and bananas only take 20-30 minutes.
But regardless of the food you eat, if you are not in a calm-absorption state chances are you are not digesting and absorbing properly. This is often why people experience bloating, gas, constipation and more.
9 Things That Boost Absorption
These 9 things might seem unusual or even fluffy but they’re not. It’s physiology and science. It’s how we are hardwired to work.
If you don’t make an effort to put your body into a “calm-absorption” state, the only alternative is to be in a “fight-or-flight” state while eating–and you won’t absorb the nutrients.
You can improve your mood, health, weight loss, and chronic issues but you must work on this foundational component.
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