What Causes Poor Nutrient Absorption and How to Improve Digestion

What Causes Poor Nutrient Absorption and How to Improve Digestion

There has been an alarming increase in digestive issues over the past two decades, which are commonly being referred to as “leaky gut, or “leaky gut syndrome”. Essentially, what is happening is an increase in nutrient deficiencies, which in turn leads to complications with other disease, all of which can be traced back to digestive health and diet. What can be most surprising for people suffering from leaky gut syndrome, or poor nutrient absorption, is the fact they can eat what most would consider a fairly healthy diet.

A large contributing factor to these instances are the common misconceptions about what foods are truly healthy in terms of nutrition density and ease of digestion. Not everything in your local produce section is as healthy as it may appear and this issue can greatly be compounded by the belief that eating vegetables raw is the absolute healthiest way to eat them. In this example, uncooked vegetables can be extremely difficult for the body to fully breakdown, especially once it passes into the intestines. While there are many mistakes people can make in trying to prepare food in ways that preserves as many nutrients as possible, it can be more harmful to ingest them raw, especially if there are preexisting digestive issues.

Food Additives and Modern Farming Practices

Finding nutrient dense foods that are both abundant and affordable can be quite a challenge in today’s world. The increasing demand for produce has resulted in modern farms using practices that yield large crops, but ones that are lacking in nutrients. In addition to this, convenience food is typically packed with additives to enhance flavors, and preservatives to increase shelf life, both of which can interfere with your body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients from your food. These harmful chemicals not only negate the potential nutrients in the foods they are in, they are one of the biggest contributing factors to developing leaky gut syndrome.

There is also an issue with the disparity between the affordability of healthier, nutrient dense and food that is extremely lacking in nutrients. This is particularly demonstrated in the low prices and ease of access to junk and fast foods when compared to fresh, organic produce and foods without preservatives and unhealthy additives.

Diseases, Deformities, and Aging

With the increase in over processed, chemical laden convenience foods, it is little surprise that there has also been an increase other digestive issues, such as ulcers, acid reflux, all of which can contribute to the body not being able to fully absorb nutrients from foods eaten.

Other medical conditions, such as diminished function with age and deformities in the mouth, stomach, and intestines contributes to the instances of leaky gut syndrome. It is natural for your body’s system to decrease in efficiency with age, even with meticulous attention paid to health and maintaining performance. This is even demonstrated when comparing children to young adults, and young adults to full grown adults. Your body even changes from year to year, especially when subjected to stress.

3 Steps For Improving Nutrient Absorption

With all the issues that can lead to poor nutrient absorption, there are some simple steps that you can take to prevent and event correct leaky gut syndrome.

The first is to avoid nutrient poor foods, in particular ones packed with additives and preservatives. Not only are they a poor choice for what they have in them, it is what they lack that also makes them detrimental to your health. Despite them being termed convenience foods, these types of foods are full of empty calories, fats, and chemicals that can create rather inconvenient health problems. In line with avoiding poor food choices, the simple act of thoroughly chewing your food can also improve nutrient absorption as it becomes easier for your stomach to break down.

The second step is to either grow your own vegetables and fruits, or to get them from reliable, organically grown sources. Even for those who avoid poorly processed foods, eating mass produced foods from commercial farms tend to lack vital nutrients that organically grown versions do not. There is also an increased chance for them to contain traces of pesticides and fertilizers.

The third step is to add a nutrient dense supplement, especially one that contains lipase, carbohydrases, and proteases. These three digestive enzymes are often lacking in those who are having difficulty absorbing nutrients from their diet. As the roots of their names suggest, these enzymes focus on breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids (also known as fats).

While you can increase these enzymes through the addition things like raw honey, papaya, pineapple, ginger root, flax seed and coconut meat, they are not overly practical for many people, especially those with dietary or monetary limitations. A nutrient dense (as a high concentration of nutrients per volume) supplement that has a high bio availability rating is easy to obtain and often fits well within health and budget restrictions.