Food has many contexts: pleasure, medicine, comfort, sustenance. But perhaps most important of all, food is energy. And healthy digestion is central to converting food into long-lasting energy our cells can use.
Quite often, the same foods that expand our waistlines also sabotage our cellular energy metabolism.
In my last article, I revealed how to get your digestion on the “right tract” with supplements. But now I’m going to show you the easiest ways to have more energy and reach your ideal weight by making the right food choices.
Enhancing nutrient absorption through probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes is important. But it’s only part of the process. Digestion is a weakest-link scenario. We can support nutrient absorption all we want… But it won’t make a difference if we’re not eating nutrient-rich foods.
There’s a cause and effect between good (or poor) nutrition and our cellular mitochondria, the organelles that produce the majority of our cells’ energy. Better nutrition translates into more efficient energy production and metabolism. This means eating well and optimizing nutrient absorption will in turn boost your energy levels.
For long-term health across all areas, we need strong, healthy mitochondria. But the effects are particularly noticeable when it comes to weight control and energy. Inefficient mitochondrial energy production can encourage the body to store glucose as fat rather than use it as fuel. This feeds chronic inflammation. And it prolongs the cycle of destruction by damaging mitochondrial function even further.
Recommended for You: What’s her secret?
“I have more energy. I have less digestive upsets. My thinking seems to be more clear. My joints aren’t aching. I’m sleeping better. I’m not craving carbs and sweets. I can feel hunger pangs and I feel full; these are new sensations for me. And, without trying, I took off 20 pounds in 6 weeks.” Discover Diane’s unique secret HERE.
What constitutes a healthy diet? It’s really quite simple:
- Eat unprocessed, whole foods.
- Switch to grass-fed or pastured lean meats and wild-caught fish.
- Eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, sprouted legumes, raw nuts and seeds.
- If you’re going to eat grains, make sure they are whole and not refined.
- Use healthy oils like olive, avocado, and coconut.
- Drink plenty of water.
- And don’t forget to add the fermented, cultured foods mentioned in my previous article.
Above all, stay away from processed foods. They tend to be high in trans-fat, salt, and sugar. They are also full of unpronounceable chemicals that fuel inflammation, disrupt cellular signals, and impair digestion.
The bottom line? Processed foods are devoid of nutrition. And they can be quite damaging over time.
There are also foods we should seek to moderate, such as factory-farmed red meat. I put caffeine in the same category, as it can generate an acidic environment in the gut. Alcohol should also be consumed in moderation.
For those who have food sensitivities, it’s a good idea to just say “no.”
That’s especially true of gluten and dairy products. For the unfortunate few who are gluten and lactose intolerant, these foods can be highly inflammatory and damaging to the gut environment. But on the other hand, many people may not even know they have food sensitivities or allergies because their digestion and overall health gradually weaken over time.
The best way to detect subtle food sensitivities is to have your doctor test for them. Alternatively, you can follow what’s called an “elimination diet.”
This means you remove common allergy-producing foods, like dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, grains, sugar, etc., for a few weeks. Then you gradually add them back one at a time, while monitoring your symptoms.
By improving gastrointestinal health, we increase nutrient absorption, making fuel more available for cells throughout the body. In turn, mitochondria take advantage of this nutrient-rich environment to produce more cellular energy.
So we can see each link in the chain: digestion improves metabolism, which boosts cellular energy and overall health. Most important, it gives us momentum to build our long-term health.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, M.D., is one of the nation’s premier integrative physicians. He has been a pioneer in holistic medicine since the 1980s and has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers. He is founder and medical director of Amitabha Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, Calif., which specializes in cancer and chronic conditions.
Visit his website at www.dreliaz.org