How to Get More Nutrition From the Foods You Already Eat

By Truth | The Healers Journal

What If I told you that it was totally possible to get even more nutrients from the food you are already eating?  More vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids (protein) without changing what you eat or how you eat it?  It is entirely possible and I am going to tell you how to do it.  Best of all, you can start today and you WILL notice a difference — more energy, joy, strength, endurance, centeredness…

Why You Need More Nutrition From Your Food

Why should you care about getting more nutrition from your food? In all likelihood you are not absorbing all the potential nutrition from the foods you eat.  When you see the nutrition facts on the label that list what various vitamins and minerals are in the food, it is tempting to think that you simply get all of them when you eat the food — I know I did for many years.  It was not until I began studying Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine that I learned not all of the nutrients we eat are absorbed if our digestion is not operating at its peak.  In fact, sometimes as little as half of what we consume in terms of vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. is actually absorbed into our bloodstream and used by our bodies!  This is due to the poor state of the digestive system in most individuals nowadays. Poor digestion has become the norm and symptoms such as gas, burping, heartburn, pain and other digestive complaints are attributed to foods rather than poor digestion, which is the true culprit.

We often see this type of problem in overweight and obese individuals — their weight is through the roof, but they are still highly malnourished because although they are eating large quantities of  food, they are actually absorbing very little nutrition from it.  Nutrient absorption and poor digestion are the actual problems — hunger is our bodies signal that it needs nutrition.  When we get hungry, we eat, but if we are not absorbing the nutrients from the foods we eat due to poor digestion, we stay hungry and keep eating and eventually end up overweight as our body strains to cope with the excessive carbs and fats in our system.

Skinny Doesn’t Mean Healthy — Digestion Doesn’t Care About Weight

Don’t think for a second that just because you are not overweight or obese that you are in the clear.  Sub-clinical malnutrition is a major problem in the Western world that is rarely diagnosed outside of Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine paradigms.  I am skinny and have been my whole life and I have been unknowingly and needlessly suffering from poor nutrient absorption for years!  When I began to address it with the methods I am going to outline for you below, I immediately felt a major difference in my health.  As I began to actually absorb the nutrients I was eating, it produced major improvements in my health — greater energy, strength, mood, feelings of centeredness and more.  It’s truly amazing what getting the full nutrition from the foods your eat will do to your overall wellbeing.

Multivitamins Are Great — If You Are Absorbing the Nutrients From Them

Don’t think your safe because you take a multivitamin either!  If you are not absorbing your nutrients from food, then you are not absorbing them from your multivitamin.  When the underlying digestive issues are addressed, then we can begin to get the full benefits of the supplements we are taking.  And, in many cases, a multivitamin may no longer be needed, but that is a personal call you will have to make.

How We Get Nutrients From Food

When we eat, food first enters our stomach, which begins to secrete enzymes and digestive juices that are highly acidic and serve to break down foods and liberate the nutrients they contain.  The hydrochloric acid in our stomach reacts with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, etc. to convert them into a form that can be absorbed into our blood stream to nourish our cells.  It’s pretty simple really.

However, when our digestion is not functioning properly, the system begins to break down resulting in only partially digested foods.  Partially digested foods only provide partial nutrition and unfortunately this is the situation most of humanity finds itself in at any given time.

How Digestion Get Disturbed

Digestion can be disrupted in a variety of ways, but the most common are as follows:

Not Chewing Food Thoroughly

Digestion begins in the mouth with thorough chewing.  Our saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin the process of breaking down our foods as we chew.  Most people chew just a handful of times before swallowing, not giving the salivary digestive enzymes enough time to do their work before hitting the stomach.

Drinking Too Many Liquids Before and During Meals

Drinking liquids before and during meals dilutes our digestive juices and reduces their effectiveness.  It causes problems because foods are not digested fully and hence cannot be fully utilized.

Eating Lots of Cold, Damp Foods

Fruit, Ice Cream, Salads, Iced Drinks… you get the idea.  All of these foods are cold in temperature and damp, which causes problems for our digestion.  Our bodies are very warm – 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit — and our stomach needs to heat everything we eat up to this temperature for optimal digestion. Eating cold foods stresses out our digestive system and causes us to only partially digest foods.

Drinking Highly Alkaline Water

Our digestive juices are extremely acidic and when we regularly drink alkaline water or beverages, it neutralizes our stomach acidity, which eventually destroys our digestion.  This is a very serious consequence and problem that is on the rise due to the prevalence of alkaline drinking waters.

Eating Too Much Sugar

Eating excess amounts of sugar causes our pancreas to become overworked from constantly having to produce spikes of insulin to keep our blood sugar in check.  Our pancreas is also the primary source of digestive enzymes in our body and its production of these suffers when it becomes stressed out from excess sugar consumption.

How to Rebuild Digestion and Improve Nutrient Absorption

The first step in improving digestion and nutrient absorption is to stop doing all the things listed above.  This alone will allow your digestion to begin to heal and will set you up with highly beneficial health promoting lifestyle habits that are necessary to maintain digestive health through the years.

The second step is rebuilding your digestion.

The Magic Key to Digestive Health and Nutrient Absorption

The most powerful thing you can do to rebuild your digestive system is remarkably simple: take a powerful, classic Ayurvedic herbal remedy known simply as Trikatu.

Trikatu means ‘three peppers’ or ‘three pungents’. It is a combination of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum), Indian Long Pepper (Piper longum) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale). While Triphala lends a hand to the lower GI tract, Trikatu has its primary effects in the upper GI tract, where it enhances the ‘digestive fire’ necessary for the breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients

  • It also promotes the production of digestive juices and increases the appetite in a person. It stimulates secretion of hydrochloric acid. It also stops the gaseous distension.
  • It also helps in the rapid absorption of the nutrients in to the digestive tract.
  • It is strong stimulant and is used for both respiratory and digestive system. It treats congestion, cold and revives the organic functions that are weak.
  • It also increases the bioavailability of the foods, nutrients and medicines and is an essential part in many of the multi-herbal preparations.
  • It is digestive and anti-mucus powder that improves respiratory and gastric function.
  • It also promotes the production of digestive juices and increases the appetite in a person. It stimulates secretion of hydrochloric acid. It also stops the gaseous distension.

Put simply, this formula works WONDERS for your digestion and you will notice a diference.

How to Properly Take Trikatu

Trikatu is powerful and will noticeably increase your digestive secretions.  Follow these simple steps in order to use it safely and effectively:

Only Take Trikatu With the First Bite of a Meal.  If not, it could give you heartburn.

Start With One Pill Per Meal and Work Your Way Up From There, If Needed. Every 3 or 4 days if you feel comfortable at a dose, then you may increase by 1 pill per meal until your reach the optimal dose for your constitution and needs.  If it gets too intense, back off and/or stop taking it until you feel more comfortable.

Do Not Take Trikatu if You Have Hyper Acidity or Heartburn. These conditions must be addressed first.

If You Have Ulcers or IBS, Begin Ghee Therapy For a Few Weeks Before Starting Trikatu.  Ghee repairs the digestive tract and will heal it sufficiently to begin using a powerful herbal remedy like Trikatu.  Simply eat a few teaspoons of Ghee daily for approximately 1 month.

Where to Get Trikatu

As always, we recommend iHerb.com

You can view a selection of Trikatu formulas here:

Trikatu Formulas at iHerb.com

Most health food stores will carry a Trikatu blend in their supplements section.

If Trikatu is not available, ginger pills can be used as a replacement.

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