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The digestive system, what is it and how does it work?
The digestive system is composed of a group of organs used for the introduction of foods and their subsequent breakdown. This allows for the absorption of essential nutrients, followed by the elimination of any leftovers that our body does not need. The main function of the digestive system is to process and transform food into substances that can be easily absorbed by the body. Anything that we do not need or that could potentially be dangerous for us must be identified, isolated and appropriately eliminated from our system.
In order to perform its functions correctly, the digestive system must be in balance with the rest of the body and must be populated by an adequate number of “good” bacteria. Unfortunately, it is difficult to maintain a healthy microbiome and a good part of the population is considered to be in a state of dysbiosis, or as having an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. This is the most common cause of inflammatory bowel diseases, but also for other health problems that can affect other parts of the body and the quality of our life itself.
What are the most common causes of slow digestion?
One crucial aspect that promotes digestive processes and prevents the occurrence of gastrointestinal disorders is proper hydration. If there is not enough water inside and outside our cells, the intestine begins to absorb all the water it can and the stool becomes sticky and dry, effectively reducing the pressure on the wall and as a result urgency.
The type of foods we eat is also important for the healthy function of the organs involved in the digestive system. Some of the causes that lead to this system working poorly, in fact, are linked to our dietary choices:
- Lack of fiber;
- Diet rich in refined carbohydrates;
- Excess of fats and proteins;
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and stimulants (coffee, tea, cola);
- Large portions;
- Meals consumed too quickly, causing bloating and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Finally, we must not forget that lifestyle has an important impact not only on the stomach and intestines, but on all organs. The following contributing causes of abdominal discomfort must be taken into particular consideration: lack of physical activity, changes in life or daily routine (related, for example, to travel) and stress. The intestinal imbalance caused by this series of lifestyle factors play a role in various gastrointestinal disorders and cause symptoms such as: inflammation, constipation, pain, diarrhea, flatulence.
Constipation is a particularly common condition that not only causes discomfort but can also, in some situations, cause serious complications. Various epidemiological studies report a frequency of about 15-20% in the general population. This percentage increases with age, especially after 70 years of age (rising to at least 40%), and is particularly high in people who have had abdominal surgery.
What are the most common causes of slow digestion?
Good digestion includes several remedies and best practices. The first, without a shadow of a doubt, is our diet. The higher the quality of the food we ingest, the less strain on our intestines there will be and consequently the risk that the whole process may slow down. For a higher quality diet it is necessary to follow some guidelines:
- Maintain a balanced and regular diet, free from excess;
- Consume fiber rich foods through abundant portions of fruit, vegetables and cereals;
- Avoid large meals and focus instead on smaller portions spread out throughout the course of the day;
- Eat regularly, making sure you five distinct dedicated moments for your meals;
- Eat slowly, avoiding overload and strain on the stomach.
The second element to highlight is the composition of the intestinal bacterial flora, an element of fundamental importance for proper digestion and more generally for the overall health of the organism. The quality of the digestive process depends crucially on eubiosis, that is, our gut health and the balance between the numerous types of bacteria that live within our intestine.
In fact, several billion bacteria live throughout the intestinal tract. The “intestinal microbiota” is defined as the bacterial population that exclusively populates the digestive tract, while the entire microbiota includes bacteria that regularly live in other areas of the body.
Our intestinal microbiota participates in all functions of digestion and plays a large role in the health of the human body. It helps us with the breakdown of foods, produces vitamins and other substances essential for our survival, and works with the cells of the immune system to protect us from the invasion of bacteria.
The third remedy to promote the normal functioning of digestive processes is directly connected with the first two: a proper intake of fiber resulting from nutrition or supplementation.
As has already been pointed out, the lack of fiber in our diets is the main dietary issue, at least in the Western model. Fibers have two main tasks:
- Nourish the intestinal microbiota: fibers contain prebiotics, non-digestible substances derived from various foods. When taken in sufficient quantities they help to improve the growth of “good” bacteria to the detriment of the potentially pathogenic ones which could result in gastrointestinal disturbances if left to grow undisturbed;
- Collaborate with the bacterial mass in the formation of the fecal bolus, in such a way as to allow the regular elimination of food waste, toxins and bacterial debris.
To these three components essential for good digestion, it is necessary to add proper hydration and stress level control. The task of the intestine, particularly in the final tract, or the colon, is to recover water from the stool. Proper hydration ensures that this task doesn’t create too much strain and ensures the stools remain sufficiently hydrated to be able to flow along the entire canal to its end in the rectum.
In addition, it is highly recommended to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and practice regular physical activity because it facilitates intestinal motility, regulates the digestive process and stimulates the movement of stools in the colon.
Do not ignore the urge to “go” and evacuate the intestines. Making sure we don’t repress intestinal stimuli is a suggestion to put into practice in order to prevent the occurrence of gastrointestinal disorders.
Natural remedies can also help us regulate the digestive process. In fact, phytotherapy comes to our aid in cases of chronic constipation, through the use of the mucilages contained in the seeds. When they come in contact with water, these substances swell and increase in volume, thus favoring the expulsion of feces from the intestinal tract and acting as an effective natural, mechanical laxative. Mucilages are also useful in the presence of diarrhea, absorbing excess fluids and improving the consistency of stool.
For optimal health it is therefore necessary that food is correctly broken down by the stomach and intestines and that waste is eliminated daily. Ideally, a healthy organism passes stool regularly in the first part of the day, every day. If this does not happen, there are two things to do: the first is to identify errors in our lifestyle and the second to stimulate intestinal function in a gentle, non-aggressive way.
The ideal solution that PromoPharma suggests is represented by the association of two elements of nature, manna and dried figs.
Manna has a delicate osmotic action, that is, it draws liquids into the intestine. In this way the stools increase in volume and above all flow regularly along the canal, especially in the terminal part where they begin to become solid.
Dried figs are effective thanks to two specific features: they are rich in mucins that increase fecal mass and they have a delicate stimulating action on the intestinal wall exerted by the small seeds they carry with them. This stimulus activates the mechanism of peristalsis, the coordinated contraction of the intestinal loops, which is the natural way to proceed with the elimination of feces.
Vado Syrup offers various benefits for the well-being of the intestine:
- Educates and regulates intestinal transit;
- Reduces transit time;
- Increases bowel movements;
- Relieves abdominal pain;
- Alleviates difficulty associated with passing stool
- Promotes the normal volume and consistency of stools;
- Provides a feeling of complete evacuation.
Ideal in cases of even chronic constipation, intestinal disorders, abdominal pain and hard stools.
Try Vado Syrup in convenient stick format, it is orosolubile and ready-to-use anywhere, you can take it on the go and without the need for water.
We recommend 1 or 2 sticks as needed, preferably in the evening before bedtime.