Digestive Health Is Becoming A Major Concern: Here’s Why
It seems that more individuals are having problems with their digestive systems, and scientists are trying to understand why this is happening. In fact, digestive diseases are the second most common cause of disability due to illness in the US. Here are some of the causes of modern digestive problems in America.
Cause 1: The Quality of Foods
If you are growing most of your own food or buying unprocessed foods at a farmers market, then you are going to ingest high-quality foods. However, most people don’t do this, the majority of American are buying poor-quality foods at supermarkets, and to top it off, they aren’t consuming the proper level of minerals or nutrients to have a healthy digestive system and body. So the few vegetables and fruits Americans do eat aren’t even of the most nutritious kind.
Cause 2: Most Food Is Highly Processed
We say this because most foods that Americans eat is fast food. Fast food establishments, or even supermarkets themselves these days, deliver quick, easy-to-eat food. The downside is that these foods are usually highly processed to lower down the cost for consumers. The end result is a nutrient deficient meal high in sugars and carbs.
Cause 3: Too Much Food Each Day
In the past, people had to struggle to have enough food for survival, but today, many people have access to too much food. This has led to a problem with obesity as many individuals eat large portions of food several times a day. In addition, restaurants and food manufacturers advertise large portions of foods so that many people don’t understand what a correct food portion is.
Cause 4: Food Is Contaminated With Pathogens
Today, you will buy most of your food from a supermarket, and it is transported long distances, and it is also touched by hundreds of people. After the foods arrive in the store, customers can touch the foods, leading to additional contamination from pathogens that can make you sick with short-term, or in the worst of cases, cause serious medical conditions.
Cause 5: Emotional Stress While Eating
When you are experiencing anxiety from daily stress (as most Americans report), your body releases additional adrenaline and other hormones. These natural chemicals can upset your stomach, making it difficult to digest food. The excess chemicals in your body can also prevent the proper absorption of the nutrients in the foods, leading to poor overall health.
Cause 6: Medications Destroying the Body’s Microbiome
Your digestive tract has beneficial bacteria that will fight the dangerous effects from infectious bacteria. This creates a healthy microbiome in your gut so that you are healthier without problems from nausea or diarrhea. From antibiotics to over-the-counter medicine like Ibuprofen though, it’s easy to damage your stomach and gut with overuse of medication.
Cause 7: High Levels of Sugar, Salt or Fat
Most foods in a supermarket are made with high levels of fat, salt and sugar that are detrimental for your health. The food industry uses these ingredients to keep the items fresh for several months in a warehouse or on the grocery store’s shelves. In addition, the flavor of sugar, salt and fat is addictive, making you want to eat more of the foods that contain these substances. This leads to a potentially nasty cycle of unhealthy food that not only affects your gut, but your overall health as well.
Cause 8: Poor Immune Systems Leading to Digestive Conditions
After many years of consuming a bad diet that doesn’t contain enough fiber, minerals and vitamins, an individual will have a poor immune system. With a poor immune system, an individual is more susceptible to having frequent illnesses such as colds or influenza. It can take many years to repair an immune system that has been damaged from several years of bad eating habits. This weakened immune system will in turn make the digestive system susceptible to all sort of problems.
Cause 9: Consumption of Certain Types of Beverages
For many years, people were unaware of the potential dangers from beverages such as soft drinks, powdered fruit-flavored juices and energy drinks. These beverages were considered an easy way to remain hydrated, but the drinks contained high levels of sugar, artificial sweeteners, fake flavorings and chemical dyes that have destroyed the digestive systems of many individuals. Even preparing drinks at home is risky. If you brew your coffee in a plastic machine, it will end up causing some of the plastic to enter your system.
Cause 10: The Aging Population
Digestive problems are becoming a major issue for the aging population who grew up eating a poor-quality diet, leading to numerous medical problems. In addition to high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity, many older individuals also have gastroesophageal reflux disease, hemorrhoids or gallstones. Eating a poor diet for a lifetime has led to some senior citizens having digestive systems that are a mess, making it difficult for their bodies to adjust to a healthier diet plan.
Cause 11: Drinking Too Many Caffeinated Beverages
If you are addicted to caffeine, then you are not alone. Today, there is a coffee shop on every corner, so you might drink large servings of caffeinated coffee several times a day. In addition, the coffee beverages have other ingredients such as chocolate that contain additional caffeine. While a plain cup of coffee has only one calorie, with the additional ingredients, the beverages sold at coffee shops can have hundreds of useless calories. In addition, caffeine consumption can lead to dehydration that ruins your digestive system along with stopping your absorption of vitamin B. Having some coffee is probably okay, but overconsumption is dangerous.
Cause 12: Lack of Digestive Fiber
The natural fiber in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is vital for your body. Constipation and diarrhea are common digestive problems in the United States because many individuals eat bread and pasta that are made from refined flour. White flour has the fiber removed, and you may also drink fruit or vegetable juice that doesn’t have any natural fiber. The lack of fiber in the modern diet can lead to an assortment of health issues.
How Can You Improve Your Digestive System?
If you want to improve your body’s digestive system, then learn more about nutrition so that you can choose the healthiest foods at a supermarket. You can also begin to grow your own food at home so that it is fresher. Rather than choosing processed foods that are in cans or boxes, shop in the fresh produce area of the grocery store. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods are salman, garlic, blueberries, eggs, and kale. In addition to eating nourishing foods, avoid drinking too many caffeinated beverages or sugary soft drinks that can change the way that your body assimilates the foods that you eat each day.