The food we consume provides us with the nutrients we need to stay strong, healthy, energized, and ready to take on the day. Macronutrients and micronutrients are absorbed by a person’s small intestine. However, at times a person’s small intestine can have trouble absorbing these nutrients which is classified as malabsorption.
Malabsorption can happen for a number of different reasons. Some of these reasons include, but are not limited to:
- lactose intolerance
- certain conditions such as celiacs disease and Crohn’s disease
- antibiotic use
- inflammation due to injury or illness
- organ disease
- lack of enzyme production
- injured intestinal lining of the small intestine
Since malabsorption has many potential causes, its effects also can differ depending on the type of nutrient that is being neglected. Malabsorption can be identified through a blood test, however, it is important to remember that a lack of a certain nutrient in your blood does not automatically mean malabsorption. It could also mean that you are simply not getting enough of the nutrient through the food you consume. Other tests that might be used to help better understand your body’s ability to absorb nutrients include a stool test, a breath test, and imaging tests.
Identifying certain symptoms that arise due to malabsorption is another great way to understand your body’s absorption potential. Symptoms can include a change in the smell/appearance of your stool, fluid retention, dehydration, bloating, a change in your bowel movements, and weight fluctuation. It is important to support your body’s digestive process as much as possible in order to best avoid these adverse effects, and to help you get the nutrients you need to feel strong and healthy.
How Probiotics and Enzyme Supplements Can Help Malabsorption
Even though our bodies should naturally produce enzymes that will help you to absorb and break down nutrients, sometimes one’s body might struggle with producing a sufficient amount of enzymes. The best digestive enzyme supplements contain a digestive enzyme complex and all-natural ingredients that work hard to support your digestive process. Sexy & Slim is a great example of an enzyme supplement, and it contains 6 different types of enzymes that help your body break down and absorb the nutrients you consume.
Bloating supplements such as Probiotic Renu also help to increase the potential of proper nutrient absorption in one’s body. The bifido and lacto probiotic cultures in the supplement for bloating called Probiotic Renu work hard to ensure you have healthy bacteria in your gut. The healthy bacteria plays an essential part in breaking down the substances we consume.
The digestive process is very complex, however, taking the proper supplements is an easy and efficient way to support your body in overcoming its challenges.
Mixing Certain Types of Food to Maximize Absorption Potential
Mixing certain types of nutrients when eating can help a person achieve better nutrient absorption. When certain types of nutrients are placed together for consumption, it can help your body break down and absorb the substances more efficiently.
For example, consuming vitamin C and iron together can be a great way to boost your iron absorption levels. Vitamin C is known to capture the non-heme iron you are consuming and transform it into something that is easier on your body to digest. Below are some examples of food pairings that contain vitamin C and non-heme iron.
- lentils and broccoli
- tomatoes and spinach
- pure dark chocolate and strawberries
- orange juice and enriched bread
Vitamin D and calcium is another example of a powerful nutrient pairing. When your body is lacking vitamin D, it becomes challenging for it to properly absorb calcium. This can lead to issues such as brittle bones, weak nails, fatigue, osteoporosis, and muscular cramps. Be sure that you are maintaining your vitamin D and calcium levels in order to best support your body’s needs. Vitamin D can be best obtained from exposure to the sun, but can also be found in food. Below are some examples of vitamin D and calcium food pairings.
- salmon and winter squash
- swordfish and collard
- bok choy and sardines
Due to the fact that there are very few foods that contain vitamin D, you might want to consider taking a supplement that contains vitamin D. This will be especially helpful for those who might live in an area where sun exposure is limited.
Factors That Can Be Contributing to a Lack of Nutrient Absorption
Stress can be detrimental to the nutrient absorption process. When we are stressed, our bodies enter a state of fight-or-flight mode which transfers our bodies focus from its different responsibilities to simply handling the stress. This will negatively impact our entire digestive process including nutrient absorption. Try implementing different stress-relieving tactics throughout your week in order to avoid burning out.
Eating too quickly can be negatively impacting your nutrient absorption abilities, because you are missing out on producing a vital digestive enzyme called amylase. Amylase can be found in your saliva, which is why chewing slower and more efficiently can produce more amylase in the long-run. Amylase is specifically responsible for breaking down starches into smaller types of sugar such as glucose and fructose.
Water plays an essential part in helping your body break down the food you consume. When you are dehydrated, your body will instead absorb the water it needs from the food you are consuming which will make it harder on your body to properly digest the food. It is important that you are maintaining your hydration levels in order to experience proper digestion.
Be sure to also incorporate anti-inflammatory foods and practices into your daily lifestyle, because inflammation can negatively impact nutrient absorption. Avoiding processed foods and artificial sweeteners are two ways to decrease the probability of developing inflammation. In general, practicing a healthy lifestyle is a great way to reduce your chances of experiencing inflammation.
Nutrient absorption is such an important part of the digestive process, because it is how your body gets the nutrients it needs to stay up-and-running. Having a well-balanced diet is just the first step in truly reaping its benefits. Be sure to prioritize your digestive system every single day by taking your supplements, practicing healthy eating habits, and keeping your stress at bay.