If you’ve been feeling a little sluggish and lethargic lately, today’s blog post is for you! The most common pick-me-ups for people are caffeine and sweets, which is why that mid-afternoon coffee break is now a part of our societal norm.
However, most people forget that gut health plays a sizable role in energy regulation. In fact, you can increase your energy without relying on addictive stimulants. Simply by improving your gut health, you can increase your ability to extract nutrients from foods you eat and encourage your gut flora to produce nutrients that improve energy pathways.
Energy and nutrient absorption
The most important function of your digestive system is the absorption of nutrients, because this is how your body is able to acquire essential building blocks and fuel for your cells. Therefore, a reduced ability to break down food and then transport its constituents via the bloodstream and lymph system to your organs and cells results in lowered energy and diseases in the long term.
The 2 main types of fuel preferred by the body are carbohydrates and fats. They both require different methodologies of digestion. Carbohydrates require amylase enzymes from the saliva in your mouth as well as enzymes supplied by the pancreas into your small intestine, whereas fats need the enzymes and emulsifying agents from bile produced by the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. Once carbs and fats are broken down into usable molecules, they can pass through the selectively permeable gut lining to be taken to the rest of the body. (1)
How to improve absorption
There are a few ways to boost your gut health to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients:
1. Consume foods with enzymes
Certain foods have live enzymes that help to disassemble larger nutrients into smaller bioavailable pieces. Fruits and vegetables, as well as kombucha and R’s KOSO are great examples of these.
For instance, raw papaya contains a protein enzyme called papain and pineapple contains a protein enzyme called bromelain. (2)
2. Consume foods with probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria found in fermented foods that resemble the ones that innately exist that make up our gut flora. When we undergo stress and daily aging, we lose bacteria count in our guts. Additionally, if our diet lacks balance, the proportion of beneficial bacteria to harmful bacteria can be thrown off.
To remedy this, we can help the body regenerate and replenish its natural flora with the help of fermented foods, such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and R’s KOSO. These bacteria help us with the breakdown and absorption of nutrients to ensure we have the energy sources we need to perform at high levels.
3. Drink enough water
Hydration supplies much-needed water to every single step of digestion, including to the production of gastric juices and promoting peristalsis, but it also creates a favorable environment for gut flora to thrive in your large intestine.
If the conditions in the colon are too dry, beneficial bacteria flora cannot thrive! Therefore, ensuring you are drinking enough water within and outside of mealtimes means your digestive system will run more smoothly and efficiently. (3)
The bacteria in your gut help to produce B vitamins that participate in energy production and regulation pathways. In other words, if your energy has been lower than usual, boosting your gut flora and replenishing bacteria with fermented foods can help to increase B-vitamin production and reverse low energy levels. Additionally, it would be wise to consume foods containing B vitamins, such as sunflower seeds, whole grains, salmon, and eggs.
R’s KOSO is not only an excellent source of probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics, but it is made with leafy greens and whole grains that contain the minerals and nutrients mentioned in this article to amplify your energy levels through your gut health.