Welcome my friends to a new day and a New You! This is Sheri Turner- I am here to encourage, educate and help you to a healthier place in your life. Last week in the podcast SLEEP AND FUELING A HEALTHY BRAIN, I touched on:
- SO HOW MUCH SLEEP IS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL AGES. - REASONS FOR INSUFFICIENT SLEEP, - SLEEP DEFICIENCY AND DISEASE RISK: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease. - SLEEP HYGIENE, - FOR KIDS: Make Sleep a Priority,
-According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1/3 of Americans do not get enough sleep each night.
FUELING YOUR BRAIN - Remember you are what you eat. - incorporating the right foods with certain nutrients and vitamins to build the powerful brain. - the key nutrients and vitamins. – I recommended a great plan to follow to keep your brain sharp in cognitive function, memory and alertness- the Mediterranean Diet. I provided a link. – I provided a few foods that you can add for brain health.
I hope last week episode “woke you up” to the importance of sleep on your health and also the need to fuel your brain for optimum health!
This week, we are shifting our focus down to your digestive
system (gut). Over the next few weeks, I will introduce you to the role of our
gut in living with optimal health. Your Core- the muscles in and around your
belly area. When you train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and
abdomen to work in harmony by doing exercises this trains the muscles in those
areas to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability in daily
activities. I have heard it called the POWERHOUSE. Same is true of your gut- it
truly is the powerhouse of health. For more info check out the link.
We will start with a quick review of the digestive system. We first have the stomach. It is the size of your fist. When full, the stomach can hold 4 liters (little less than a gallon) of food and liquid. It returns to the fist size when empty. The stomach receives the food, churns it and breaks it into tiny particles called "chyme." The stomach holds the food for 3-5 hours before it is released in small batches into the small intestine. The stomach requires a very acidic pH of 1.5 to 3 to maintain digestive health. The pH of our stomach is critical to the digestion of many nutrients and acts as defense against harmful bacteria and viruses. The stomach is a reservoir of strong acid, with a much lower pH than in any other part of our digestive system. This is perfect for the activation of enzymes that cause the breakdown of proteins into smaller protein fragments, which is the first step in digesting our food. Most bacteria enter through the mouth and nose. (Please take note of this as we enter flu season and continue in COVID 19) The stomach is the first defense because it contains acid and enzymes that dissolve the protein coats of bacteria, either killing them or leaving them vulnerable to our immune responses.
- The small intestine, also known as the small bowel, runs from your stomach to your large intestine. The small intestine has three sections: the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum. The small intestine, ranges from 20 to 30 feet long and is about 1 inch in diameter. It has many folds that allow it to fit into the abdominal cavity. One end of the small bowel is connected to the stomach and the other to the large intestine. The major part of the digestive process and absorption of nutrients from food takes place in the small intestine. Partly digested food (chyme) passes from the stomach to the small intestine, where the final digestive processes occur. Nutrients, vitamins, minerals and water are absorbed by its lining. The small intestine will have absorbed about 90% of the ingested water.
- The large intestine, the long, tube-like organ that is connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The large intestine has four parts: cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. Partly digested food moves through the cecum into the colon, where water and some nutrients and electrolytes are removed. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon, is stored in the rectum, and leaves the body through the anal canal and anus. The large intestine (colon or large bowel) is about 5 feet long and about 3 inches in diameter. Meals pass from the small to the large intestine within 8-9 hours of ingestion. The large intestine absorbs most of the remaining water, a process that converts liquid chyme residue into semi-solid stools or feces. The large intestine has three major functions: Absorption of water and electrolytes; Formation and transport of feces; Chemical digestion by gut microbes. The large intestine does not secrete its own digestive enzymes: in this part of the GI tract, chemical digestion occurs exclusively through the action of millions of colonic bacteria. Through fermentation, these bacteria break down some of the remaining carbohydrates, which releases the hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane that create flatus (gas). Colonic bacteria also protect the intestine from potentially harmful bacteria coming from the external environment and can synthesize certain vitamins.
Microbiome- Think of a busy city on a weekday morning, the roads packed with people rushing to get to work or to appointments. Now imagine this at a microscopic level and you have an idea of what the microbiome looks like inside our bodies, consisting of trillions of microorganisms (also called microbiota or microbes) of thousands of different species.  These include not only bacteria but fungi, parasites, and viruses. In a healthy person, these “bugs” coexist peacefully, with the largest numbers found in the small and large intestines but also throughout the body. The microbiome is even labeled a supporting organ because it plays so many key roles in promoting the smooth daily operations of the human body.
Microbes have learned to play very important roles in the human body. In fact, without the gut microbiome, it would be very difficult to survive.
A person is first exposed to microorganisms as an infant, during delivery in the birth canal and through the mother’s breast milk. As we age, environmental exposures, medications and diet can change one’s microbiome to be either beneficial to health or place one at greater risk for disease. As you grow, your gut microbiome begins to diversify. Microbiota stimulate the immune system, break down potentially toxic food compounds, and synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids, including the B vitamins and vitamin K. For example, the key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12 are only found in bacteria, not in plants and animals.
- Large families of bacteria found in the human gut-stomach= 0-1,000 Viable bacteria per gram, - jejunum= 0-1,000 viable bacteria per gram, -ileum=100,000-100,000,000 viable bacteria per gram-aerobic and anaerobic, Colon= ten billion- 1 trillion viable bacteria per gram-strict anaerobic- bacteria that survive only in environments virtually devoid of oxygen http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/gi_bugs.html
“We’re used to thinking about microbes as enemies—as major threats to our health—but most microbes don’t cause disease. They actually help us live better,” says Wendy Garrett, professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. “We are symbionts: human cells coexisting with bacterial cells, fungi, viruses, and parasites. We’re multispecies beings.” https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/bugs-in-the-system/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Chan-Facebook-General