We often think digestion starts in the mouth, but actually it starts in the brain. Knowing this can help you understand how to improve your own digestion!
As you may know, I recently completed a nine-month certification through the Nutritional Therapy Association to be a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. The organization is based in Olympia, but they’ve got classes nationwide (and a couple starting in Canada and Australia soon). This is my review of the program based on my experience!
We’ve all heard the marketing phrase, “Milk… it does a body good!” But, this is based on the assumption that we aren’t getting enough calcium in our diet, and that we need MORE calcium in the diet for strong bones. It may surprise you to know that most people get enough dietary calcium, but many are not able to USE the calcium in their body – and that the excess calcium could be harming them! In reality, calcium is a game of cofactors, and many people are lacking in the co-factors necessary to assimilate it.
Your body is smart. It constantly has to make decisions and tradeoffs based on priorities. The body will always prioritize keeping you alive today. And thank goodness it does: our body can kick in with adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) when it needs to so we can survive. Historically, this would only have happened occasionally for very short periods of time, specifically emergency situations, like being chased by a giant moose. In our modern lifestyle, we are chronically stressed. It may be from high sugar intake, which taxes the adrenals, or food sensitivities, or toxic exposure, or psychological stress from grief. This is where problems start to happen: chronic stress throws off the delicate hormone orchestra. Through a series of pathways, stress inhibits reproductive function.
Our hormones are basically little chemical messengers that tell the body what to do. They are a communication system for the body, similar to the nerve impulse messages that move our muscles, but rather than through nerves, the message is sent by the endocrine glands secreting hormones, sending them from one set of cells to another. The balance of our hormones is a very, very delicate orchestra of lots of organs and lots of hormones (over 100 different kinds!), all playing together. A combination of nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors can throw this delicate balance off, and it can lead to a whole bunch of symptoms.
Are you tired and fatigued throughout the day? Do you feel depression or anxiety? Do you get sugar cravings, muscle cramps or period cramps, or headaches?