When you chew a piece of chicken, for example, the mechanical action of chewing along with enzymes in your saliva begins to break the food down. Then, more enzymes in the stomach break down the food even further. It’s because of this natural food processing that you don’t have pieces of chicken floating around in your blood! Instead, the protein in the chicken is broken down and ends up as amino acids in your small intestine.
If you imagine your digestive system as a long tube going from your mouth to your anus then this will help. In one sense, it is actually “outside” your body because it doesn’t interact directly with your internal organs. Substances must first pass through the intestinal lining to get into the bloodstream and be carried to all the tissues of the body.
However, the digestive tract is also more than just a tube. It’s actually a whole complex ecosystem filled with living microorganisms-mainly bacteria and yeasts that co-exist there in a healthy balance. It’s like other natural ecosystems where health and harmony are maintained as long as nothing interferes with the natural balance of the inhabitants.
The intestinal lining is an intelligent “gatekeeper.” When healthy and functioning properly, it only allows nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose) into your bloodstream. It also keeps foreign invaders and waste material out. Whatever isn’t usable will be part of your next bowel movement. This is the way the system works when digestion is healthy with enough probiotics in the intestines. When this balance of good and bad bacteria is disturbed, the intestinal lining becomes “leaky.” Then leaky gut sets us up for many health problems including candida overgrowth. It is not only candida that is a problem, but also the eggs or larvae of worms that can then pass through the intestinal lining.
Healing the gut requires improving the diet, and the most important aspect of that will be to repopulate your intestines with healthy bacteria: probiotics. That will help restore the intestinal lining so it can do its gatekeeper job properly.
You can buy probiotics in capsule form from health food stores, but make sure you get a high-quality product. Or, simply make your own yogurt or kefir to ensure that you’re getting live, active cultures; this is very easy and also inexpensive! I love my yogurt with fresh berries in the morning. I add the berries to the plain yogurt just before eating.
Homemade yogurt is much better than all the sweet, fruit- flavored yogurt products in the supermarkets these days. Those products may not even contain active cultures because live cultures would feed on the sugar and give the yogurt a tart or sour taste. Making your own plain yogurt and adding fresh fruit for sweetness provides you with a much less expensive and much healthier product!