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Gut Health: Understanding Your GI Tract

Updated: Jun 12

When you hear gut health, it usually pertains to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract which is also known as the digestive tract. Your digestive system begins at the passageway, or tract that leads from the mouth to the anus. During this gut health series we are not going to include the digestive system in its entirety, omitting the accessory organs (tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder), but only focusing on the organs of digestion. Your GI tract contains all the major organs of the digestive system including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. The gut refers to your GI system, and its health is generally determined by the levels and types of bacteria in your digestive, intestinal tract. To understand the impact of gut health, it's important to understand how the gut works.

 

As food passes through the GI tract, it mixes with digestive juices, causing large molecules of food to break down into smaller molecules. The body then absorbs these smaller molecules through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream, which delivers them to the rest of the body. The large intestine has 3 primary functions: absorbing water and electrolytes, producing and absorbing vitamins, and forming and propelling feces toward the rectum for elimination.

 

As we continue down this series, we are going to make the connection between what we are consuming that may cause stress on our bodies and what we need to consume in order to heal our bodies. Yes, the sooner we realize every organ in the human body works mechanically and automatically in relation to each other the better our overall health will be holistically.



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