Reaching Your Health Goals?

Your food cravings may have a bio-chemical basis. Balancing the body’s chemistry can help you bust cravings before they start.

The excitement of a new year often brings increased resolve to improve our diets and health. Try as we may, for many of us, our resolutions for better health in the new year just seem to turn into empty promises after a few weeks.

If you’ve made sincere efforts to eat better and exercise, but just can’t seem to do it, you may have over looked one simple yet powerful approach that could improve your success. That approach considers how your own body actually processes and utilizes foods. If you have ever heard the expression “you are what you eat”…it’s actually more accurate to say you are what you digest. So just because you eat a food, it does not mean you have digested it in a way that nourishes you. Knowing how you process food is just as important as making good food choices. 

Headaches, Heartburn, Gas, Bloating, diarrhea, insomnia, achy joints, arthritis

Properly digested food fuels our body and promotes healthy function at the cellular level. The three major building blocks of food are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. For optimal health, our bodies need to be able to adequately digest and utilize all three major food groups. Failure to balance and digest any of the three major food groups can result in a number of chronic health problems.

Many people suffer from, weight gain, poor health and fitness because they have compromised digestion.  Let’s look at the how poor digestion can affect your ability to exercise. You’re probably aware that vigorous daily exercise helps control weight, blood sugar levels, and benefits the cardiovascular system. However, vigorous exercise also stresses the body. With exercise, muscles, connective tissues, and cartilage become irritated and undergo microscopic tears, which the body must repair. Protein is the main nutrient that the body uses to repair the physical stresses of exercise. If your ability to digest protein is compromised, your best intentions to exercise will go unmet, because your body will not be able to repair tissues that are stressed by exercise. Exercise just becomes too painful when your body cannot repair itself.

Now lets look at fats. Fats are the raw materials that the body uses to create its own anti-inflammatory and pain modulating substances. Often, people who have achy joint pain cannot make their own pain modulating chemicals, because they don’t digest fat as well as they should. Maybe you find that your body is just so stiff that the thought of exercising hurts. Perhaps you have heard that fish oil and other oils rich in omega 3 fats are beneficial for controlling achy pain. Omega 3 oils can help reduce achy pain…if you are able to digest fats well. If you can’t process and digest fats, adding more omega 3 oils will only create more problems for you.

Carbohydrates, such as grains, are the body’s main source of energy. If you cannot digest carbohydrates effectively, you’re going to have problems with your energy level. If you are chronically fatigued and unable to perform daily activities exercise can seem like an impossible task. If you do not efficiently process carbohydrates, you may find that you suffer from roller coaster-like swings in your energy, chronic headaches, and mind fog.

You may find that you crave foods. Did you know that your cravings may not always be about your lack of will power? In fact your cravings may have a bio-chemical basis. Often we crave foods because we are not digesting or utilizing a food, and hence the part of the brain that controls appetite calls for more of what you are not able to fully digest. In some cases, people actually crave the foods that they cannot digest. Undigested foods can irritate the bowel, and the body releases pain modulating chemicals that give you a temporary “feel good” when you eat them. 

If you are struggling to meet your exercise, diet, and overall health goals for the New Year, you may find that the key to attaining your goals lies in finding how your body processes food, and improving your digestion.

Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, Internal Health Specialist, Founder of the Digestion Relief Center, in Chico California specializes in effective, natural relief for IBS, food sensitivities and digestive problems. Learn more at www.digestionreliefcenter.com.

Published in the Chico Enterprise Record Healthbeat January 2006.

2006, © Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC. All Rights Reserved.


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