Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Jayta Szpi­ta­lak

In­crease gut ab­sorp­tion to en­sure more nu­tri­ents are ab­sorbed from your food

WEall know that we should be eat­ing a range of fruits and veg­gies, healthy fats, pro­tein and some super grains. But did you know that some of th­ese ‘superfoods’ are not be­ing ab­sorbed ad­e­quately by your body and may even up­set your di­ges­tive sys­tem? There is an in­ter­est­ing co­nun­drum when it comes to superfoods – your body can po­ten­tially ben­e­fit im­mensely from them. How­ever, if not con­sumed cor­rectly, you may be flush­ing them down the drain as your body lets them pass right through your di­ges­tive sys­tem with­out ab­sorb­ing the im­por­tant nu­tri­ents. With a lit­tle re­search, you can max­imise the nutri­tion your body can gain, with nat­u­ral pro­cess­ing, such as sprout­ing seeds and fer­ment­ing of grains.


Con­sider nuts and grains. All seeds, nuts, grains, even the mighty chia and flax have seed coats that limit di­ges­tion in the gut. Flax, for ex­am­ple, is hard for di­ges­tive sys­tem to break down so we have been told to mill or pul­verise it in the hopes of achiev­ing greater ab­sorp­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, milling a grain does not com­pletely re­move the out­side bar­ri­ers that pro­tect the seed, so th­ese ‘su­per­flours/pow­ders’ may still not be ab­sorbed com­pletely and not be di­gested.


When it comes to grains, you can im­prove your di­ges­tion by con­sum­ing them in their sprouted form. When you soak grains to sprout them, the harsh outer coat­ing of the seed is bro­ken down when the seed ger­mi­nates, chang­ing the nu­tri­ent pro­file. The sprout­ing process pro­duces en­zymes that as­sist in break­ing down the car­bo­hy­drates and pro­teins. It also can in­crease the an­tiox­i­dants, vi­ta­mins and pro­teins found in the grain or seed while of­ten low­er­ing the calo­ries and al­ka­liz­ing the grain. Sprout­ing stim­u­lates the pro­duc­tion of en­zymes that es­sen­tially pre-digest the grain, so it breaks down com­plex su­gar molecules, making it more read­ily bioavail­able. Ac­cord­ing to a re­search pa­per, fer­men­ta­tion of ce­re­als for a lim­ited pe­riod of time im­proves amino acid com­po­si­tion and vi­ta­min con­tent. Sprouted chia seeds for ex­am­ple, con­tain more vi­ta­mins and an­tiox­i­dants com­pared with un­sprouted seeds. As well, sprouted grains also im­prove the mi­croflora in our gut.


Com­bin­ing cer­tain superfoods with other in­gre­di­ents can in­crease but also can de­crease the avail­abil­ity of the nu­tri­ents.

• Matcha is ground Ja­panese green tea leaves. The leaves are grown and dried in spe­cially de­signed pro­cesses, af­ter which they are ground to cre­ate a fine pow­der. Matcha is used in the tra­di­tional Ja­panese tea cer­e­mony. It has a high an­tiox­i­dant pro­file and is great for your me­tab­o­lism. How­ever, when a ‘matcha latte’ is made with milk, the an­tiox­i­dants may be­come bound in the dairy prod­uct and thus pre­vents the body from ab­sorb­ing the an­tiox­i­dants and min­er­als from the tea.

• Turmeric is a spice known for its pow­er­ful anti-in­flam­ma­tory and anti-can­cer­ous prop­er­ties how­ever, it’s in­cred­i­bly hard for the body to digest. Pair­ing it with black pep­per or healthy fats makes it more di­gestible.

Fer­ment­ing it has also shown to be ben­e­fi­cial as the cur­cumin is me­tab­o­lized, al­low­ing for quicker ab­sorp­tion into the blood stream.


Our gut is of­ten re­ferred to as our sec­ond brain. The con­cept of a gut mi­cro­biota-brain axis sug­gests that reg­u­lat­ing the gut mi­cro­biota may be ben­e­fi­cial, as this pro­vides the neu­ro­trans­mit­ters cre­ated in our body and thus the gut af­fects our mood. This may be an emerg­ing treat­ment for/or pre­ven­tion of mood and anx­i­ety dis­or­ders. Aside from gut heal­ing foods such as bone broth, try and eat foods that are di­verse in healthy bac­te­ria, such as a live sauer­kraut (not a ster­il­ized one) or other fer­mented foods. Take pro­bi­otics, or in­cor­po­rate a ke­fir into your daily rou­tine. All th­ese foods will pos­i­tively af­fect the flora in your gut, which will es­sen­tially aid the di­ges­tion of other foods while help­ing your brain func­tion op­ti­mally.

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