Why you are not what you eat

Functional nutrition with Carmen Gresa-Alemany - Functional Nutrition Therapist

Many times during consultation, I have had this sentence said back to me: “You are what you eat, right?”.

We all have our reasons to improve our diet; poor health, weight management, digestive issues, inflammation, diabetes, and many others plus the one that affects us all, stress. Any of these, will adversely affect your digestive system, decreasing the energy assigned to digestion.

How does this translate into our bodies? To start with, lowering your stomach acid doesn’t allow your body to correctly breakdown food, and as a consequence of this, less digestive enzymes will be produced and released.  Your small intestine will respond by fermenting food instead of breaking it down, giving way to bloating, gas, discomfort and inflammation. Another common response to low stomach acid is a decrease in bile release. Bile is needed to break down and absorb fats; again, more fermentation followed by bloating and gas. It’s like a domino effect! And these are the results of one marker only.

Without proper digestion, regardless of what you are eating, means your nutrition will suffer. Almost all my protocols in clinic will start with the gut – you can’t start building a castle from the roof down. Poor digestion will translate into poor absorption, and if your absorption is impaired, deficiencies will arise opening the door to imbalances. If the nutrient to perform a function is not there, that function will not happen. So, a more correct statement would be: you are not what you eat, but you are what you absorb.

We age, and our organs do too, and their ability to perform their functions becomes less efficient.

Have you ever noticed how after eating a specific food you feel sleepy? Do you recognise any of these symptoms? Bloating after eating, fatigue, joint pain, headaches – if so, have you ever wondered if you have food intolerances? Food intolerances will induce inflammation leading to your immune system being on constant alert.

Pay attention to your body, if there are undigested foods in your stool, your body is not breaking them down. Not digesting and absorbing food correctly means you are not getting those nutrients in. A couple of function tests I use in clinic are, food intolerances/sensitivities and a stool test. The latter gives me a good insight to inflammation, maldigesttion, infection, dysbiosis and imbalance. It is an amazing go-to tool, as it tells us what is happening in your gut and provides you with the power to correct it.

In my opinion, if your body is not able to digest certain foods, those foods will end up working against you. With lack of sleep, stress, pollution, and crazy schedules, it is very important to correct imbalances, and by doing so, we can make sure that in fact we are what we eat.

Get in touch, your health awaits. 

54 Newton Road, Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4BQ Telephone: 01792 732177



All Articles