ABSORPTION: It’s where we absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat and those nutrients nurture every cell in our body. We literally are what we eat! Our bodies are able to convert the foods we eat into every cell, tissue and organ in our body. What we eat becomes every cell in our body, so what we eat and how well our digestive tracts absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat dictate the health of our body. The better shape our digestive tract is in, the better health we are in.
ELIMINATION: We depend on our digestive tracts for effective elimination of toxins. If we are not eliminating effectively then toxins will get reabsorbed and can disrupt normal functioning of our system.
BARRIER: We have both chemical and physical barriers to the outside world that decide what gets in and what stays out. It’s your army saying, only if you are going to be useful to us will we let you in. The chemical barriers are hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes and our microbiome. The physical barrier is the mucous membranes. Between the cells that line of the digestive tract are tight junctions that hold cells together and protects us from anything coming into the body that may hurt us. When any of these barriers are compromised that things that shouldn’t be in the body can make their way in.
IMMUNITY: Sitting just inside the mucous membrane cells lining the digestive tract is a collection of immune cells call the peyer’s patch, which is part of the gut-associated lymphatic tissue (GALT). These cells look over everything that is coming in through the mucous membranes. These immune cells are part of the lymphatic system and close to 80% of the lymphatic system is housed in the digestive tract.