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Improve your digestion and prevent pre-diabetes

The way we process food – our and digestion and ultimately metabolism – makes a huge difference in how we are able to prevent pre-diabetes.  The vast majority of us don’t give a second thought to what happens when we swallow that piece of cake . . . but we should. We put food in our mouths, chew, swallow and forget it.

What happens next is the start of an amazing process.

The digestive process

Our brain initially starts the digestive system working. Our senses – smell, taste, see, touch and hearing – all work in conjunction to kick off the process.

That’s right ! Even a conversation about food can jump-start our digestion. Ever talk about your favorite meals with friends and family. If it’s descriptive enough, you can almost taste the food? I have caught myself drooling just watching others eat.

The stomach and its digestive mechanisms – called our second brain by scientists and researchers – will start secreting hormones in anticipation of whatever we eat.

After food passes through our mouths, where saliva starts breaking it down, it enters our stomachs and is further broken down before entering our intestines. The intestines sends micro-food particles – via our blood- to areas of our bodies where it can replenish depleted supplies that’s necessary life.

Our circulatory system (bloodstream) delivers these micro-food particles to our billions of cells where it is either used for energy or stored as fat to be used later.

Crucial in this process are hormones which are secreted by various digestive organs.

Insulin, ghrelin, and leptin hormones

Three main hormones involved in processing the food we eat are insulin, ghrelin and leptin. They work in harmony to supply our bodies with the right amount of nutrients. When they are functioning properly our bodies will realize optimum health and fitness.

Lets’ look at these individually.

Insulin hormone is made by beta cell in our pancreas.

It regulates how much glucose is in our blood at any given time. Insulin is released into the blood after a eating a meal. It travels with the blood to the muscle, fat and liver cells where it signals them to let the excess sugars in to be stored or used for energy. In a person who in not pre-diabetic, this lowers the circulating glucose in their blood and keeps it in a normal range.

The problem for pre-diabetics is that the muscle, fat and liver cells are not responding properly to the insulin signals. It’s not letting the sugars in. The pancreas is then put into over-time duty to produce more insulin. If this continues, excess sugars will build up in the blood leading to many complications.

To prevent pre-diabetes we must reduce the amount of carbohydrates we eat in order to reverse this process. We have to retrain our bodies to use our fat stores for energy and not quick burning sugars.

Leptin, also called the ‘satiety hormone’, is produced by the fat cells in our bodies. Among its many duties is its ability to regulate your appetite and weight. It tells our brain what type of foods to eat and when to eat it.  It also tells us when to stop eating . . . hence the label satiety hormone. It instructs our brain as to how to use energy we get from the food we eat.

As you are aware when you eat too much carbs, which converts into sugars, insulin is secreted and directs most of this to fat storage. Leptin is also released in our fat cells and sends a signal to our brain that it can stop calling for more sugars when it has reached capacity. If we continue to eat more sugary foods this signal becomes blurred and we become leptin resistance.

The more fat you have the more leptin is released. As Dr. Mercola states ‘our brain becomes deaf to leptin signals’. Because our brain is not hearing the message it will still call for more food . . . resulting in overeating. This causes our fat cells to get larger and eventually leads to excess weight gain.

As with insulin resistance, we can prevent pre-diabetes – brought on by excess weight-gain – by reducing the amount of carbohydrates we eat and ultimately restore the communication between our brain and the fat cells. We must prevent leptin resistance.

Ghrelin is an appetite regulating hormone. It acts to increase our appetite. Ghrelin is secreted by our stomachs and signals our brain to eat that we are  hungry. If a person is not getting enough nourishment then this hormone tells us to find a source of food to satisfy our body’s needs. Likewise, if we have had enough to eat, it works with the insulin and leptin, to suppress our appetites.

Pre-diabetics must avoid fat producing (carbs) foods to allow these hormones to operate normally in our bodies. If ghrelin is not telling our brains to stop we will overeat and end up gaining excess weight.

Prevent pre-diabetes using the ‘think and eat strategy’

The only way to gain control of our weight and prevent pre-diabetes is to be mindful of the types of food we feed our bodies. Avoid additional carbs that can cause these hormones to get out of sync and result in blood sugar imbalance in our bodies.

The consequences of diabetes are too serious to neglect this guidance. Before you put any food in your mouth use the ‘think and eat strategy’. Will it result in a healthy outcome or produce poor health?.

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