sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Healthy Aging from the Inside Out: Why Your Gut is Your Second Brain

I’m so excited! I recently got back from six days on very special education/nutrition Retreat at Sanoviv Medical Institute.

It was amazing! I learned so much more about healing the body, mind, and spirit from the inside out with great nutrition and high quality supplements. And I want to share it all with you!

So, my next few articles will be about just that – how you can heal your body from the inside out, why to consider not dieting, and why your gut is called your second brain.

What Is Digestive Wellness and Why Does It Matter for Healthy Aging?

Did you know that 85% of Americans experience digestive issues? A lot of these issues come from eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). You know, the fast food, processed food, cakes, cookies, soda, chips, food additives, etc.

True health comes from the body’s ability to digest foods completely and eliminate waste naturally. So, if your body is not digesting, absorbing and assimilating food into your body properly, you may be one of those people with digestive issues.

People used to say, “You are what you eat.” But it really comes down to is “You are what you digest.” You could be eating high quality foods and supplements, but if they are not being digested and absorbed properly into your system, your body is not getting the benefit of your good intentions.

So Where Does Digestion Begin?

Digestion begins in your brain. What happens in your mouth when you walk into a friend’s house and she’s baking bread? There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked warm bread (in my opinion)! Your mouth starts to water, you get a warm comforting feeling and you can’t wait to try a piece, right? Or how about when your dog starts drooling as he’s sitting next to you when you’re eating a juicy hamburger. Why does this happen?

The thought of food sends a message to the salivary glands, which in turn secrete saliva into the mouth. The thought of this same food, whether it’s a hamburger or donuts, also sends a message to the pancreas to start creating insulin, which is your fat storage hormone. Now for those of you who are looking to lose weight, don’t panic just yet. Read on…

3 Ways to Easily Improve Digestion and Achieve Healthy Aging

First, chew your food completely – 30-50 times per bite or until your food is mostly liquid. Chewing tells the stomach to create hydrochloric acid, the majority of the acid in your stomach that breaks down food.

Take care of your teeth. Your teeth are important to being able to chew. Also, the condition of your teeth and gums are one of the first signs of your body’s health – good or bad. Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation that you should get checked out.

Consider digestive enzymes. As food passes into your stomach, digestive enzymes are secreted to help break down the proteins, carbohydrates and fats. But if you are a fast eater, or don’t chew your food well, the stomach may not be ready with the proper enzymes to break down the food. This can cause acid reflux.

Additional digestive enzymes may be taken during or after a meal to help with this. Click here for the digestive enzymes my family takes. If you have problems digesting lactose, you can take these digestive enzymes with foods containing milk to help.

After the stomach, food moves to the small intestine. Did you know that 90% of all nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine? But when your villi (the absorption fingers) in your small intestines are damaged, big problems can occur. Let’s stop here today and leave this topic for the next blog – we will be talking about something called Leaky Gut, how this can cause many of the auto-immune diseases and how to heal our gut.

Did you know that your keeping your gut in good shape is important for many aspects of your health? What is your approach to digestive wellness? What other healthy aging tips can you share? Please join the conversation.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Author

Debbie Stevenson is a leading nutrition and whole living expert. As a certified health coach, blogger and successful entrepreneur, cultivating the ideal lifestyle isn't her passion; it's her life. Find her free recipes, wellness tips and online nutrition programs at and join her on Facebook for more recipes and daily healthy living inspirations.

You Might Also Like