How to Absorb Nutrients: 3 Best & 2 Worst Foods for Nutrient Absorption- Thomas DeLauer
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a lot of people don’t realize that there’s a heck of a lot more to the digestive system than just the intestines I’m gonna break down how digestion works but then I’m going to give you the three best foods they’re going to help you absorb more nutrients but I’m also going to give you the two foods that quite honestly should probably stay away from that dramatically hinder the absorption of nutrients I’m not just talking about the food that’s absorbed from that specific food I’m talking about how they can affect the absorption of all the foods that you eat just by raining on your parade and absolutely ruin in the party but first off let’s talk about digestion and how it works as soon as you consume food the first thing that starts to happen is your enzymes and your bacteria start to break down food that’s step one breaking it down into micro particles but a lot of people think that it just kind of stops there well quite honestly there’s a lot of other involvement the livers involved the pancreas involved kidneys are involved there’s so many other factors that come into play the digestive system so once the enzymes of the bacteria start to do the job the food is now micronized and passes down through into the small intestine well from there it binds with lots of different emulsifiers and different other enzymes and it transfers through what is called an entero site quintero site is a cell in the wall of the small intestine that enterocyte acts as a gateway into the bloodstream or into the lymph for the nutrients to actually get to where they need to go but that’s just the mechanical process you see there’s a lot of other hormone and nervous system things that are going on so before I give you the best in the worst foods or nutrient absorption I have to give you a quick crash course in what happens there you see we have different regulators and I’m going to start with hormone regulators because when it comes down to digestion it’s a very big hormonal process and a lot of us don’t give the hormones credit there there’s three hormones and particularly that I want to talk about the first one is known as gastrin the second one is known as secretin and the third one is known as cholecystokinin or CCK okay gastrin it’s the job of gastrin to have the brain communicate to the gut to start producing stomach acid step one when it comes down to digestion this hormonal response tells the stomach hey there’s food here it’s time to up the acid content and start breaking this stuff down the next one that’s up is secretin now it’s the job of secretin to tell the stomach to start contracting a little bit but also to start producing pepsin which helps break down proteins so that’s obviously very very important proteins take a long time to digest so you want start producing pepsin as soon as possible then we go into CCK cholecystokinin cholecystokinin tells the pancreas to swell up and produce insulin what’s the job of insulin to allow the nutrients to get into the cell so you can see kind of a trifecta a three part series there produce stomach acid start constricting and start producing the enzymes and then of course actually absorb the nutrients into the cell the way that we should okay that’s the hormonal side of things but there’s actually an entirely separate nervous system regulatory response that happens as well you see one form is called the extrinsic nervous system of the digestive system and this is all the extrinsic nerves that come from the other areas in your body particularly your brain to your digestive system so when you eat something this nervous system sees the signal and it sends even more electricity produces acetylcholine and adrenaline now it’s the job of the acetylcholine to actually cause the stomach to constrict and cause the intestinal tract to start moving food on through si acetylcholine is energy it’s involved in the Krebs cycle it’s involved in all energy production in the cells and in our bodies so we have acetylcholine coming into the digestive system it’s causing the stimulus of those muscle cells in the digestive system to actually constrict and push food through then adrenaline yeah the catecholamine that all of us think is just something that makes us wired and amped up comes into play and this adrenaline does the opposite of what you think it actually causes the digestive system to relax yeah believe it or not adrenalin diverts blood away from the digestive system so if you’ve ever been nervous or you’ve been really excited and you find it hard to eat where you get nauseous well that’s because adrenaline is making it’s that the blood is away from your digestive system so adrenaline plays a big role in digestion it causes the stomach to well relax okay then we have the intrinsic nervous system that has to do with the debt this is a large network and a labyrinth of nerves that ultimately end up at our guts and wire a lot of our intestinal tracts and what ends up happening is whenever we have food in our system even in our esophagus it expands and these nerves register that signal well this registration of the signal sends another signal to the brain that says wait a minute there’s food we can go ahead and either relax the process or trigger the process as much as we need to so that’s a brief explanation of how the digestive system works but now let’s get to the fun stuff let’s get to what you want to hear alright let’s start with the foods that you should avoid and these aren’t specific foods these are more generalized types of foods you need to avoid the first one is going to be phytates also known as phytic acid and more scientifically known as inositol hexa phosphate basically what it is is it’s something that really slows down digestion and you’re gonna find it in almonds you’re gonna find it in a lot of nuts you’re usually gonna find it in the skin or the husk of brown rice and a lot of times you’re gonna find it in wheat too so anything that’s really hard to break down because it has a husk usually has phytic acid in it now it’s a digestive survival component so basically it makes it so that if an animal were to eat it it would be able to survive all the way through digestion which when you think about it isn’t exactly good for us because we want to absorb our food now this hexa phosphate what that actually stands for is the fact that it has six phosphate molecules now when you have something that has that many phosphate molecules is what is known as a very highly charged particle now when you have six phosphorus molecules like that each time a phosphorous is cleaved off you’re producing a lot of energy that high abundance of energy that causes it to chelate different minerals and different metals in the body so what does that mean for you it means all the minerals like the magnesium phosphorus and all the iron everything you’re trying to absorb is getting chelated in the gut and not getting absorbed well but to add insult to injury the phytic acid is also an amylase inhibitor and also a pepsin inhibitor which means it’s going to slow down the digestion of starches and it’s going to slow down the digestion of proteins so it’s not just the phytic acid itself that’s hard to digest it’s making it hard to digest other food too next up is lectins which I recently did a video on lectins you’re gonna find in beans and you’re gonna find a lot in wheat now here’s the thing with lectins they’re only bad if you really have them in excess but if you have them in excess they will really cramp your style no pun intended basically the particles and leptons are so darn big that they don’t absorb very well they don’t break down so what do they do they run through your intestinal tract like a bowling ball destroying your v lie your V lie is what actually absorbs nutrients and when those villi are destroyed well what do you have to absorb nutrients you just get these big ol particles that are barely making it through into the bloodstream undigested causing all kinds of damage and autoimmune issues so in short you want to make sure you cook your beans all the way and that you’re not going crazy on them okay so that’s enough of that let’s get into the best foods that you can eat they’re going to help you absorb more nutrients the first one is coconut oil now I’m not just saying this cause coconut oil is healthy okay sure lauric acid has mana Lauren that’s great it’s going to help you digest it’s gonna help you put good bacteria back in your gut but is it going to help you absorb other nutrients yes it will in fact there was a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry that found compared to polyunsaturated fats coconut oil increased the absorption of carotenoids that were found in tomatoes dramatically more and the reason behind this is generally because of the medium chain triglycerides the MCTS see that coconut oil absorbs a lot easier and it doesn’t have to go through the liver for digestion which means fat soluble vitamins will bind to the MCTS and get carried into the bloodstream a lot easier meaning you’re absorbing more nutrients and absorbing more vitamins when you’re consuming it with coconut oil versus a polyunsaturated fat okay so no coconut oil is good what about the other ones prebiotic and probiotic combinations of foods we’re talking about a symbiotic relationship here we’re not just taking probiotic foods and we’re not just taking prebiotic foods we’re trying to combine them so what does this look like well it looks like combining things like a little bit of yogurt let me be a little bit of sauerkraut and a prebiotic fiber like asparagus you see prebiotics grow existing bacteria in the gut probiotics add new bacteria and so when you think about it you combine the two you’ve got a happy marriage you’re adding new bacteria in and then you’re fertilizing it with something like asparagus that’s a prebiotic fiber so the trick is to combine those things it may sound crazy but putting asparagus on a burger with a little bit of sauerkraut actually tastes pretty good especially if you slice the asparagus really thin anyway I digress that’s just a personal recipe of mine now lastly is bone broth I’m always talking about bone broth I’m a huge personal fan of it and the reason is when it comes down to nutrient absorption it is something that’s called a hydrophilic colloid now sounds fancy but all it means is that bone broth is going to allow the gastric juices to stay in the gut a lot more when you retain a lot more of the gastric juices and a lot more of the water in your gut it not only makes it so you have a healthier immune system and a healthier gut digestive process but you’re actually able to absorb more nutrients in the first place see those gastric juices are what contain all the enzymes and contain all the bacteria that you need so if you have those juices retain in the colon where they should be it’s going to make it that much easier for the small intestine to do its job and transfer nutrients into the bloodstream now as always I’m a big fan of kettle and fire bone broth I work them closely I’ve helped them with product development and I’m a good friend with their owner so you can always take advantage of my exclusive price on kettle and fire the purpose of this video isn’t just at out of product it’s to talk about all the different things that you can do to start benefiting your immune system benefiting your gut and getting the most and the best digestion that you possibly can so remember avoid the lectins limit the phytic acid roast those almonds and get them without the skin whenever possible blanched is better and try to get as much of the coconut oil the prebiotic and probiotic foods as well as bone broth as you possibly can as always keep it locked in here in my channel and I will see you in the next video
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Digestive System’s Regulators:
The hormones that control digestion are gastrin, secretin, and cholecystokinin (CCK): Gastrin causes the stomach to produce an acid for dissolving and digesting some foods. Secretin stimulates the stomach to produce pepsin, an enzyme that digests protein, and stimulates the liver to produce bile. CCK causes the pancreas to grow and to produce the enzymes of pancreatic juice, and it causes the gallbladder to empty. Nerve regulators come in two types of that help to control the action of the digestive system: Extrinsic nerves come to the digestive organs from the unconscious part of the brain or from the spinal cord and release acetylcholine and adrenaline. Intrinsic nerves make up a very dense network embedded in the walls of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon (2)
2 Worst Foods – Soak, sprout, or ferment to reduce phytic acid content:
Phytic Acid- Phytates can bind to certain dietary minerals in the gut; including iron, zinc, manganese and, to a lesser extent calcium, and slow their absorption. Phytic acid also inhibits the digestive enzymes amylase, trypsin and pepsin – amylase breaks down starch, while both pepsin and trypsin are needed to break down protein. In simple terms, phytic acid binds to minerals, metals and anything else it can get its hands on to and takes them out of the body with it (2,3)
Lectins- ind with the intestinal lining, specifically the villi of the small intestine and when the villi are damaged by lectins the body is unable to effectively digest and absorb nutrients from the small intestine. This can lead to a leaky gut in which the intestinal lining has open gaps and now lectins and other particles and pathogenic organisms are able to get directly into the bloodstream (5,6)
3 Best Foods:
Coconut Oil-A study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry compared the effects of coconut oil (a saturated fat) versus safflower oil (a polyunsaturated fat) on the absorption of carotenoids from tomatoes (7)
Prebiotics & Probiotics- Prebiotics and probiotics help good bacteria form in the gut, which improve and enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Bone Broth- Helps heal and seal your gut, and enhances the absorption of nutrients – the gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid, meaning it attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion (protects and seals the mucosal lining of the GI tract)
Contains glutamine that has protective effects on intestinal mucosa by decreasing bacteremia and epithelial cell apoptosis, enhancing gut barrier function, and influencing gut immune response – glutamine can fight against bad gut flora by protecting against mucosal breakdown in the gut as well
1) The Digestive System & How it Works | NIDDK. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2) Do You Know How Your Digestive System Absorbs Nutrients? (2017, March 8). Retrieved from
3) Are Phytates Bad or Good? – Dr. Weil. (n.d.). Retrieved from
4) Phytic Acid: Defining and Dealing With A Common Antinutrient | Nourishing Days. (n.d.). Retrieved from
5) All about lectins: Here’s what you need to know | Precision Nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved from
6) Why You Should Avoid Lectins in Your Diet! – DrJockers.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from
7) Conlon LE , et al. (n.d.). Coconut oil enhances tomato carotenoid tissue accumulation compared to safflower oil in the Mongolian gerbil ( Meriones unguiculatus ). – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from 7