Home' Nova National : NOVA NATIONAL JANUARY 12 Contents people are not aware of. Basically, your
emotions will affect your digestive process.
Your brain and stomach continually
communicate with each other during
your entire lifetime via this ENS. This
network of nerves, neurotransmitters
and hormonal substances is interactive
throughout this entire communication.
All the neurotransmitters found in our
brain can also be found in the ENS and
So, your emotions can have a huge
effect on your physiological functioning.
People may even experience mood swings
and depression after over indulging in
rich foods, particularly those laden with
fat and sugar. Constipation, another
unfortunate side effect, can make people
irritable, impatient and even angry. This
is all a reflection of the initial digestive
Emotional stimuli will affect your
nervous system and, in turn, have a
negative impact on your stomach and
bowel function. A good example would
be feeling tense and anxious prior to a
meeting, yet you are about to eat. The
anxiety and perhaps nervousness will be
“digested” along with the food you eat.
Every emotion is assimilated, thereby
affecting the physiology of the body.
Research has indicated that auto-
immune disorders can manifest through
a malfunctioning digestive system.
Crohn’s disease and coeliac disease are
both examples of where leaky gut syn-
drome could have been present for some
time prior to such disorders manifesting.
Many people simply put up with early
signs such as bloating, wind, frequent
flatulence, reflux and minor allergies.
Esophageal reflux is now being referred
to as GERD or gastro esophageal reflux
disorder. All these signs are indicating
that you need to make changes with diet
and lifestyle. Eating foods you like too
often can create allergy triggers; some
foods are potentially allergy producing
and need to be eliminated, such as wheat
and dairy products from cows. It requires
you to check all food labels since wheat,
in particular, is included in so many
products. But once you get used to
alternative grains that are now available,
such as chia, kamut, rye, amaranth and
quinoa, you will notice improvement in
your gastrointestinal function.
Anyone wishing to lose weight will
experience more success if they relax
during meal times. Putting your focus
100% on your food at that time will allow
the digestive enzymes to work more
efficiently while your mind stays calm and
more centred. You will find you eat less
when you are relaxed.
Adrenal exhaustion can also occur
with people who literally burn the candle
at both ends. Insufficient sleep (anything
less than seven hours a day), poor quality
sleep (continually waking through the
night and inability to get to sleep), and
the need to be constantly on the go will
not only deplete your body of adrenalin,
but also over tax your entire nervous
system. This also applies when life
presents stressful and traumatic situations
that are long term in your life. The
adrenals are greatly affected here and
herbal tonics to restore optimum function
are required to ensure you feel energetic,
motivated and happy again.
continued page 29
year of abundant health
and vitality, it’s vital to
ensure our digestive
system is working well, says
naturopath Lyn Craven.
n our quest for optimum health,
nothing is more important than
a digestive system that is working
efficiently. This is the foundation of
allergies, reflux, ulceration and a variety
of bowel disorders can result from an
inefficient digestive system.
The old herbalists always referred to
the stomach as being the “Seat of
Disease”. If the food you eat is not being
efficiently assimilated and digested, then
you will experience a myriad of disorders
Essentially, keeping to a diet consisting
of fresh healthy foods whether you are
vegetarian or a meat eater is a good start.
Quality and preparation of food is always
important, but even organic food that is
not digested and assimilated fully will fail
to benefit optimally if the digestive
system is malfunctioning.
Stress can have an enormous impact
on the efficiency of the digestive process.
People who rush their meals, eat on the
run, work and read while eating, gulp their
food down and drink constantly during
and immediately after food consumption
or eat fatty take away foods, are prime
subjects for a disturbed digestive system.
This habitual pattern can continue over
months and years, eventually producing
discomfort, varied symptoms and other
I come across many people who say
they simply don’t have time to eat lunch
at work, or that they must eat while they
work. They will eventually pay the price for
this, since eating is something that should
be enjoyed in pleasant surroundings,
ideally quiet and relaxing. Obviously some
work environments may not provide
such situations, but the best you can do is
switch off from your work mentally for
at least 20 - 30 minutes and simply focus
on enjoying your food.
Skipping meals through the day
because you are “too busy” or you simply
can’t be bothered to eat is also detrimental
to your health. People who are concerned
about their weight and appearance
often skip breakfast and skimp on lunch,
perhaps just having one piece of fruit.
This is inadequate nutrition for the entire
body. You will not only create disturbance
with the digestion and bowels, but your
energy resources will be depleted and
your adrenaline output will be diminished
with your blood sugar levels plummeting.
Basically, there is a complete break down
in the body resulting in malnutrition.
Eating is paramount to good health,
energy and weight loss! Yes, you can lose
weight more efficiently by eating! You
need to continually stoke the “internal
fire” (your digestive system) in order for
it to work efficiently. Liken it to a fire
requiring constant fuel in order to burn.
But by the same token you mustn’t
overload the fire, but wait for the embers
to burn down; otherwise stagnation
Our emotional nature and how we
“digest” our emotions and thoughts also
plays an enormous part in what occurs in
the stomach. The mind-body connection
is constantly active by way of the enteric
nervous system (ENS), a system many
‘Eating is paramount to
good health, energy and
20 © nOVa january 2012
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