What Role Does Mucus Play in Digestion?

Woman holding model of human intestines in front of body on white background

For those that suffer from allergies or sinus infections, you may get the impression that mucus is a bad thing. There is even OTC medicines to help remove the excess of mucus. However, what if I told you that mucus is very important and vital to our body and health?

Mucus plays a hugely important role in digestion, in addition to helping establish the overall health of other areas of your body.

In this article we’ll focus just on how mucus helps in mechanical digestion, and why you need to make sure that your body has a suitable amount.

Why does it help?

The first question to answer regarding mucus and its role in digestion is why mucus is a helpful substance. Mucus, though it doesn’t look like it, helps destroy bacteria and viruses, in addition to trapping particles, preventing water loss, lubricating the movement of materials through your body, and protects all the surfaces it touches from damage.

You have mucus in your mouth, in the form of saliva, and even in your eyes. The viscosity of the mucus depends on where it’s located in your body. In your nose, for examples, it’s thicker in order to fight against the potential viruses, dirt, and other irritants which can easily enter the nose. With your digestive tract, however, mucus is a bit different.

How does mucus help digestion?

Your stomach is lined by a protective layer of mucus, which is responsible for creating the enzymes that help your body digest proteins. Additionally, the mucus lining your stomach helps prevent your stomach lining from the negative effects of excessive exposure to acid or pepsin.

Now, as for your digestive tract specifically – mucus helps there as well. Since mucus works to lubricate items in your body for easy movement from one area of the body to another, it’s important to have enough in your intestinal tract.

The intestines can easily be perforated or otherwise harmed by sharp objects you’ve eaten that haven’t been completely ground down yet (potato chips, crackers, etc.). Mucus coats these objects so they flow through your intestines at a much more productive rate, ensuring that your body is able to process the food you eat as efficiently as possible.

Mucus from beginning to end:

Now that you can see how mucus is important in many different aspects of your health, let’s look at the process it plays from beginning to end in your digestive system.

First, the saliva in your mouth (a form of mucus) breaks down your food, fights bacteria in your mouth, and removes plaque from your teeth. Then the mucus lining your throat lubricates the food as it enters your stomach.

There, the protective mucus membrane on the lining of your stomach protects it from acid exposure. Once it’s done in your stomach, the food moves to your intestines where it’s once again coated in mucus to move freely through your entire digestive tract.

It may not be outwardly apparent, but without mucus it’s easy to see that our bodies wouldn’t function as well as they could.

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

http://goldylocks.mynsp.com

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25 Ways to Increase Fiber Daily

Fiber is one of those often-overlooked necessities.

You know you need it, and you like it when you have it, but it doesn’t top the list the way Protein or Omega-3 does.

Fiber is pretty important to supporting cardiovascular and digestive health, so why the fiber hate? Because when most of us think fiber, we think fibrous, and cardboard-esque. Not very appetizing. Luckily there are a lot of ways to add fiber to your diet without compromising on taste, texture, or appeal. Here are 25 ways you can increase your daily fiber intake.

  1. Use whole fruit: It is tempting to use fruit juice in your morning smoothie or protein drink, but if you drop a whole apple or orange in your high powered blender, rather than the juice, you are going to get as much as 3 grams more fiber.
  2. Sprinkle on the flax seed or chia: You can stir a few spoonfuls into cereal, granola, yogurt, etc, to add extra fiber to what you are already eating.
  3. Sub nectar for juice: It has more pulp and more fiber, giving you a fiber boost with each glass.
  4. Eat nut butters: Almond butter, cashew butter, and other nut butters can be spread on toast, pancakes, and more for an additional few grams of fiber, a tasty treat, and a great dose of healthy fats. Just look for the lower sugar options to keep it healthy.
  5. Drink cocoa instead of coffee. While the caffeine boost of coffee is great, cocoa has a lot more fiber, as much as 3 g per cup!

 

Need more fiber? Try Nature’s Sunshine: Everybody’s Fiber or Psyllium Hulls Combination

 

Also:

  1. Eat more beans. Throw a few spoonfuls into your favorite soup, lentils and beans have a good amount of fiber.
  2. Add spice to your dish. A teaspoon of oregano or basil can add a gram of fiber.
  3. Use sesame seed buns instead of plain.
  4. Choose whole wheat over white flour. This can add more fiber per serving for whatever you are eating.
  5. Add the greens. Cabbage, kale, spinach, etc. all have fiber, so stack your sandwich high, put some on your burger or dog, and eat it on the side.
  6. Snack on popcorn. Popcorn has a lot more fiber than a bag of potato chips, so next time you need a salty snack, choose popcorn!
  7. Eat nuts and dried fruits. When you have the choice, pick up a handful of trail mix for a snack rather than a bar or square, the mix will have about twice as much fiber!
  8. Choose sweet potato instead of white. They have 2 grams more fiber.
  9. Add a side of cooked veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are all great for adding fiber, and cooking them makes the fiber more readily available to your body!
  10. Choose berries. Add fresh sliced berries instead of syrups, and when you have the option pick raspberries over strawberries or blueberries as they boast nearly twice the amount of fiber.
  11. Eat pears. If looking for a quick snack, try a pear, preferably an Asian pear, as they have as much as 5 grams of fiber, and can be eaten raw, with a nut butter, or prepared a number of ways. Just be sure to eat the skin.
  12. Try oatmeal and oat bran. Swap out your regular breakfast for a steamy cup of oatmeal for a great fiber increase. Top with berries or bananas for even more fiber.
  13. Artichokes are low calorie and have a ton of fiber. Make a soup, dip in a low calorie dip, or make into a dip, and enjoy!
  14. Add green peas. Keeping a bag of frozen green peas on hand is a great way to add fiber to your diet without fuss. Stir them into macaroni and cheese, throw some atop a salad, or add them as a side dish to any meal for about 9 grams of fiber per cup.
  15. Lentils and Bulgar: Experiment with lentils and whole grains you may not be familiar with. Try them in your regular recipes for added fiber and flavor.
  16. Squash. There are so many varieties of squash, from spaghetti, which makes a great substitute for grain noodles, to butternut, which makes excellent soup. Squash is packed with fiber, so add more squash to your diet.
  17. Vegetables: Add vegetables to everything you can, from an extra helping in your morning omelets, to veggies in your spaghetti sauce. They are a great source of insoluble fiber.
  18. Go ethnic: American foods often have lower fiber than ethnic cuisines, so try something from Mexico, the Middle East, or the Mediterranean, which usually have beans, lentils, and other good sources of fiber.
  19. Up your dips: Dipping is fun, but try hummus, bean dips, and artichoke dips which are both full of fiber as opposed to a dressing.
  20. Add a little when baking. Give your cookies, cakes, breads, and muffins more fiber by subbing in some whole-wheat flour and oats.

 

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman, Nature’s Sunshine Independent Distributor and Holistic Health Practitioner

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12 Ways Aloe Vera Juice Might Make You a Healthier Person

I personally enjoy 2 oz. of Aloe Vera Juice in my morning glass of unsweetened cranberry juice. I also have an additional 1 to 2 oz. later on during the day as well, added in my water. It does have a taste, but I have gotten use to it. After you start to feel how much the Aloe Vera Juice helps you, the taste will totally be worth it!

Directions: Add 2 to 6 oz of Aloe Vera Juice daily to water, juice or even the into protein shakes.

https://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/aloe-vera-juice-32-fl-oz/1680/?actid=3044357

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

 

Aloe Vera Juice

 

But, how does it taste?!

That’s often the first question people ask when considering whether to add aloe vera juice to their diet.

Maybe you’ve heard stories about mothers who use the juice to get babies to stop sucking their pacifiers.

All I can say is that tolerating the unusual taste of aloe vera juice is definitely worth it!

And it’s probably even a good thing. Beware of companies that claim their juice doesn’t have an unpleasant taste. The process for removing the taste can leave the juice with only 10 to 15 percent aloe vera.

And sky’s the limit when it comes to the benefits of drinking aloe vera juice on a regular basis:

  • Regulates Digestion
  • Get Lots of Vitamins and Minerals
  • Maintain Dental Health
  • Supports Cholesterol Levels Already in the Normal Range
  • Promote Hair Growth

That’s just the beginning!

The benefits are practically endless, and impossible to summarize in an article like this.

1. Stay Regular

Along with cleansing the body, drinking aloe vera can also improve digestion and colon health, which for many people can make many health problems better. As they say, “the road to health is paved with good intestines.”

2. Consume Lots of Vitamins

vitaminsAloe vera juice is a vitamin storehouse.

Vitamin A.

Vitamin C.

Vitamin E.

Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12… aloe vera juice has them all!

3. Hydrate

Drinking aloe vera juice can keep you well-hydrated and feeling great. And staying hydrated can ward of thirst that leads to hunger and fatigue.

4. Absorb Minerals

Aloe vera juice contains lots of minerals that your body needs every single day. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron… these are just a few human staples aloe vera juice can provide in spades.

5. Support Blood Sugar Levels Already in the Normal Range

Since aloe vera juice can support blood sugar, drinking it regularly can be good for many.

 

longhair6. Stimulate Hair Growth

Want longer hair?

Try drinking some aloe vera juice! The juice can help moisturize and maintain the right PH balance.

 

7. Protect Those Pearly Whites

Aloe vera juice is rich in the vitamins and minerals that promote dental health by protecting your mouth and gums. You’ve probably even seen toothpaste that contains aloe vera.

8. Supports the Immune System

Rich in vitamin c, a few shots of aloe vera juice can help support the respiratory system.

9. Cleanse the System

Stress and the crappy food we eat can leave our bodies full of harmful toxins that every once in a while should be removed.

fortressIt’s vitamins, minerals and other trace elements that help keep the body clean.

10. Fights Free Radicals

We’ve hardly talked at all about antioxidants.

But aloe vera juice has those too… the antioxidants that can fight off harmful free radicals.

Drinking aloe vera juice regularly will give you a good chance of boosting your immunity to sickness.

11.Supports Healthy Skin

Some experts say drinking aloe vera juice is a great way to control skin issues.

Along with hydrating the body (which is key), the nutrients in aloe vera juice may support healthy inflammation.

12. Support cholesterol levels already in the normal range

By reducing triglycerides, aloe vera juice can be great for supporting healthy cholesterol levels.

 

Conclusion

There was a time when people had to make their own aloe vera juice to enjoy the many health benefits of this amazing concoction. Today, aloe vera juice is much easier to find.

Just in case you still think the juice isn’t right for you, let’s review the list of benefits one last time:

  1. Stay Regular
  2. Consume Lots of Vitamins
  3. Hydrate
  4. Absorb Minerals
  5. Support Blood Sugar Levels Already in the Normal Range
  6. Stimulate Hair Growth
  7. Protect Those Pearly Whites
  8. Supports Immune System
  9. Cleanse the System
  10. Fights Free Radicals
  11. Supports Healthy Skin
  12. Supports Cholesterol Levels Already in the Normal Range

 

~Dan Bischoff

Dan is a fanatical health nut who religiously takes supplements every day. And when he’s not taking supplements, he’s reading just about every health article he can find. He’s addicted to NSP’s Nature’s Harvest, Ionic Minerals, Relief Formula and Chlorophyll ES.

Original post: http://blog.naturessunshine.com/en/12-ways-aloe-vera-juice-might-make-you-a-healthier-person/

 

Q & A with NSP Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Matt Tripp to discuss Nature’s Sunshine’s newest products.

Q: “Microbiome” is one of the natural health industry’s latest buzzwords. What is it and why is it important?
A: Outside of the lab, organisms rarely live in isolation, but instead live in complex communities; this relationship is referred to as symbiosis. The human body contains about 100 trillion cells, 90 trillion of which are bacteria and fungi that live on us and in us and perform needed or harmful activities. Some of them help with digestion or help extract vitamins or nutrients from food. Others can cause serious illness when not kept in check. Over the past 10 years or so, researchers have discovered that some gut bacteria – when not kept in check by a healthy microbiome – can produce enough endotoxins to trigger a host of problems. For example, endotoxins in the bloodstream have been associated with blood sugar imbalance and weight management issues. If you think of the gut being its own ecosystem, that’s a good analogy for a microbiome.
The health of the microbiome is directly linked with energy levels, immune system health and more. So it’s vital to keep the gut healthy for overall wellbeing.
Q: What steps can a person take to properly care for his/her microbiome?
A: Maintaining a healthy microbiome begins with diet as what we eat can influence the balance of gut microflora. Eating a high-fiber, low-carb diet with lots of vegetables and plenty of protein supports healthy glucose levels, staves off hunger and sugar cravings, and supports pancreatic health. Certain fermentable fibers such as inulin (onions are a good source) give the gut bacteria a vital food source while protein nourishes the body and helps with satiety without overworking the pancreas.
Next we can support the microbiome with key nutrients:
Berberine is a constituent found in a few plants that not only helps support the microbiome, it helps support already-balanced blood sugar levels.
Probiotics (friendly flora) taken daily help maintain the levels of good bacteria in the gut. NutriBiome™ Bacillus Coagulans is able to survive the acidic environment of the stomach, unlike most strains that can lose up to 95% of their viable microbes.
Love and Peas® Sugar Free is a high-protein, low-carb meal replacement powder that allows us the health benefits of nutritious protein, including a feeling of fullness without animal products, gluten, dairy or sugar.
Q: Does cleansing help the gut stay healthy?
A: Yes, periodic cleansing can help remove accumulating waste and toxins from the body, including the microbiome, which is important to helping maintain a healthy balance.
The body is home to two large groups of firmicutes and bacteroides bacteria. Firmicutes extract more energy from food, which is largely unnecessary in today’s western society. Further, some produce potentially harmful endotoxins. These should be eliminated.
New CleanStart® Mild is an effective cleansing program that features psyllium, triphala Ayurvedic fruit blend, bentonite and magnesium. It works in several ways:
supports the body’s natural, everyday cleansing of waste and environmental toxins
provides 5 grams of fiber per serving to help gently move contents through the digestive system for elimination
supports the body’s natural processes of detoxification of the liver, kidneys and bowel
helps maintain energy levels and supports well-being
helps support repopulation of the microbiome with Bacillus coagulans
For best results, consult your physician about using a CleanStart® program two or three times a year for cleansing benefits.
Q: What else helps with toxins?
A: Our new Detox Basics formula was designed to help with DAILY detoxification. Cleansing is only advised from time to time, but we can nourish the body with important nutrients (included in Detox Basics) every day to provide needed detox support:
Milk thistle for liver detoxification support
Berberine for gut health support and to combat endotoxins
N-Acetyl-Cysteine to help upregulate critical cytochrome P450 enzymes, which help process potentially toxic compounds including drugs
Turmeric and Vitamin C to support the immune system
Bacillus coagulans produces lactic acid in the gut, which changes the microenvironment to support healthy microbiome balance
Eating cruciferous vegetables also helps because they assist in hormone balance and in the breakdown of toxins and excretion of heavy metals.
When we clean up the gut and resupply the “good guys,” we give our microbiome the best chance to not just survive, but thrive.
Q: What makes new NutriBiome Bacillus coagulans unique?
A: Bacillus coagulans is a unique, gut-friendly, spore-forming bacteria. Studies show that this strain provides relief from digestive upset, including occasional diarrhea, bloating and gas. It helps detoxify the microbiome and supports immune health. Interestingly, Bacillus coagulans is a heat-stable spore, so it’s got a higher survival rate in the stomach’s acidic environment than most probiotics. That makes Bacillus coagulans highly versatile and portable. I think people will really love it.

REMOVE, REPAIR, REPLENISH…
Take care of your microbiome with world-class
quality products from Nature’s Sunshine.~ Note from Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman; I am an Independent Distributor for Nature’s Sunshine Products. (NSP) If you have any questions on the products, please contact me.

http://www.whitesagewoman.com/Nature-s-Sunshine-Products.html