Simply put: we are what we eat. But, what if what we are eating isn’t being digested properly? Optimal digestion is a key factor in obtaining optimal health.
Think about it: digestion is the means by which our body breaks down and assimilates the nutrients that we eat. These nutrients are needed for each and every process in our body. This includes manufacturing proteins to build muscle, hair and skin cells; making the brain chemicals that we need to balance mood, experience happiness, and stay alert during the day while having a restful sleep at night. It means that our nerves are firing the way they should be to maintain a healthy heart rate and rhythm, to coordinate muscle movement, and to be able to think clearly. It means we have the building blocks to make hormones, and sustain a healthy immune system and fight off disease. As you can see, integrating the nutrients that we eat is integral to creating optimal health.
Without proper digestion and assimilation of the food we eat, the nutrients we require may not get to the tissues that need them. As described above, this can result in a number of different symptoms, conditions, and diseases, depending on our own biochemical individuality [rollover description, and insert link to What is a Biological Individuality Assessment?] and genetic weaknesses. There are a variety of factors that can impact our ability to properly digest our food. These include: stress, older age, poor diet, food sensitivities, lacking the nutrients needed to make digestive enzymes, dehydration, overgrowth of bad microbes in the gut, and use of antibiotics (which disrupt the gut microbiome), to name a few.
Biochemical individuality is the idea that while we all have the same biologic processes, because of genetic differences and environmental factors, the dietary/nutrient needs to optimize these biologic processes is different for each individual. (This concept helps to explain why one person can smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol every day of their life and not get cancer, but another individual, who never smokes or drinks a day in their life but is exposed to second-hand smoke through their environment, can be diagnosed with stage-3 lung cancer.)