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How's Your Gut Health?

Lisa Wright Burbach

As you age (Prime Time), you need to trust your gut. Really. There’s a difference

between good gut feelings and painful ones, such as heart burn, indigestion and

constipation. During the Prime Time time of life, your body’s need for certain nutrients goes up…but, perhaps you’ve noticed, your tolerance for certain foods goes down.

The keys to eating are two words: smaller and slower. But before we can

truly understand why we need to eat differently, it helps to know a little bit more

about why your gut behaves differently as we age.

1. The stomach shrinks. As we age, there is a decrease in what is called

“gastrointestinal reserve.” In other words, our stomach muscle is less stretchable

(can’t hold as much food) and the intestines lose strength (food moves more slowly).

No more bingeing and gorging like a teenager, your gut just can’t take it.

2. Acid refluxes. The muscular valve that keeps the food in your stomach and prevents

it from being regurgitated back into the esophagus becomes weaker. When we eat too

much too fast, we get that “burny” sensation and irritate that sensitive lining of the


3. Digestion slows. As we grow older, our intestinal function, saliva production, and

stomach emptying all slow down.

4. Nutrient absorption slows. The normal folds of the intestine get flatter as we age and decreases the absorption surface, which may cause the intestines to be less able to

absorb nutrients.

5. Garbage disposal weakens. Once your large intestine disposes of waste, any remains toxins from the digestive process head to the backup disposal, your liver. Your liver has a lot of reserve, but as you age its reserve decreases. Too much garbage (junky or excess food) clogs your disposal system.

6. Metabolism slows. As we age, we become calorie storers instead of calorie burners.

Less fuel burned means less food needed.

7. Drink Water. Drinking water helps healthy bowel function by helping dissolve fiber more easily.

8. Prebiotics and Probiotics. Healthy gut bacteria help break down foods and increase the amount of vitamins and minerals we receive from food. Prebiotics are a family of non-digestible, fermentable carbohydrates (soluble dietary fiber) and are not digested or absorbed in the stomach or small intestine, but instead reach the colon intact, where they are fermented and serve as a food source for beneficial probiotic bacteria, such Prebiotics are specific dietary fibers, food ingredients, that are consumed by beneficial bacteria (probiotics). Supplements can provide prebiotics and probiotics. - Shaklee Health Resource

What are we to do? Grazing is on option; small, frequent mini meals, which will keep your body satisfied—neither hungry, nor uncomfortably full. Other options include eating mindfully, choosing more whole food plant based foods that are especially fiber rich, avoiding junk food, and stop eating when you recognize that you are around 80% full.

Many of the negative changes can be avoided through proper nutrition, mindful eating, and healthy Lifestyles. Book an appointment today to learn what steps you can take for better health.

Adapted from Dr. Sears Wellness Institute with permission

Quick Tip

Be kind to your gut as you’re making changes to your diet! Add things gradually and

make the overall adjustment gentler. Your gut will thank you for it!




I received my Master Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

My Husband Van, an Environmental Geologist, and I are also Independent Shaklee Distributors and enjoy helping people and the environment. We believe the like Shaklee does that the home should be the safest place you go, and we help you create that safe place.

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