A balanced diet is needed to meet your nutritional needs on a daily basis. To get the nutrition you need, most of your calories should come from:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Lean proteins

When you eat healthy, not only do you get the nutrition you need, it’s also easier to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Maintaining a healthy diet also helps to ensure that what you consume is properly digested, which is beneficial to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is an important organ system that breaks food down into nutrients, which can then be absorbed into the body to provide energy and expel the remaining wastes. Some of the ways the GI tract does this is through producing secretions; some including: hormones, digestive enzymes, bicarbonate and bile.

If you’re meeting your body’s energy and nutrient needs, your GI motility typically continues to function properly. However, if you are not fueling your body, this could potentially result in several GI complications. A few examples of GI complications associated with inadequate nutrient and energy intake include: gastroparesis and constipation. Gastroparesis is defined as delayed gastric emptying – your stomach cannot empty food in a normal manner. This leaves you feeling bloated and experiencing pain. You may become potentially nauseous, and blood sugars may be affected as well, which in turn affect mood.

Several health complications that could be affected by altered GI function include:

  • Impaired nutrient utilization
  • Changes in ability to digest or absorb nutrients
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety and depression

The risk of health complications due to improper GI function is one of many reasons why maintaining a healthy diet and getting the nutrients you need is essential. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can teach you strategies to improve your eating habits If you’re having trouble with GI function. Maintaining a healthy diet that gives you what you need to meet your nutritional needs will help ensure your body functions as it should. A behavioral therapist can identify different ways to improve your diet and put a plan in place to keep you on track.

Get in touch with Behavioral Nutrition to learn more about the importance of meeting your nutrition needs and the best ways to maintain good eating habits. Contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of Behavioral Therapists.