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5 Reasons Why Diet is Not Enough

By Jodi Cohen

A group of glasses of different colored drinks.

While your diet plays an important role in maintaining good health, it sadly is not enough.

No matter how pristine you keep your diet, nutrients will not be delivered to your cells if your body is unable to digest, absorb, assimilate and eliminate the usable nutrients from the food you are eating.

It is the nutrients in your food that provide the energy to fuel your body and serve as the building blocks for your physical structure and organs.

Unfortunately, several factors can interfere with your body’s ability to access and absorb and assimilate nutrients from your food.  Addressing the following 5 issues can help you enhance your ability to assimilate nutrients and reduce that bottlenecks that can interfere with nutrient absorption and waste elimination.

5 Reasons Why Diet is Not Enough

1. Brain Function

When your brain is not functioning well, nothing else in the body functions well, including your ability to digest, absorb, assimilate and eliminate your nutrients.  This is because signals from your brain, sent via your vagus nerve, turn on your digestive function.

Your autonomic nervous system, which controls all automatic functions in your body including  digestion, vacillates between two states. In your survival state, known as the sympathetic “Fight or Flight” state, all resources are allocated to surviving — blood flow is routed away from the organs of digestion and toward the limbs and muscles so we can quickly flee from danger.  You cannot properly assimilate your nutrients when blood flow is routed away from your digestive system.

In order to properly assimilate nutrients, you need to eat in the parasympathetic “Rest, Digest and Heal” state.  Stimulating your vagus nerve with Parasympathetic® oil triggers your parasympathetic response, which turns on your digestive process:

  • Your mouth releases saliva

  • Your stomach produces HCL acid

  • Your pancreas secretes enzymes

  • Your gall bladder releases bile

  • Your sphincters open and close contributing to motility, allowing nutrients and waste to move through the digestive system and be properly eliminated.

When you attempt to eat under stress, in a sympathetic state, you compromise your ability to assimilate your nutrients and eliminate waste.

To support optimal brain function and enhance digestion, apply Parasympathetic® behind the mastoid bone before meals. When you apply it, take a few deep breaths, with the exhalation longer than the inhalation to fully relax and turn on digestion prior to meals.

2. Adrenal Function

You need energy and vitality to digest your food and assimilate nutrients.  Your adrenal glands provide that energy in the form of the stress hormone cortisol. If your adrenal function is diminished, as in the case of adrenal fatigue, it slows down digestion. This can lead to bloating, constipation, and acid re-flux.  Conversely, if your adrenals are overactive, as in the case of hyperadrenia, the excess cortisol can make you feel buzzed or anxious and unable to shift into the parasympathetic state for digestion.

To support your adrenal function and balance both low and high adrenal function, apply 1- 2 drops of Adrenal® over your adrenal glands (on the lower mid-back, one fist above the 12th rib on each side).  In addition, Parasympathetic® helps take your body out of a sympathetic state, so that adrenals can recuperate.

3. Intestinal Health

The lining of your small intestine, known as your intestinal mucosal lining, serves as a selectively permeable barrier, helping to establish normal gut flora so nutrients can be absorbed. More specifically, the intestinal mucosa supports the optimal environment for healthy gut flora which is necessary to feed the cells of your intestinal lining, known as enterocytes.  In turn, your enterocytes are responsible the selective uptake of beneficial nutrients, which makes them critical for proper digestion and assimilation.  Your enterocytes also help secrete waste and block pathogens from entering your system.

Why Diet is not Enough, different juices on counterUnfortunately, chronic stress, environmental toxins, food allergies, antibiotics, poor digestion, inflammation, and processed foods all degrade the beneficial bacteria in your intestinal mucosal lining.  As a result, the tissue itself can become damaged, compromising your ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients. This can also contribute to inflammation of the small intestine, known as leaky gut, where your body can become allergic to foods that could otherwise nourish it.

You can support small intestinal health, by both eliminating inflammatory foods and helping to regenerate your intestinal mucosa to support the healthy balance of gut flora necessary to re-colonize and heal the gut!  Think of the intestinal mucosa as the fertile soil in which the flora can grow. Interestingly, Natasha Campbell-McBride notes that the blood-brain barrier is made out of the same cells and flora as the gut wall and the blood-brain barrier also renews itself all the time.

Intestinal Mucosa™ gently permeates topically through the skin to regenerate and heal the mucosal lining of the small intestine and increase optimal nutrient absorption and support healthy microbiome.  Apply 2- 3 drops of Intestinal Mucosa™ in a clockwise circle around the belly button 2 -3 times daily to help digest, absorb and assimilate nutrients via the digestive process.

While your intestinal mucosa is the fastest regenerating tissue of the body, it only regenerates when in the Parasympathetic state, so applying Parasympathetic® over the vagus nerve in conjuction with Intestinal Mucosa™ can help optimize gut healing and nutrient absorption.

Learn more about Healing the Intestinal Mucosa HERE.

4. Toxicity

Toxicity can impair nutrient absorption and create mineral deficiencies.  For example, heavy metals, like Mercury, can bind with magnesium, reducing your body’s ability to store the mineral. Similarly, lead can bind to calcium, impeding your ability to absorb it.  Read more about Essential Oils for Heavy Metal Toxicity HERE.

Toxins from pesticides and factory farmed meat, eggs and dairy, including antibiotics and growth hormones, can also impede nutrient absorption.  Certain toxins can also tip your body into a sympathetic state which both inhibits your ability to assimilate nutrients and to detoxify as both require the ability to drop into the parasympathetic state.

These toxins can negatively impact your gall bladder and bile viscousity, impeding your ability to assimilate fats and eliminate waste.  Bile is a fluid stored in your gall bladder that helps to emulsify and digest fats and carry toxins and old hormones out of your body. Ideally, your gall bladder releases bile into your small intestine where it breaks down the fat for your body to absorb, before being eliminated from the body in your stool. When we eliminate the bile, we eliminate the toxins along with it. Unfortunately, toxicity can make your bile thick, viscous and stagnant which impedes its ability to flow both to your small intestine and out of your body. Read More about the Gall Bladder HERE.

To support detoxification, you can help stimulate the parasympathetic state by applying the Parasympathetic® blend on the vagus nerve (behind the ear lobe on the mastoid bone).  Detoxification only occurs in the Parasympathetic state, where your body shifts out of survival mode, known as the sympathetic “Fight or Flight” state, and is able to rest, repair, detoxify and heal. This parasympathetic response can be triggered by stimulating vagus nerve and similarly help support the detoxification of your vagus nerve to enhance future signaling (Read More about Vagus Nerve Toxicity HERE).

Similarly, apply Gall Bladder™ on the right side of the body under the bra under-wire or along and slightly under the right rib cage 2 -3 times daily to improve the viscosity of your bile and improve digestion and elimination.

Learn more about eliminating toxins HERE.

5. Chronic Infections

Dysbiotic conditions, including yeast/fungus, bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, or parasitic infestations, all impede your capacity to absorb nutrients as healthy gut flora is essential for healthy digestion function.

Chronic infections can also tip your immune system into a hyper reactive (over functioning) or a hypo reactive (under functioning) state that also compromises your digestive function.

The Parasympathetic state turns on your immune processes, allowing your body to fight pathogens, bacteria, fungus, parasites, viruses and infections.  The sympathetic “fight or flight” state depresses immune function, opening the door to pathogens and chronic infections.  This can create a viscous cycle as chronic infections put you into an inflamed state which further impairs your intestinal lining and triggers the sympathetic nervous system.  More specifically, dysbiotic conditions, like yeast, fungus, bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, or parasitic infestations, all profoundly affect your capacity to absorb nutrients.

Subsequent inflammation and toxicity further disrupt your digestion. Research shows that the limonene found in Lime essential oil (an ingredient in the Parasympathetic® blend) is known to stimulate the production of glutathione, which helps regulate your immune system. Unfortunately, most nutritional supplements of glutathione are not absorbed well and do not raise glutathione levels within the cells, so Lime oil’s ability to help stimulate the production of glutathione inside your cells contributes to the Parasympathetic® blend’s ability to support immune function.

To help modulate your immune system and calm chronic infections that impair healthy digestion and absorption, apply  Parasympathetic® on the vagus nerve (behind the ear lobe on the mastoid bone).  Learn More about Immune Modulation HERE.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.