By Bill Hemmer
As we continue to move down the river known as your digestive tract, once we get past the stomach and the pancreas has done its work, it’s time to pay some attention to your gallbladder. The gallbladder is a container that sits under your liver and contains bile. Let’s talk about why this sack about the size of a dime is so important and what you can do to keep it healthy.
Your gallbladder has been misunderstood for many years. It has been treated much like the appendix, just an “extra” body part that can be done without if it starts to give you trouble. Its job is to store bile and contract and secrete it when you eat something that contains fat. Fat is the preferred fuel of your body, so digesting it is extremely important.
Not only does the gallbladder store bile, but it also concentrates it so you don’t have to use as much. This is also extremely important. If you don’t have a gallbladder, or your gallbladder isn’t working effectively, then your ability to digest fats becomes extremely compromised.
Your liver makes about 8 cups of bile per day! This bile is weak. It doesn’t work all that well in helping you digest fats. Your gallbladder’s job is to collect the weak bile and concentrate it and make stronger, more effective bile to be injected into the top of the small intestine just below the bottom of the stomach. This way, fats can be broken down and absorbed.
Fat absorption is crucial for health. All of your fat-soluble vitamins (A, E and D) are extremely important in you staying healthy and if you can’t digest fats, your ability to absorb and use these vitamins is also compromised. A second reason fat digestion is so important is fat is the preferred fuel of your cells. If you eat and digest enough fat, your metabolism speeds up and you lose weight!!
I’m going to say that again!
If you eat and digest good fats, you will burn more calories and lose weight!! I know this flies in the face of what we have all been taught for the last 40 years, but it is the truth. Good fats burn cleaner inside the cells and cause less inflammation. Therefore, when your diet contains enough good fat, you lose weight.
The biggest problem most of us have with this information is that we don’t digest fats well; therefore, we will stay away from a lot of fat in our diet. This is where tuning up your gallbladder becomes very important. If you can get your gallbladder to work more effectively, then your ability to digest fats increases and you can begin to lose weight.
Two easy ways to help your gallbladder is to eat beets and eat bitter foods. Beets have a huge number of beneficial effects on your digestive system and bitter foods stimulate healing throughout your entire gut lining.
Next week, I will continue to flow down the river of digestive function by talking about how to keep all of your bacteria in your small and large intestine healthy and in balance.