We are finally starting to hear more and more about how crucial digestive function is for your overall health. This makes me so excited because I know that once we do the work and fix our gut you will be preventing future diseases and building your immune system.
“Evidence now shows that the types of food that you eat will directly determine the levels of good bacteria in your gut”.
When you have a damaged gut lining (AKA ‘leaky gut’) one of the first symptoms is a rise in food intolerances. If the primary cause is not addressed, immune abnormalities will follow which can eventually lead to autoimmune diseases and other health issues.
If your digestion and health need some love, start with these basics. Start with an unprocessed (no packeted foods), nutrient dense (lots of plants!) diet.
THEN ON TOP OF THAT, DO THESE STEPS FOR AT LEAST 30 DAYS AND SEE IF YOUR SYMPTOMS IMPROVE
1. FERMENTED FOODS
The best and most natural form of probiotics! An easy and delicious way to combine good bacteria with every meal. (I have some sort of fermented food with each meal) These include:
- Sauerkraut or Kimchi
2. TAKE A PROBIOTIC
Repopulate your gut with good bacteria to create a strong immune system! This is necessary if your digestive system is weak or has been compromised from medications like antibiotics or acute illness. I recommend a high quality probiotic, (so no Yakult..) The diverse strains of beneficial probiotic bacteria the better. I personally use Ultra Flora Restore by Metagenics or an Inner health plus.
3. CHEW! CHEW! CHEW!
Help your digestive system out a little! I recommend chewing each mouthful 20 times. I think if everyone implemented this one tip alone many digestive problems would not be so prevalent.
Your saliva that is full of good enzymes has to mix with the food in order to break it down. The enzymes are also needed to mix with your food in order to extract vital nutrients.
4. DON’T DRINK DURING MEAL TIMES
This dilutes your vital gastric enzymes and Hydrochloric acid in your stomach which you need to break down your food. Especially if you notice you don’t digest your food well, don’t drink between bites.
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5. REDUCE DAILY STRESS
Commit to a daily de-stressing activity, like a simple morning ritual of breathing or meditation and always eat in a calm environment. When you are in a high stress state rushing around and eating you are putting your body and digestion in a state of high alert and conservation which will promote fat storage. (Hell no!)
6. ELIMINATE INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Think you might have a developed a food intolerance but can’t quite narrow it down? Food intolerances are a sign of leaky gut. I suggest you test suspect foods by eliminating them for 3 weeks. When you re-introduce the food after removing it from you diet you will get an exaggerated response which will tell you if that food is inflammatory for you. The most common suspects are; wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, and corn.