ALL DISEASES START IN THE GUT – Hippocrates
Hippocrates said this more than 2,000 years ago, but we’re only now coming to understand just how right he was. Research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and that an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.
In fact, many researchers believe that supporting intestinal health and restoring the integrity of the gut barrier will be one of the most important goals of medicine in the 21st century.
We tend to take our gut for granted, and it costs us dearly. We continually eat wrong foods that are rarely digested properly. The by-products of incomplete digestion clog the gut with accumulated debris. This coating becomes a perfect breeding ground for dangerous forms of bacteria and other microorganisms.
What is worthwhile for anyone to consider, however, is how you can improve your crucially important digestive system and the overall health of your gut. It doesn’t have to be fancy or all-consuming, nor does it require you to fork out money for supplements promising you this or that.
Want to feel better by improving your digestion, reducing overgrowths of bad bacteria and yeast, increasing growth of good bacteria, encouraging better absorption of nutrients and aiding your body in dealing with toxins?
Here is a list of practical and simple ways that anyone can improve their gut health:
DRINK LESS WITH MEALS.
When you drink a lot during a meal, it dilutes the levels of hydrchloric acid in your stomach. Without sufficient HCL, digestion can not proceed quickly or smoothly. Try to have your drinks at least 30 minutes before, or 30-60 minutes after you eat.
Additionally, beverages that are room temperature are easier on the digestive system than really cool drinks, so skip the ice if you can (and knowing this, I still drink cold smoothies, but I do try to have most of my other beverages sans ice).
HAVE FERMENTED FOODS WITH OR JUST BEFORE YOUR MEALS.
As a rich source of enzymes, naturally fermented foods help to break down what we eat, in addition to boosting the good bacteria count in our bodies. A few examples are kefir or yogurt, kombucha, sour cream or creme fraiche, fermented veggies (lacto-fermented pickles or salsa, sauerkraut) and any other food that is naturally lacto-fermented or made using live bacterial cultures.
Try adding just one or two fermented and/or cultured foods to your family’s repertoire.
ADD HOMEMADE BONE BROTHS TO YOUR DIET AND TRY TO INCLUDE THEM IN MEALS AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.
Use them in soups and stews, in gravies, in pasta sauces, in casseroles and pot pies, or even drink them by the mug with or in between your meals. Truly healing and soothing to the gut, bone broths are a frugal homemakers best friend on the road to better health. Broths are cheap and easy to make, and when made correctly, are powerhouses of gut-healing gelatin and other nourishing nutrients.
Here at The Cleanse we don’t recommend too many supplements, because we prefer to get our nutrition from whole foods. However, there are two that we regularly recommend and they are cod liver oil and a good quality probiotic. You might have heard of acidophilus, which is just one of the many beneficial bacteria strains that we want to populate our gut. After every session of colonic hydrotherapy we offer a complimentary pro-biotoic to help replenish the good bacteria.
Probiotics, have been found to help restore and provide healthy bacteria to the digestive tract that may help to promote healthier digestion- and for many, reduced stomach discomfort.
For many reasons due to our diet, chlorinated water, antibiotic use and more, we need to be proactive about repopulating our gut with these friendly little bacteria, who do so much more in our bodies than we really give them credit for.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts promoted as having various health benefits. They’re usually added to yoghurts or taken as food supplements, and are often described as ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria.
Probiotics are thought to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut (including your stomach and intestines) when it has been disrupted by an illness or treatment.
Key Tip: When looking for a probiotic, search for a variety that has 5+ different varieties of bacteria. Alternatively, Kefir and yogurts also contain a healthy amount of probiotics.Cut Back on Raw Cruciferous Vegetables
Raw vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts although healthful, can cause major stomach discomfort for many people. BUT cruciferous vegetables that are raw do provide many nutrients and potential health benefits so instead of cutting them out completely, try to cut back in amount (for example if you usually eat 1 cup, try 1/2 cup) per serving and try cooking before eating. When cooked, cruciferous vegetables may be slightly more tolerable, but there are also plenty of other healthful vegetables that can be swapped.
Key Tip: Swap in spinach, arugula, romaine and other greens for kale, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables on occasion; overall, varying vegetables can also help to provide an abundance of nutrients.
No this doesn’t mean just pig out all day long but proper frequent eating is one of the most important aspects of not only weight loss, but regularity and preventing/improving acid reflux. When it comes to acid reflux specifically, one of the major contributors is having an empty stomach, so when Rebooters start having healthy meals and juices every 2-3 hours, many notice that symptoms subside.
Key Tip:: Make an eating schedule for times that you will be aiming to have breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; if you have trouble remembering to eat, try setting a phone alarm to remind yourself.
Cut Back on Acidic Foods
Acidic foods can be hard on the stomach, particularly when it’s empty (and also for anyone with heartburn). If you want to include citrus containing foods make sure to have something along with your food or juice containing acidic ingredients. If you don’t have acid reflux problems or tummy troubles, then drinking warm lemon water in the morning is a habit you should keep!
Key Tip: Eat up before drinking and chowing down on citrus-containing foods and teas; if you’re looking to swap out citrus from a juice try subbing for ginger instead.Citrus-containing foods, like lemons and oranges contain flavanoids, and have been shown to be potentially stomach-cancer preventive, so if you don’t have acid reflux or trouble with acidic foods, you can include them more frequently for anti-cancer benefits. (Hint: the flavanoid is found in the peel, so add some zest to your meal or leave the peel on when juicing.)
Key Tip: If you identify food (or foods) that may be causing gastrointestinal distress, try removing them for three days and see if symptoms improve.
Load up on White Vegetables
Load up on white, allium vegetables including garlic, leeks and scallions that contain a powerful antioxidant compound called allicin that may help to prevent stomach cancer. When it comes to garlic, you must prepare the garlic then let it sit for 10 minutes before using to ensure that you reap the entirety of the benefits.
Key Tip: Cook with garlic, leeks and scallions (following the tip above for garlic) add to soups, salad dressings, and cooked entrees.
Eat More Orange Vegetables
Orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes contain powerful anti-cancer nutrients including powerful antioxidant vitamin C and beta-carotene that may help to prevent cell damage; sweet potatoes also contain potentially anti-cancer caffeic acid that may help to prevent blood supply from reaching tumors.
Key Tip: Add more orange vegetables to juices, salads, entrees and other meals. Try this Trick or Treat Juice!
Cut Back on Overly Salted & Cured Foods
Nitrates (preservatives) found in cured meats and foods have been found to raise risk for stomach cancer as well as overly salted foods. They are actually listed as one of the top five foods you should never eat.
Key Tip: Search for nitrate-free meats and processed foods (although you should always aim to eat as few processed foods as possible!).
THE CLEANSE is a private colonic hydrotherapy studio situated in Barnet. We use the innovative LIBBE system in a relaxed environment. We offer various discounts and special offers throughout the year on sessions.