How To Get Your Digestive System To Perform At Its Best
Why is our gut health so important?
All diseases start in the gut. This is what Hippocrates claimed over 200 years ago, and it has been proven by research into the human microbiome (your body’s inner ecosystem). We all know that the gastrointestinal tract is responsible for the digestion of food. However, most people are surprised to learn that over two-thirds of the immune system resides in the gut. A healthy immune system depends upon a healthy gut, so any impairment in our digestive health means that our immune system is not as strong as it otherwise could be. Few people also realise that more than 90% of our body’s serotonin (an important neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, sleep, memory, appetite, and more) is produced in our gut. We can only achieve and maintain optimal health if our digestive system id functioning optimally.
How healthy is your digestion?
- Do you feel bloated after a meal?
- Do you experience heartburn or acid reflux?
- Does your bowel not move comfortably 1-3x daily?
- Do you suffer with any skin issues?
- Do you experience low mood, depression, or anxiety?
- Do you frequently catch colds?
- Do you have a thyroid condition?
- Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition?
If you answered yes to two of these questions it’s likely that your gut is not in optimal health. The more questions you answered yes to, the more out of balance your digestive system may be.
How to get your digestive system working at its best
Healing the gut can be a long-term process that requires some effort, but the results are well worth it. For the gut to work at its best, we have to eliminate the factors that have contributed to it becoming unhealthy. These include poor diets, excessive stress, toxins, eating habits, etc. We need to provide the nutritional support necessary to heal the gut lining and re-introduce healthy bacteria in order to crowd out opportunistic pathogens and balance the microbiome. We adjust the diet to one that is supportive of a healthy gut rather than one that creates inflammation, pathogenic overgrowth, and intestinal permeability.
Follow this 4-step process to get your digestive system working at its best: remove, replace, re-inoculate, repair.
This is the first and possibly the most vital step in the process. Remove everything that irritate the gut lining. This includes infections (fungal, parasitic, and/or bacterial), inflammatory foods and foods you are allergic or sensitive to, environmental pollutants, and excessive stress.
Parastil is a herbal formula used to clear parasites from the system. Use it uninterrupted for 21 days to clear parasites properly.
Unwind assists with stress, tension and anxiety.
Adrenin is helpful in managing stress by supporting the adrenals and improving the body’s response to stress.
Replace all the necessary ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that your body is lacking.
Optimal levels of beneficial intestinal bacteria (probiotics) is key to optimal digestive health. You need a high number and a diverse mix of probiotics for a healthy digestive system. Re-inoculate with the beneficial bacteria that your gut needs to thrive. This entails introducing healthy probiotics, as well as prebiotics (the food that feeds the healthy bacteria and keeps them nice and healthy), and fermented foods.
NeoFlora is a live probiotic culture that contains 30 billion probiotic bacteria per dose.
Repair the gut lining by providing nutrients and herbs that support its ability to regenerate and heal.
Dietary Guidelines – 7 key steps to digestive health:
- Choose high quality, fresh organic foods. Avoid processed foods packed in cans and boxes with a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. Eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Incorporate a healthy mix of raw and cooked foods. Raw foods have their own enzymes and are especially important when your body is healing and may be low on enzymes in general. Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your meal should consist of vegetables.
- Chew properly. Digestion starts in your mouth. Most people don't chew thoroughly, and neglecting this important step in the digestive process makes it much harder for the rest of the digestive system.
- Stomach acid is vital. The second stage of digestion happens in stomach and it is your stomach's job is to temporarily hold food and begin to break it down. This is where healthy levels of stomach acid is key. Although the acid itself does not actually digest the food, it does trigger the enzyme pepsin to break down the proteins in your meal. The stomach acid also destroys unfriendly microbes. Aging, poor diet and lifestyle choices can cause an acidic condition in the body. This usually causes your stomach to release less stomach acid. Not enough stomach acid means you cannot digest protein properly, which then means that the food will stagnate and ferment. In many cases heartburn, gas and bloating is actually the result of too little stomach acid. If you suffer from these symptoms your stomach might be producing too little stomach acid, or you may need more digestive enzymes. (DIGESTAL, NEOFLORA)
NeoFlora is a live probiotic culture that contains 30 billion probiotic bacteria per dose.
Digestal is a herbal formula used to stimulate the release of digestive enzymes, and to improve and support digestion.
- Digestive enzymes. After the stomach, your food moves to your small intestine, where 90% of nutrients are absorbed. Your pancreas produces digestive enzymes so that you can digest carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The gallbladder and liver provide the bile necessary for the digestion of fats to take place. Bile is also necessary for healthy peristaltic movement and healthy elimination. Taking digestive enzymes with each meal is helpful, and is an important part of healing a compromised digestive system. However, in many cases it’s more beneficial to stimulate the body’s production of its own enzymes. Bitter herbs are great for this, as the bitter components in some herbs signal the production and release of digestive enzymes when these herbs are taken 20 minutes before a meal.
Digestal contains a mix of bitter herbs, as well as other ingredients that improve digestive health. Take 20-30 drops in a little water 20 minutes before meals to maximise your digestive enzyme levels. Gas, bloating, and other digestive discomforts are often the result of insufficient digestive enzymes.
- Incorporate more prebiotics and probiotics. You really can’t have too much of these, and most people are dismally deficient in probiotics. Your intestines are the home of your inner ecosystem, or microbiome, where the friendly microflora (bacteria and yeast) live. The microflora help you digest and assimilate foods and keep your immunity strong. Research keeps uncovering more and more detail on exactly how your microbiome contributes to health and disease, and it’s likely that this will become a very interesting new branch of medicine. There are ten times more microflora cells in your gut than human cells in your whole body! They are a crucial part of your wellbeing and absolutely key to optimal health. Most people's inner ecosystems are imbalanced, which can lead to leaky gut, an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast (like candida) and illness. Probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks add healthy microflora to your intestines. Include probiotic-rich fermented foods, like cultured vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut) and probiotic liquids (kefir) in your diet. Take a high-potency, live probiotic supplement, like NeoFlora.
NeoFlora provides 30 billion active probiotic bacteria per daily dose, and has a diverse mix of beneficial microorganisms.
- Hydration. Many digestive problems stem from simply not being hydrated enough. People often drink too much coffee and soft drinks, and not enough water. Some even start their day with these acid-producing beverages and changing this habit can really bring about positive changes in your digestive health. Soft drinks, coffee, and Ceylon tea dehydrate your body, which can also sap your energy. Drinking filtered water, organic herbal teas and probiotic liquids provide energy and hydration. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine both say that cold drinks slow your "digestive fire", so they recommend drinking room temperature water or warm tea. Avoid drinking cold drinks completely close to your meals.
- Elimination. Pay attention to your stool. This is very helpful in keeping tabs on your digestive health. Bowel movements should occur at least once a day and ideally after each complete meal. If you are not eliminating frequently enough, toxins will be accumulating in your colon and also throughout your entire body – right down to each individual cell. Many factors play a role in ensuring regular, healthy bowel movements. Ensure that there is enough fibre from vegetables, seeds, legumes, and nuts in your diet. Maintain optimal hydration and keep your enzymes and probiotics at peak levels.
In order to be in a state of optimal health, the health of your digestive system is of upmost importance. There are many parts and functions in the digestive system, and all of them must function optimally for the entire digestive system to function as it should. Digestive symptoms should not be ignored, and although it can be a long-term process to get your digestive system functioning at its best, it will be well worth the effort. All facets of optimal health, from your moods and concentration, to the condition of your skin, depends on a healthy digestive system.