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The importance of digestion

How important do you think your digestion is to your overall health? If you guessed important, you’re 100% correct.

Our digestion is the cornerstone to our health. If we have poor digestion you can bet its impact goes beyond just that of our bowels.

Everything you eat gets absorbed and assimilated here, so we are only as healthy as our digestion is efficient. Think of your digestion as the roots of a tree – if the roots are damaged or in poor condition, it cannot absorb the nutrients from the soil and the tree suffers. The same goes for your digestion and the rest of your body.

Leaky gut – when the gut wall becomes permeable enabling undigested, larger than desirable and foreign proteins to enter the blood stream, causing allergies,  an improper immune response, headaches, eczema and asthma to name just a few.

If we have good digestion everything else follows, so lets fix it!

How?

  1. identify and treat food intolerances
  2. identify nutritional deficiencies
  3. identify if any infections are present (yeast overgrowth, parasites, bacteria, viruses)
  4. strengthen the gut wall (leaky gut)
  5. feed the microbiome

What can I do now?

Fermented foods – these are great for digestion and keeping a healthy gut microbiome.

  • Sauerkraut – fermented cabbage and/or other vegetables. So easy and inexpensive to make. It can be added to any savoury dish at home and is a great inexpensive way to incorporate probioitics into your daily routine. Get with friends and make your batches together.
  • Kefir – again easy and inexpensive to make. Once you have the grains and some sugar you’re away. You can choose from water kefir grains which feed on sucrose and make a liquid drink using either water or coconut water (for extra taste). Or grains that feed on lactose and make a yoghurt. The good bugs in the kefir feed on the sugar to make good bacteria, so dont worry, you’re not eating the sugar.

Sugar – cut down on it! Sugar feeds the bad guys in our gut, we want a healthy balance of gut microbiome and sugar keeps the bad guys strong. Apart from improved gut health you’ll just feel better off the stuff.

Listen to digestion and become aware of what foods do not (at this stage) agree with you. The more of the irritants we feed it, the more irritated it becomes. So go easy on your gut. We aim to improve our digestion so that we can tolerate most foods but until then listen to your body.

Water – get into it! Good bowels need hydration and a lot of peoples constipation/sluggish bowels can be fixed with just making sure they drink adequate amounts of H2O. This is a great place to start if you’re feeling constipated. Remember caffeine, along with alcohol is a diuretic so you need more water if you drink this throughout the day.

Herbal teas – many are great for digestion – dandelion root, marshmellow root, licorice, chamomile, fennel and peppermint are just a few. Plus drinking these count towards your water intake.

Chew your food properly, eat slowly and in a calm relaxed environment. If you’re feeling stressed and not hungry – don’t eat. Your digestion turns itself down when we’re stressed so go easy on it, instead have easy to digest foods such as soups, juices and smoothies.

Don’t drink large amounts of water (or anything else) during your meal. This dilutes our digestive juices – HCL (stomach acid) and digestive enzymes. You want to keep your digestive fire ignited to break down your foods as efficiently as possible.

Supplementing with digestive aids such as enzymes and HCL can be helpful.

If you’d like a personalised tailored assessment contact us here.

Book a consultation today

Let’s get to the bottom of your health concerns.

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