6 Best Strategies to Improve Your Digestion
Digestive problems are a modern day epidemic in Westernized cultures. Major disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diarrhea and constipation are all too frequent.
The modern day diet and lifestyle is loaded with toxins and deficient in high quality live foods full of enzymes and probiotics. Improve your digestive health naturally with an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.
The gut houses ten times more microbial species than the overall amount of cells in the entire body. These microbial species break down food pieces into small nutrients that absorb into the bloodstream. They also help to detoxify the body and aid in immunity (1, 2, 3).
The ratio of progenic (life giving) to pathogenic (disease causing) microbes should be 85:15. When this ratio gets out of whack it leads to chronic inflammation in the gut and subsequent digestive problems.
Clean Water is Very Critical:
Clean water is absolutely essential for health digestion. Most people are drinking water that is laced with chlorine, disinfectant byproducts (DBP’s) and other environmental toxins. Chlorine and DBP’s sterilize the water and when consumed will sterilize the body (4, 5).
By destroying progenic cultures the body is susceptible to opportunistic pathogenic species such as Candida. This results in digestive problems and inflammatory conditions within the body. The best water to consume is from a natural spring or through a reverse osmosis filtration system. The natural spring water is the most bioenergetically alive and often contains some healthy bacteria.
Reverse osmosis filtration works great for anyone in more metropolitan areas where natural springs are not available. Add fresh squeezed lemon and/or apple cider vinegar to your water as often as possible to add anti-oxidants, organic acids and enzymes.
Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan:
Anti-inflammatory foods reduce inflammatory activity in the body and help heal the gut. Great anti-inflammatory foods include coconut products, grass-fed ghee, avocados, olive oil, berries & phytonutrient rich vegetables.
Healthy meat sources such as grass-fed beef, wild game, wild salmon, organic poultry and organic eggs are great as long as the gut can tolerate them effectively. Utilizing apple cider vinegar and/or fresh squeezed lemon can help the body digest heavy proteins.
Fermented Foods Boost Digestive Function
Foods that are naturally fermented help inoculate the gut with healthy microbial species. Homemade sauerkraut, kombucha, coconut water kefir, and kimchi are great. Fermented dairy products from grass-fed cows/goats are highly advisable unless the individual has a dairy sensitivity. These include grass-fed kefir, amasai, yogurt and cheese. Coconut yogurt and kefir as well as sauerkraut and kimchii are also great recommendations.
Bone broth and bone broth protein very good for rebuilding the gut. Whey is loaded with collagen and L-glutamine and enhances cellular glutathione stores which are both needed to repair the intestinal wall and de-inflame the body. If one has a food sensitivity to whey than they should avoid this superfood.
A high quality brown rice and pea protein with added L-glutamine is very helpful and highly recommended for those with dairy sensitivity. Powerful herbs such as turmeric, garlic, onion, rosemary & oregano among others should be used as much as possible to improve immune coordination.
Carminative Herbs are Key:
Carminatives are herbs that stimulate the digestive system to work better. These herbs contain a high content of volatile oils that are effective at expelling gas and easing griping pains from the stomach and intestines. They also tone the mucous surfaces & increase peristaltic action within the esophagus, stomach. This peristaltic action propels food and wastes through the system.
The major carminative herbs include coriander, cinnamon, ginger, juniper, anise, fennel, cloves, caraway, dill, peppermint, thyme and licorice. These carminatives are often combined with aloe. Aloe is a cathartic herb that increases intestinal transit time and is used to alleviate constipation. These herbs help to tone down the powerful gripping effect that aloe often promotes in the gut. This combination helps stimulate effective and comfortable stools for those with chronic constipation.
Key Supplements to Improve Digestion:
Some of my favorite digestive health supplements include Prescript Assist Probiotics and Gut Repair. Prescript Assist contains strong soil based organisms that help to populate the gut and reduce yeast, parasite and bad bacterial growth while favoring the development of a healthy microflora.
Gut Repair provides key compounds such as L-glutamine and aloe vera extract that help tighten the gut lining and strengthen the mucousal membrane to reverse leaky gut syndrome, auto-immunity and food sensitivities.
Sources For This Article Include:
- Shreiner AB, Kao JY, Young VB. The gut microbiome in health and in disease. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan;31(1):69-75. PMID: 25394236
- Lomax AR, Calder PC. Probiotics, immune function, infection and inflammation: a review of the evidence from studies conducted in humans. Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(13):1428-518. PMID: 19442167
- Young VB. The intestinal microbiota in health and disease. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;28(1):63-9. PMID: 22080827
- Nelson GM, Swank AE, Brooks LR, Bailey KC, George SE. Metabolism, microflora effects, and genotoxicity in haloacetic acid-treated cultures of rat cecal microbiota. Toxicol Sci. 2001 Apr;60(2):232-41. PMID: 11248134
- Gopal K, Tripathy SS, Bersillon JL, Dubey SP. Chlorination byproducts, their toxicodynamics and removal from drinking water. J Hazard Mater. 2007 Feb 9;140(1-2):1-6. PMID: 17129670