Our digestive health is key to achieving optimal health. We really are what we eat! What we eat literally becomes every cell of our body, therefore what we are eating, how our digestive tract is absorbing nutrients from the foods we are eating, dictates the health of our bodies. The better shape our digestive tract is in, the better health we are in.
Our digestive tract is also our barrier to the outside world. It decides what gets into the body and what stays out. Therefore it is a big part of our immune system. If the integrity of the digestive tract is compromised in any way then unwanted substances can make its way into the body.
Another important aspect of the digestive tract is that about 80% of the lymphatic system is housed in the digestive tract. The lymphatic system is the system that drains and cleans up our tissues and moves unwanted substances out of the body. If the lymphatic system gets congested, it can affect the entire body’s ability to clean up tissues and effectively move unwanted substances out of the body. Some of the signs that the digestive tract is out of balance are: gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, sugar cravings, nausea, headaches, fatigue, lowered immunity and depression. Here are ways to improve your digestive health:
1. Eliminate major inflammatory foods; which includes wheat, cow’s dairy and refined sugar.
Eliminating these major inflammatory foods helps to decrease the inflammation in the digestive tract, it helps to put out the fire and allow the tissues, mucous membranes, digestive tract lining of the digestive tract to be able to heal.
2. Take high-quality PROBIOTICS supplements
Probiotics are the good healthy bacteria which will help to build a foundation of healthy microflora in the digestive tract. Research is showing that the healthier our digestive tract microflora, the healthier we are.
3. Incorporating natural PROBIOTICS into your diet
Fermented foods have natural probiotics that help to build a healthy digestive tract microflora. There are fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchee. There are fermented dairy products such as kefir and yogurt, but I recommend that these come from sheep or goat dairy, not cow’s dairy. There is also fermented tea such as kombucha.
4. Incorporating PREBIOTICS into your diet
Prebiotics are the food for the healthy bacteria and help the healthy bacteria to diversify and repopulate within the digestive tract. Asparagus, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, onions contain inulin, a type of prebiotic. Carrots, leeks, radishes, tomatoes, turmeric contain arabinogalactans, another type of prebiotic.
5. Consume Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are the building blocks of the our cells, therefore consuming healthy fats will give our bodies the building blocks to repair any damage to the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. Healthy fats include avocados, nuts (excluding peanuts), seeds, flaxmeal and flaxseed oil, hemp hearts and hemp oil, coconut oil.
6. Take L-Glutamine as a supplement
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. The supplements are naturally derived from fermented vegetables. L-Glutamine helps to decrease the inflammation in the digestive tract and increase tissue repair.