All Disease Starts in the Gut. – Hippocrates
If there was only one thing you could do to improve your health and vitality–only one–what would it be? Very simply it would be to fix your gut! What does this mean you might ask? Well, it is literally impossible to attain vibrant health without being able to break down, absorb and utilize the nutrients that comes from our food. And if your stomach has been beaten down with stress, poor food choices, medications and general wear and tear from the process of aging, most likely your tummy could use a tune-up. To reiterate…your stomach (a.k.a. the condition of your gut) is the key to optimal health and well-being. Moreover, with optimal gut function, you ensure better mental and physical health, clarity of mind and a tip-top immune system. So, let’s break it down: 1) what can cause gut problems (a.k.a stomach issues) and 2) how do we rebuild our stomach?
- The gut is home to roughly 70% of the body’s immune system.
- The first phase of digestion begins in the brain, therefore the brain and stomach communicate to each other.
- It is estimated that 100 trillion beneficial bacteria live in the intestinal tract, which help digestion, absorption + production of B vitamins, vitamin K & enzymes.
- Hydrochloric acid (HCL) decreases naturally with age. Low HCL (stomach acid) doesn’t allow for proper digestion. This is something, which can and should be improved to prevent problems like acid reflux from developing.
What Causes Gut Imbalance?
- Antibiotics (medicinal & food supply: conventional meat & dairy)
- GMO’s (genetically modified foods)
- Low Fiber Diet (i.e. low fruits, vegetables & whole grains)
- Chemical Exposure (pesticides, herbicides, makeup/beauty products)
- Chlorine in Tap Water
- Prescription Drugs
- Not Chewing Food Properly
- Low Stomach Acid Due to Aging
- NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin, Midol, etc.)
10 Ways to Rebuild the Gut for Optimal Health
- Probiotic Rich Foods —> Eat organic fruits & veg straight from your garden (a trusted source), gently washed. These foods are a wealth of healthy live microorganisms directly from mother nature
- Prebiotic Foods —> Foods like Jerusalem Artichoke, Plantains, Potatoes, Bananas, Onions, Garlic, and Dandelion Greens, all of which are whole, plant-based, fiber-rich foods that feed beneficial bacteria and even help them to multiply
- Cultured Foods —> Enjoy fermented foods like Sauerkraut, Beet Kvass, Coconut Yogurt, Kimchi, which are abundant in good bacteria
- High-Quality Probiotic Supplement —> Will help to boost beneficial bacteria, keep the bad bacteria under control, boost the immune system and aide digestion
- Digestive Enzymes —> Lemon water on an empty stomach, lemon juice on foods, celery juice, apple cider vinegar, bitters or a supplement will help to increase stomach acid (HCL) and break down your food for easy digestion
- Stay Hydrated —> Rule: drink half your body weight in ounces of filtered water every day to keep elimination in tip-top shape and to keep things moving in the bathroom
- Decrease Processed Foods & Refined Sugar —> Bad bacteria thrive on processed food and man-made sugars, which are chemical laden and perfect for opportunistic organisms like parasites, bacteria and viruses
- Practice Intermittent Fasting —> Give your stomach time to rest from digestion so it can clean, seep and clear out food waste and bad bacteria
- Decrease Stress —> Focus on mindfulness: take a walk in nature, do some yoga, meditation, breath work, hypnotherapy or tapping for emotional freedom
- Chew Your Food —> Practice chewing your bites for 15-20 seconds as our saliva contains enzymes, which help to break down foods in the mouth and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms us down
There you have it! By supporting the vital center of our health–the gut–you gain a greater sense of vitality and well-being. Say good-bye to acne, brain fog, mood issues and bloat. A diet rich in high-fiber, plant-based, whole-foods will gain you more than just a flat tummy, you will gain abundant energy, a better mood, better immunity, better elimination and better focus. You’re welcome!
<3 Eat Your Greens Out
William, A. (2015) Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic & Mysterious Illness & How to Finally Heal. Hay House, Inc.
Bauman, E. (2015). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook, Part 1. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.
Stoll, W. (1996). Saving Yourself from the Disease Care Crisis. Panama City, FL: Sunrise Health Coach.