Nearly every client who visits a Nutritional Therapy practice has some element of digestive dysfunction. If it’s not their main presenting health concern, it is often an underlying cause of various chronic health conditions. Therefore keeping your digestive system in top health is vital for overall health and well being.
This blogs contains the Top 10 Tips to maintain a healthy digestive system, written by Liz Gale, Nutritional Therapist.
This amino acid supplement has been shown to help heal damaged gut lining. This healing supplement can help repair the gut and reverse the effects of leaky gut syndrome. Each sachet of Revive Active contains 500mg of Glutamine.
This ancient super food can do wonders for your gut health. Bone broth is abundant in fat-soluble vitamins and minerals to boost your overall immune health and digestion. Bone broth is also rich in gelatin, which can heal your gut from the inside out. Bones should be from free roaming grass-fed animals or organic chicken.
There are several herbs that can help heal gut lining damage. Slippery elm, marshmallow root and Aloe Vera are some remedies that have been used for hundreds of years to repair the protective lining of your gut.
Everyday herbs can be grown in the smallest of gardens or in window boxes. E.g.
- Parsley and coriander are proven detoxifiers and chelate heavy metals.
- Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant and helps soothe the digestive system. It also improves the memory!
- Oregano is also a powerful antioxidant and immune system booster. It has anti fungal, and antimicrobial properties.
- Sage is another memory enhancer. It also helps to soothe hot flushes.
Your gut is home to about 100 trillion bacteria! Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha provide your gut with trillions of beneficial bacteria. This will help rebuild and balance healthy bacteria levels. You can also try a course of a good probiotic supplement.
This is another super food no one should be without. The healthy saturated fats are an integral part to healing your gut. Lauric, capric and caprylic acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. This is a real food medicine way to gently clean your GI system. Coconut oil should be organic, extra virgin and cold pressed.
Giving your body a little break from digesting food can be very healing. Intermittent fasting is not a full fast, but limiting your daily caloric intake to 500 or 600 a day. This restriction for a few days will allow your body to repair the gut's lining. The healing foods listed above are perfect choices to eat during intermittent fasting.
Raw, cold pressed juices are also a great way to cleanse and to help repair the gut. Invest in a good juicer and make your own daily green juice.
Plenty of Good Clean Water
Water should be chlorine and fluoride free. Aim for 4 glasses a day and add extra herbal teas to make up to the recommended 8 glasses a day. You can make these from the herbs listed above. I always start the day off with a large glass of hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon. It’s a great way to start the day and is a good bowel and liver cleanser.
Sleep & Exercise
We sleep less now that our forefathers did. We all need to get to bed earlier and have between 6/8 hours a night. Our bodies do most of their repair work while we sleep, and that includes gut repair.
Regular exercise is vital for a healthily functioning gut. You don’t have to join the gym – just a brisk 20-minute walk a day, or gardening is great weight bearing exercise – pulling up all those weeds gives the muscles a good work out!
Healthy food should not be seen as a punishment! You can make the most delicious and nutritious meals from healthy ingredients including cakes, desserts and ice creams. Remember the 80/20 rule: Eat natural, locally grown, whole foods, plenty of vegetables and some fruit 80% of the time, not forgetting protein, it is essential for good gut health. Free range or organic chicken, grass fed beef, fish, especially oily fish and eggs are all good sources of animal protein. Beans and pulses are good sources of vegetarian protein.
Then you can “treat” yourself 20% of the time. But you will find that once you embark on a healthier diet and lifestyle – you will not feel like eating refined, processed and high sugar foods.
Customised Health Solutions
What works for one person may not be right for the next. A health program should be customised based on your health history and lab tests. Stool testing is available through most Nutritional Therapy Practices and is often recommended for clients with long-term digestive issues. It gives a complete analysis of gut bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
By: Liz Gale Dip NT. mNTOI.
Thanks to Liz for contributing to the our blog this week as part of the Nutritional Therapy Awareness Week 2016.
Liz is a qualified nutritional therapist specialising in digestive health, autoimmune disorders, diabetes and anti- ageing. Her nutritional therapy practice is evidence-based and she uses only scientifically researched dietary
treatments and therapies to help her clients
reach optimal health. Her qualifications and interests include:
- Diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition from the College of Naturopathic Medicine (Dublin)
- She runs a nutritional therapy practice in Dublin, Cork and online.
- She is an active committee member of the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI)
- She is the researcher and nutritional therapy consultant for an innovative new
app, called Cook and Cure. This is the first mobile app that helps you find foods, supplements, recipes, and remedies specific to your overlapping medical conditions, health goals, and personal
preferences, brought to you from multiple health practitioners’ perspectives.