Did you know that everything wrong with our body starts in the gut?

Pregnant woman pregnancy concept heart on stomach. Hands forming

Did you know that everything wrong with our body starts in the gut?  It’s true.  The digestive system starts at the mouth and ends at the anus.  The in between parts are often taken for granted until…. the symptoms start to mount up.

It could go something like this:

  • Indigestion 2 to 3 hours after meals
  • Bloating discomfort after eating
  • Full, tired feeling, especially after eating meat
  • Excessive gas, belching, or burping after meals
  • Burning sensation in stomach, heartburn
  • Heavy, tired feeling after eating
  • Constipation
  • Stools poorly formed, pale, greasy, floating
  • Undigested food particles in stools
  • Ridges on fingernails, slow growing nails

Then it is commonly, misdiagnosed as too much stomach acid and you are prescribed an antacid.  The truth is, if you are experiencing these symptoms the cause is most likely LOW Stomach acid.

What does TOO MUCH stomach acid look like?

  • Stomach pain 5 or 6 hours after eating usually at night
  • Stomach pain relieved by eating or by drinking milk
  • Stomach pain aggravated by worry or tension

If we are not digesting our food properly, we then do not absorb the nutrients from our food.

  • Greasy foul-smelling stools
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Mucus in stools
  • Foul-smelling intestinal gas

This is called mal-absorption.

After years of faulty digestion, the liver has to do some extra work to pick up the slack.  This takes away from the liver’s vital processes of clearing out toxins.

Symptoms start to mount up like those listed below:

  • Skin oily on nose and forehead
  • Dark circles or bags under eyes
  • Fats/greasy foods cause nausea, headaches
  • Stool appears yellow, clay coloured, foul odoured
  • Pale, greasy stools that float
  • Foul smelling bowel gas
  • Bad breath/bad taste in mouth, excess body odour
  • Pain on inside of right shoulder blade
  • Consistent gas and bloating from most foods and especially from onions, cabbage, radishes and cucumbers.

The lack of digestive enzymes in the gut will lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria.  We have billions of good and bad bacteria present in the body at any given time.  If our digestion is not working optimally, we are guaranteed to have an overgrowth of yeast and parasites that can lessen our quality of life.

Again, symptoms can look like this:

  • Indigestion, bloating after meals
  • Intestinal gas, especially after sugary foods
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Yeast infections, candida
  • Cold sores, canker sores

The following is a summary of guidelines that help to create the optimum conditions for digestion.  By following these steps, you will be allowing your own processes of digestion, absorption, elimination and intestinal immunity to work as efficiently as possible.

Timing

  • Eat only when genuinely hungry
  • Have the largest meal in the middle of the day
  • Spend at least 30 minutes eating each meal
  • Allow no more than 3.5 hours between main meals
  • Have 3 main meals and 2 snacks each day
  • Consume nothing after 9:00pm

 

Setting the Mood

  • Do not eat when angry, anxious, upset, bored or overtired
  • Eat with congenial company in pleasant conversation or eat alone in contemplative silence or with pleasant music
  • Avoid reading, watching TV or arguing while eating

 

Awareness

  • Eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly
  • Take time to enjoy the taste, texture, and aromas of the food
  • Swallow only when each mouthful has turned to paste
  • Eat only enough to feel good.  Never stuff yourself

 

Food Selection

  • Drink two litres of purified water daily
  • Be sure to consume 30-35 grams of fibre each day
  • Avoid processed foods, refined sugars and flours
  • Consume alcohol and caffeine sparingly, if at all
  • Suspect allergy/intolerance to any food to which one has addictive cravings or to any that produces excess mucus, or gastrointestinal stress of any kind.
  • Observe your body’s reactions to lactose, gluten and wheat
  • Do not drink liquids during meals, as they can dilute stomach acids.  Drink at the end of the meal only.

If you are still having problems after trying these suggestions, it is time to book an appointment with your friendly Holistic Nutritionist (that would be me 🙂 ) Email me at melanieg@wowweightloss.ca or call the Better Health Clinic at 519-415-2266 to set up an appointment. 

Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul: there’s a reason that it’s great to have when you’re not feeling well. All bone broths – beef, chicken, fish, lamb and more are staples in the traditional diets of every culture.

Bone broth can help heal and seal your gut and promotes healthy digestion and it’s very easy to make at home. Try the recipe below.

Bone Broth

Bones from poultry, fish, beef, lamb, shellfish or whole chicken or whole carcass (remove meat when cooked – about 1 hour)

8-10 cups of water

1–2 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar

1–2 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2 Carrots

1 onion

2 stalks celery

½ c. fresh Parsley chopped or 2 tbsp dried parsley

1-2 tsp sage

1-2 tsp rosemary

1-2 tsp thyme

2-3  bay leaves

2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar or 1 lemon

  • Put all ingredients into pot. Bring to boil.
  • Let simmer on low for several hours (4–24) or in crock pot on low.
  • Remove bones and skim off fat.

Use the broth as a stock for soup, drink as a warm beverage, use the fat for gravy or use the cooking liquid for vegetables and grains.

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