How to Heal Your Gut With These Seven Simple Steps
And they all begin with the letter R just like our earlier post on the environment – Our Seven Suggestions for a Zero-Waste Lifestyle.
Here are those seven simple steps
1. REST – and that means a rest from food! When you have a day (or longer) without food and you give your digestive system a rest, your body will go into cleaning mode – that is, detoxing, helping to remove the toxins and debris in your system by keeping your bowel moving as well as supporting two of your other elimination channels – namely your liver and kidneys.
2. REMOVE – and that means removing any substances that could be irritating the gut.
- Inflammatory foods. These include gluten, sugar, dairy, corn, soy, grains, alcohol, caffeine, processed food, food additives and any personal food intolerances.
- Over-the-counter medications. These include aspirin and ibuprofen as well as any others known to cause digestive dysfunction as well as prescription medications (obviously with the approval of your medical practitioner).
- Stress. This can cause a biochemical reaction by releasing a hormone called cortisone into the blood stream. Too much cortisol can cause inflammation in the digestive tract.
- Treating the gut dysbiosis. While an elimination diet can address conditions such as Candida overgrowth over time, other bacteria, parasites and pathogens require targeted treatment with anti-parasitic, antibacterial and anti-fungal herbs and supplements.
There are foods that will help to maintain a pathogen-free environment: pumpkin, sunflower and papaya seeds; onion and garlic; pineapple; turmeric, cloves, cinnamon and oregano; fermented foods; and coconut.
3. REPLACE – because our bodies are fed by nutrients and not food, we need to replace our digestive enzymes so that our digestive system can take our food and break it down into nutrients for good absorption. Include these digestive enzyme-rich foods in your diet regularly.
- Papaya and papaya seeds – You can use these seeds by drying and storing them in a pepper grinder before using over your food in place of pepper.
- Pineapple – a very rich source of the enzyme bromelain.
- Mango – Mangoes contain the digestive enzymes amylase – a group of enzymes that break down complex carbohydrates into sugars like glucose and maltose.
- Raw Honey – raw honey has a variety of digestive enzymes.
Other foods known for their digestive enzymes include: banana, avocado and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and miso.
4. RE-POPULATE – and this means reinoculating your gut with good bacteria. Fermented foods are the perfect way to do this. Examples include sauerkraut, kimchi, gherkins, kombucha and kefir. You can make your own or you can buy ready-made naturally fermented unpasteurized fermented foods in all health food stores.
5. REPAIR – which covers repairing the lining of your gut. Regular helpings of bone broth are recommended. In addition to bone broth, L-Glutamine, Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamins A, C, D and E, Aloe vera and collagen are recommended.
6. RE-BALANCE – and understanding the impact of stress on your health. It is vitally important to re-balance your lifestyle and “manage” stress. Some recommended ideas for handling stress include:
- Ensure you get at least 8 hours good quality sleep in a dark room
- Move your body everyday (walking and other forms of exercise or it can be dancing around the kitchen or jumping on the trampoline with your children).
- Communicate with others.
- Spend time in nature – barefoot and in the sunshine
7. RETAIN – once you have followed the previous 6 tips, retain this new and healthy lifestyle going forward.
“Problems in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea – they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems. Gut imbalances and leaky gut have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and hashimotosthyroiditis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea, just to name a few.” – Dr Amy Myers