Digestion 101

Are you tired all the time, bloated, or never truly feel “great”? Well your digestive tract may be the culprit.

Contrary to popular belief, you are not simply what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb! You can have the healthiest diet in the world, but if your digestion is sluggish it might not be doing you any good.
On average, we consume probably about 100 tons of food throughout our lifetime! Think about it, every couple of thousand kilometres we take our vehicles in for an oil change and regular tune-up. Do you ever stop to think maybe my body needs a tune-up now and then. We only get one body, we should be taking better care of it!

As we get older, our digestion slows down, but just think of all those years and the food that you’ve consumed. We don’t produce enough stomach acid, we lack the enzymes to help digest and break down our food, and we have more bad bacteria living in our gut then good. Then there’s the issue of certain foods causing inflammation in the intestinal lining leading to leaky gut. This all contributes to not being able to absorb nutrients out of our food! The results; low energy, fatigue, food allergies/intolerances, bowel issues, low immunity, blood sugar issues, brittle nails and bones, and the list goes on and on!

So, how can we “tune-up” our digestion?

– eat an 80%alkaline:20%acidic ratio diet. Too much acid in the body can cause inflammation in the body, and typically the foods that are more on the acidic side are harder on our digestive system. Try a more vegetarian based diet.
– Proper food combing is important. Fruit should always be eaten alone and high starch carbs should be eaten AWAY from protein.
– avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar.
– avoid drinking with meals. This dilutes the stomach juices and can hinder digestion.
– improve stomach acid (bitter foods promotes secretion), up your good bacteria in the gut (probiotics and fermented foods), increase your Fiber (get it from all sources, fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and up the water)
– remove any irritants from your system. Dairy, sugar, and wheat are the 3 biggest dietary culprits. Alcohol and caffeine can also cause irritation in the gut.
– digestive enzymes can be a huge help when digestion is sluggish. Tropic, Renew Life and Flora make good quality ones.

There are other important steps to take if you have severe stomach issues, please contact a Registered Holistic Nutritionist to help find the right plan for you.

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About Hannah Pidgeon, RHN

Graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2011. Consulting in Charlottetown, PEI. Mama to a beautiful baby girl.
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