Your digestive system consists of:
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
The strength of digestion depends on our parents (pre-essence) and what we were fed as a child (post-essence). If we come from strong healthy parents and were fed wholesome food our digestive fire (digestive enzymes and HCL secretion) will be strong. Enzymes are necessary for every chemical action and reaction in the body, our organs, tissues, and cells are all run on metabolic enzymes.
There are Two Categories of Enzymes
1. Metabolic enzymes, which are necessary for:
- immune system health
- managing the body’s processes
- repairing the body
- cellular energy
- stimulation of the brain.
2. Digestive enzymes aid in the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. There are four categories of food enzymes. Within each category there are numerous enzymes.
- Lipase for fat
- Protease for protein
- Cellulase for cellulose
- Amylase for starch
If you are suffering from poor digestion take a minute and ask yourself am I:
- eating food which is making me feel ill?
- eating a variety of fermented foods for probiotics?
- eating whole foods?
- taking medication daily which is affecting my micorbiome?
- drinking enough water?
- drinking out of plastic bottles? Plastic is an endocrine disruptor.
- under too much pressure at home, at work, in school…?
- taking care of others who may be ill?
- raising an ADD/ADHD child?
- raising a Autistic child?
There are so many factors that can cause too much stress which in turn causes digestive issues. The most common reasons digestion becomes compromised is due to poor nutrition, taking medication daily, eating on the run, eating in a hurry, eating when feeling overwhelmed and when there is too much stress. Eating meals under stress ends up putting more stress on our body therefore I prepare easy to digest meals.
Signs and Symptoms of Digestive Imbalances
|Inflamed bowel||Tired a lot|
|Crohn’s disease||Easily overwhelmed|
|Skin conditions||Cries easily|
|Joint Pain||Muscle spasms|
|Nervous system disorder||Immune system disorder|
As part of our digestion:
- the gallbladder is necessary for fat metabolism by secreting bile that helps us digest our fats.
- The gallbladder helps eliminate toxins by carrying them out through bowl movements which also cleanses the colon.
Did you know toxins pass through the liver, kidneys and gallbladder for elimination?
The health of the large intestine (colon) depends on how consistent our bowl movements are daily and healthy bacteria.
Ideal bowl movements per day is 1-3 and transit time should be between 12-18 hours. This is optimal according to Elizabeth Lipski, M.S., and C.C.N. who wrote Digestive Wellness.
Healing Your Digestion
Did you know all herbs and food have at least two flavors, and these flavors help assist in digestion and all other bodily functions? The Five-Flavors are Bitter, Pungent, Sour, Sweet and Salty.
Easy to digest meals – when life is full and/or stressful – I prepare soups, fresh vegetable juice with some ginger added first and protein drinks. Taking in easy to assimilate meals is an excellent way to assure you are receiving high performing nutrients avoiding depletion when life is stressful.
All meals need to be prepared with whole foods which are organically or locally grown and ethically raised. Whole foods contain constituents (food enzymes, minerals, vitamins, essential nutrients and the flavors) we need to fuel us, replenish our nutrient reserves, nourish our fluids and eliminate toxins.
Make sure you are relaxed and calm before a meal
- Before I eat I check in to see if I am relaxed. If I am not I take deep breathes until I feel my shoulders neck and jaw relax. This also calms the nervous system.
- Before I eat I quiet my mind of concern/s which are bothering me but there isn’t anything I can do about it for the time.
If you are having challenges with your digestion such as constipation, heartburn, irritated or inflamed bowls do a home assessment:
|1. TRANSIT TIME – See what your transit time for bowl movements||Eat a tsp. of white sesame seeds and see how long it takes to pass through your stool. Healthy transit time is 12-18 hours|
|2. HYDROCHLORIC ACID SECRETION – Is your stomach lining secreting HCL?||Drink half a cup beet juice and see if your urine turns pink or red. The darker the red the less secretion of HCL.|
Food Sensitivity Challenge
|Do a three-day diet journal and record how you feel before you eat and how you feel 10 minutes or so after you eat.|
|Take your pulse before you eat and then again 10 minutes after you eat, has it changed? If it has, you are most likely reacting to something you ate.|
|If you suffer from allergies, asthma, auto-immune, a compromised immune system and/or headaches do a 10-30 day elimination diet. Eliminate the foods from the list below and after 10-30 days add one food in at a time for three days. Record how you feel, do this with all the foods on the elimination list. If you are having a reaction, you may have that food once a week. It takes three days for the protein in the food to become reactive to your body. Eating a rotation diet may be the solution to eating some whole foods you are sensitive to. You can eat those foods once or twice a week; it takes three days in a row for the body to become reactive to the proteins in the food.|
- Gluten from bread and grains
- All foods with artificial ingredients and coloring. If you eat a lot of packed food please read the book The Pantry Principle by Mira Dessy
- Meat – Commercial factory farmed meat, especially beef and pork. *After 10-30 days introduce grass fed and finished meat and if not available grass fed legume finished.
- Nightshades – tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, Gogi berries
- Nuts and Seeds especially peanuts
- Strawberries, commercial. *After 10-30 days try local organic fresh garden strawberries, most are allergic to the chemicals sprayed on commercial strawberries.
- Eggs, commercial. *After 10-30 days try free range (poultry which forages on the land and is not grain fed) chicken, duck or turkey eggs.
- Dairy, commercial. *After 10-30 days try if possible raw milk from small cows such as Jersey or goats.
Did you know if you are suffering from brain fog and moodiness, it could be because of weak digestion? The brain requires healthy digestion for the assimilation of proteins and fats.
Did you know the brain comprises over 50% fats — up to 70-80% of dry weight? In fact, the body’s highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids are in the brain.
Nora Gedagauda’s book Primal Body-Primal Mind has great information on brain health, she is a clinical nutritionist and an certified EEG-Neurfeedback practitioner.
The Plant Paradox is a book which show how lectins (proteins) in whole food can be toxic to humans causing inflammation and other health issues. Lectins in grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Dr. Steven Gundry has a list of foods with safe lectins and which ones to avoid.
We never seem to have enough time to get everything we need done in a day, so we cut corners or go for easy and convenient foods. What we put in our body isn’t something to take lightly, the kind of food we eat makes a world of difference to our health! The better we take care of ourselves the less chance there will be for us to fall apart as we become older. We all know aging is a natural process but we don’t have to suffer from, aches, pain, loss of vision, teeth and gums degenerating… if we have strong digestive fire! Even if modern medicine tells us it is normal, it is not, do your research you will see.
By understanding your digestive system you can learn which herbs, food and self-care practices will assist you in healing or maintaining healthy digestion.
Eat well, be well!