We live in a technologically advanced world. Everything in our daily lives, from food to pleasure, has been customized in order to facilitate faster and higher quality of delivery. Then why are we are getting sicker instead of getting healthier and stronger?
Well not everything is advanced in this day and age. Food -despite all the breakthroughs – is going backwards. What do I mean by that?
Table of Contents
- 1 The Problem…
- 2 …and The Solution!
- 3 1. Remove processed foods from your diet
- 4 2. Remove white sugar from your diet
- 5 3. Remove white salt from your diet
- 6 4. Minimize your stress
- 7 5. Use pro and prebiotics
- 8 6. Use glutamine
- 9 7. Stop the use of artificial sweeteners
- 10 8. Limit the use of antibiotics and other drugs
- 11 9. Be careful with the use of anti-acids
- 12 10. Use digestive enzymes!
- 13 11. Avoid Soda drinks
- 14 Bonus: Use herbs to protect your gut!
- 15 Closing Notes
Food is no longer as nutritionally dense as it once was. Mostly because of the pollution and environmental degradation which is also a result of food engineering. Humans, in their effort to produce fruits that are more resistant to spoilage and transport, degraded food to such a degree that it does not deliver the taste and nutrition it once did.
This is quite an important matter, as food is supposed to provide our bodies with the energy required for our survival and thriving. However, low nutrient density is not our only problem.
Add to that, the fact that we have been given more access to processed food which turns our digestive tract into an inflamed wasteland. Our gut is no longer able to extract energy from food because of its impaired function.
So how can we address this problem?
…and The Solution!
Healing our gut should be your first priority!
Not a lot of people know that our gut is the house of our immune system. So if your gut is in bad shape, then you will get sick more often and with more severity. Just like with everything else, viruses are also advanced now which makes the battle even more uneven.
Today, I will share some ways for you to properly heal your gut and thus improve your life quality.
1. Remove processed foods from your diet
Processed foods may be more macronutrient dense but most of the time they lack vitamins, fiber and enzymes – all those required for optimal health.
Foods that belong in this category should be eliminated from your daily nutrition. Eliminate any pre-made food, cereals, white flour, cookies, candy and everything else that tastes good but does not contribute anything to your health.
2. Remove white sugar from your diet
Sugar is not only harmful for your body, but also for your brain and hormonal system and is perhaps the ultimate source of inflammation – the very inflammation we are trying to prevent in our gut.
Sugar compromises our immune system for 4 to 6 hours. This means that in that time frame, your immune system will be easier to conquer. I would not be chewing on a sugar loaded cookie while riding the subway during flu season.
Read more about the dangers of sugar in my other article.
Focus on natural sweeteners like raw, organic honey and maple syrup (in small doses). If you want a sweetener with low calories (natural sugar is high in calories), you can also use stevia in moderation.
3. Remove white salt from your diet
White salt (or commonly known as ‘table salt’) is not as pure as people think. It is actually chlorinated sea salt that is void of nutrients and minerals. It can lead to swelling of your body by way of water retention and raise blood pressure which can only lead to cardiovascular problems.
Minimize its use and switch to natural salts like sea salt or Himalayan salt.
Note: White salt in small doses may be great for people with thyroid disease as it contains iodine. So if you have any thyroid-related problem you need to consult with your doctor.
Also, do a test and see how you feel after switching to other types of salt. This is truly an individualistic endeavour that each one of us needs to address separately depending on our body constitution. For me personally, sometimes I feel like I need a bit of iodine in my diet and at that point, I do use some ‘good’ iodized white salt.
4. Minimize your stress
Stress is the leading cause of inflammation in your entire body. Inflammation raise cortisol levels in the body which will try to break down your muscle tissue and accumulate fat as it is a survival mechanism.
It also lowers your immune system and adds to your gut inflammation.
Try Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga and meditation and other recovery activities in order to manage and even remove stress from your life.
Adaptogens are also a great way to keep stress under control and increase your body’s resistance to it. Just remember that adaptogens take a couple of weeks or even months before they start showing results. You can learn more about adaptogens in this article.
5. Use pro and prebiotics
In order to enhance your gut, you need to give it proper food. Prebiotics are foods for your gut flora which are made of good bacteria. Feeding these good bacteria will help your gut heal faster and your immune system get stronger.
Probiotics are actually foods for your prebiotics. Prebiotics feed on probiotics so try to get a combination of both. They are both supplements worth investing in.
6. Use glutamine
Originally designated for use in bodybuilding in order to gain muscle mass, glutamine works miracles for healing your gut and has been shown to help people who had part of their intestines surgically removed.
5gr of glutamine taken twice daily on an empty stomach, once in the morning and once at night, is one of my favorite protocols for healing the gut.
7. Stop the use of artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame feed the bad bacteria in your gut and destroy the good bacteria. This is not something that you want.
Read my other articles on the dangers of artificial sweeteners and how to remove artificial sweeteners from your diet.
8. Limit the use of antibiotics and other drugs
Antibiotics work by killing all bacteria in your body. Unfortunately, they don’t distinguish between good and bad. So after taking antibiotics for some period, both the good and the bad bacteria will be wiped and your gut will be left drained and weak.
So be very careful about your use of antibiotics and drugs and use only when prescribed by a doctor for a limited time.
After taking antibiotics, make sure you load up on prebiotics and probiotics to repopulate your gut’s flora properly.
9. Be careful with the use of anti-acids
Anti acids lower the acidity of your stomach but unfortunately, foods need an acidic environment in order for them to be digested. By taking anti-acids, you actually hinder that acidic environment as it becomes more alkaline.
So minimize your use of anti-acids and use the following instead:
10. Use digestive enzymes!
Digestive enzymes will help your stomach get more energy and nutrients out of your food. They will also support your digestive system. Another good reason to use enzymes is because as we age, our natural enzyme production decreases.
11. Avoid Soda drinks
With the exception of drinking them during a bout of food poisoning, sodas and fizzy drinks should not be consumed by any individual who wants to stay ulcer-free and have a healthy digestive system.
These products are not only filled with sugar which can impair your insulin and leptin sensitivity, but are full of acid which can kill your healthy gut flora and cause more harm than good.
Instead, drink water with some lemon or some apple cider vinegar to promote digestion and a bit of hydration.
Bonus: Use herbs to protect your gut!
Ginger has many benefits for the G.I tract. In Eastern medicine, it is used to treat stomach conditions and will give relief to anyone with stomach problems.
Your immune system lies in your gut. If your gut is not working properly then your health will be compromised, sooner or later. Take the first step today by using one or more of the above strategies to start healing your gut. Different people might need different time for this. Others may need to use only one step and others may need all of them.
Once you are able to heal your gut, you will have less gas and digestive disorders. You will get more energy out of your food which means you will get to enjoy life more with less food and be sick less often (if not at all). Your body will thank you for it.
Do you have any tips for healing the digestive tract? Share it with everyone by leaving a comment below.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Make sure you share this article with the people you love by using one of the social media buttons below. If you have any comments or questions, leave them in a comment below and I will answer back asap. Until next time, live your life: strong, healthy and free!
by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200