Sunday, February 8, 2009

***Tips for Healthy Digestion***

Healthy Digestion Tips
1. Promote balance and calm in the digestive system by consuming foods that carry vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Processed foods are void of the valuable nutrients putting stress on the pancreas, liver and gall bladder.

2. Support on-going health in the entire digestive system and stomach lining with health promoting foods and plenty of saturated fat in animal proteins as well, coconut oil. Remember as we age, our mucosal membranes dry.

3. Promote healthy digestive and bowel functioning Transit should never exceed 24-36 hours of bowel movements.

4. Support healthy levels of normal micro-organisms, yeast, and bacteria in the colon and entire digestive tract. By consuming refined foods, one is feeding the hungry yeast monster allowing it to grow and potentially become systemic creating a myriad of problems. Some speculate cancer as one of these potential problems. Probiotics supplementation should be practiced.

5. Promote healthy levels of digestive acids in the stomach Again, as we age, we lose hydrochloric acid. Supplementing with Betaine HCL is a good idea after 50 and/or you notice difficulty with digestion. Digestive enzymes are also a good aid taking excess strain off the pancreas. Pancreatic disorders are escalating with the introduction of more than 5000 new food items each year.

6. Promote healthy absorption of nutrients. Remember, your nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. Proper eating habits promote the uptake of nutrients in the small intestine. This means chewing as digestion begins in the mouth. Chew well, chew long and allow your body to work its digestive magic.

7. Laxative and excess fiber use is at an all time high. There are some scientific studies claiming an abundance of fiber actually contributes to many digestive disorders rather than helping with elimination. Including, colon cancer.

8. 1 in 2 children are now diagnosed with constipation and are encouraged to increase fiber. This particular advice from pediatricians is loose at best. Remember, fiber absorbs water. When one consumes an abundance of fiber, one must also consume much more water to push the fiber through the gastrointestinal tract. This is difficult to monitor and push for children. It becomes stressful, painful and eventually gives the child a "fear" of eliminating. What the pediatrician would be wise to suggest is:
1. Reduce the childs consumption of refined foods. These foods are void of natural fibers.
2. Increase your childs natural fat consumption in the form of grass fed meats, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, etc.
3. Increase your childs filtered water consumption at the same time reducing the sugared beverages like juice, soda and energy drinks.
4. Increase your childs consumption of pro-biotic friendly foods like yogurt.
A smoothie with fresh/frozen fruit, yogurt, raw honey (except children under the age of 3 due to immature enzyme production) and coconut oil for a great vitamin boost as well, healthy digestive system. The result of a healthy digestion will repay your child ten fold. He/She will be more alert in school, less pre-occupied and able to focus more clearly.
I was distressed to hear that a child in my life eliminates only once a month. Her parents are under the false impression that this is genetic and not environmental.

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