Trust Your Gut â€“ How Your Digestive System Works To Keep You Healthy
An estimated 80 percent of your immune system is found in your gut, so it stands to reason that if things aren’t going so well in there, it’s going to do a lot more than just give you a bit of indigestion. Maintaining a healthy digestive system is critically important to your overall health and well-being.
It may be an uncomfortable thing to think about, but we each have in the region of 100 trillion microscopic creatures, called microbiome, living in our cells – most of which can be found in our intestines and other parts of our digestive system. These tiny soldiers work hard to support our immune system and keep us in optimal health.
Sadly, however, we don’t always work nearly as hard to support them back. Many of us are guilty of eating man-made food that might look, smell and even taste better than some natural foods, but doesn’t actually give our bodies the nutrition they need. We are in danger of starving at a cellular level because we have confused our digestive tract so much by eating so much imitation food, that we have lost the ability to adequately extract the necessary nutrition from what we eat.
In addition, when we eat genetically modified substances, we’re taking in food that has been altered so much our bodies no longer even recognise it as food. This means our digestive system can’t digest it, so it sits in our gut and starts to decay. The perfect scenario for the full-scale entry of viruses and bad bacteria into our systems.
What Can We Do?
First and foremost, we can eliminate highly processed and artificial foods from our diets. We can also encourage an increase in the good bacteria in our gut by eating pro-biotic foods, or taking probiotic supplements. Bacteria are so often seen as a negative thing, and they can be, but increasing the amount of good bacteria helps us in the fight against the bad bacteria feasting on the rotting food in our digestive tracts.
Probiotic foods were first eaten as early as 7000 years ago, but there has been a recent rise in the popularity of these foods as their benefits become more widely known. Kimchi, high quality dark chocolate, green pickles and sauerkraut are highly probiotic foods that are easily available and simple to incorporate into our diets.
When you first start adding these foods to your diets, start small – as little as half a tablespoon of fermented vegetables at each meal is enough to begin with, working up to about half a cup one to three times a day.
Other good habits to get into are:
- As far as possible, avoid pre-packaged and processed foods, and any foods with added flavourings, additives or preservatives.
- Try to eat as many raw, organic and fermented foods as you can. Our bodies are naturally programmed to know exactly what to do with these types of food.
- Don’t take antacids – these reduce the acid in your stomach, which is needed to properly digest your food.
Dr Alain Sanua is a qualified medical doctor who believes that harmony within the digestive system (digestive enzymes, bile and stomach acids, intestinal permeability, normal bacteria flora) is primordial in the prevention and cure of chronic diseases. Chat to him today about how to restore optimum conditions in your digestive tract to help protect against disease.