“Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and good digestion.”
The widespread use of antacid medication typically used for gastric hyper-acidity has been shown to inhibit digestion of proteins, and cause food allergies, by lowering gastric hydrochloric acid levels. As we age, a condition known as hypochlorhydria develops, which means our stomach acid progressively reduces, and in turn reduces absorption. Having adequate stomach acid is particularly important to optimise health, not only for digestion, but for protecting us against foreign pathogenic organisms and food antigens. Hypochlorydria is also associated with low levels of the absorption of B12 due to a decreased secretion of intrinsic factor and also the organism Helicobacter Pylori.
Enhancing the effects of our digestive enzymes:
Bromelain from Pineapple, has an activity in the stomach as well as the small intestines. When bromelain is used in isolation, it has been shown to be an adequate replacement for digestive enzymes, such as pepsin and trypsin, in cases where there is a deficiency of these enzymes.
Ginger is also considered a tonic for the digestive tract. I often add this to tinctures in client cases, who are suffering with IBS. It’s considered a tonic for the digestive tract, and toning the smooth muscles, whilst lessening gastric irritation.
The Power of Super Greens
Chlorophyll, the green pigment in green plants helps to relevie constipation and normalises the secretion of digestive acids. Foods rich in chlorophyll are abundant with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, all helping to add vital nutrients for digestion.
Dandelion, Cleavers, Elecampane are just a few of the herbs used to improve digestion. The bitter principles stimulate the initial phase of digestion and the release of the salivary gastric juices. They help sooth the intestinal tract, and increase bile production and flow.
Healthy elimination and excretion
An essential role in gut health, is the addition of soluble and insoluble fibre to ones diet through consuming whole foods. It plays an essential role in the health and integrity of gut health by production short chain fatty acids which are a key energy source for healthy intestinal cells. Flaxseed, Psylium husk, aswell as the skin of fruits and vegetables help to increase faecal excretion and produce these short-chain fatty acids required as a source of energy for the cells lining the colon, aswell as anti-cancer activity.
Feeding the gut flora
The most important friendly bacteria for the gut flora is lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, which act in symbiosis with the host to provide important nutritional and therapeutic effects. In addition to probiotics, prebiotics are equally as important. When dealing with digestive problems, it is sometimes necessary to include Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS, which promote beneficial flora, without stimulating pathogenic bacterial growth.
I offer a number of different Functional Tests for Digestive issues. Investigating your health issue through Functional Testing can be extremely beneficial in helping you return to good health. There are many tests available to suit each individual.
Taking care of our digestion at any age, is an important role in disease prevention and allowing us to be happy with how we feel, think and look.