Digestive Health

 

When you have issues with gut health, our ultimate goal is to optimize digestion and repair gut dysbiosis. This helps suppport the immune system surrounding the gut, allowing your normal intestinal flora function optimally. A healthy gut lining and microflora reduce inflammation and allow optimal absorption of nutrients, to support hormone balance.

 

We lay emphasis on making sure your gut is at it’s best before we introduce any modifications to your diet.

 

 

OUR APPROACH

 

Remove: We eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet and reduce your exposure to other inflammatory toxins to help your gut heal.

 

Replace: Digestive enzymes and stomach acid are commonly depleted among chronically ill individuals. Supplementing with these enzymes and hydrochloric acid ususally set a solid foundation for gut repair and restoration.

Rebuild: Balancing the good bacteria in your gut  will aid digestion, rebuild the gut lining and support your immune system.

 

Restore: We introduce nutrient dense foods and supplements to optimize your diet while giving your body much needed nutrients to help you feel your best.

 

TESTING

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth - commonly known as SIBO, for short. This test is recommended for people with GI symptoms such as bloating, increased gas, and food intolerance. It can be a helpful assessment tool for people who identify themselves as having irritable bowel syndrome.

A home breath test for SIBO is now available and is easy to use. This test is available online from the National University of Natural Medicine, Commonwealth Labs, and Genova Diagnostics.

The most significant inconvenience about the test is that it takes about 3 hours to complete and requires special mouth care and dietary instructions.

 

Food sensitivities


You may have food sensitivities that you’re not yet aware of that are contributing to your health issues. Testing for food sensitivities can be beneficial for identifying foods you should avoid to achieve optimal health.

 

STRENGTHEN THE GUT LINING

 

1. Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet – wheat, dairy, soy, corn, gluten and refined sugar are the most common allergenic and inflammatory foods. 

As mentioned above, check out a brief overview on our recommended functional nutrition elimination diet.

 

If you want a vegetarian approach, then you can find plant based options here.

 

2. Reduce your exposure to other inflammatory toxins – alcohol, antibiotics, birth control pills, and synthetic drugs, EMF waves unless they are absolutely necessary.

 

3. Introduce homemade bone broth or if you are vegetarian consume nourishing soups like seaweed soup or potassium broth– make your own bone broth or order it from a trusted provider. It is a digestive aid and helps rebuild the gut.

 

4. Gelatin/collagen – is an ingredient in the bone broth that can be consumed instead of bone broth or added to the bone broth for additional healing. Gelatin is derived from collagen; when collagen breaks down, it becomes gelatin

 

5. L-Glutamine – is an amino acid that feeds the cells of your gut lining. It is your gut’s favorite food and helps to heal gut permeability issues. It’s also found in bone broth.

 

6. Introduce turmeric – curcumin, an active ingredient in the spice turmeric, reduces overall inflammation and works wonders for pelvic pain, migraines, and joint pain. It is best to consume it with black pepper and coconut oil. Turmeric is not absorbed well by the body without the presence of fat and black pepper.

 

7. Zinc Carnosine - is essential to repair damaged cells that line the intestines. Carnosine is both an amino acid and a powerful antioxidant.

 

8. Quercetin - is a flavonoid found abundantly in onions, apples, and leafy greens. It helps to restore the leaky gut and prevents allergies and pain by avoiding a histamine release.

 

 

BALANCE THE GOOD BACTERIA IN YOUR GUT

 

1. Start with probiotic-rich fermented foods – sauerkraut, kimchi, or any kind of fermented vegetables have been found to improve the health of the microbiome. Add 1-2 tablespoons with each meal or consume probiotic-rich drinks.

 

Here are our favorites:

1.    Coconut water kefir such as Kevita 

2.    Coconut milk yogurt or coconut milk kefir

3.    Inner-eco probiotic drinks

4.    Body Ecology probiotic drinks

5.    Bubbie’s cultured foods

6.    Cultures for Health cultured and fermented foods

 

Note: fermented and aged foods are high in histamines, which are compounds that trigger allergy-like symptoms in people who are histamine intolerant. Hives, headaches, and sneezing are common reactions. So, if you are sensitive to histamines then use a probiotic instead of fermented foods. 

 

2. Probiotic capsules – probiotic supplements are a great way to repopulate the gut with a healthy balance of good bacteria. The general recommended dosage for healthy individuals without contraindication is 15-50 billion CFUs per day. Make sure to read the label regarding whether to take with food or without food.

 

Also, rotate your probiotics every three months.

Here are some our favorites:

 

The probiotics below are phenomenal for leaky gut:

  1. VSL 3: This is a medical

  2. Renewlife 30 billion: Includes live cultures from 12 different probiotic strains designed to help restore digestive balance and support immune health. Also helps promote regularity, healthy immune response and especially good for replenishing Bifidobacteria that decline with age

  3. Custom Probiotics CP-1: acclaimed for

  4. Prescript Assist - is a soil based organism and contains many strains. The most important are Lactobacillus Plantarum, which has been shown to reduce wall permeability in patients with leaky gut syndrome.

  5. Gut Pro is a fabulous probiotic for people who have an oversensitive digestive system and tend to have a reaction to probiotics. 

 

3. Digestive Enzymes – one of the easiest, yet most beneficial digestion helpers. You’ll break down food better and up-level the entire digestion process and your gut health. Do not take them longer than needed; some research suggests the body can become dependent on them. Note: You can also find this

 

4. Focus on chewing your food 20-30 times each mouthful – chewing your food properly is a mindful eating practice and it becomes a habit over time. After chewing properly, you will likely experience less bloating, burping and stomach pain (if you have these symptoms).

 

5. Increase fiber – if your bowels are slow moving then you need to make sure you are getting at least 35-45 grams of fiber each day. Optimal transit time should be 12-24 hours for proper absorption of your food. This means that if you eat at 7 pm, you should ideally have a bowel movement the following morning. 

Also, make sure you are getting enough magnesium (lotion) or via supplement.

 

6. Consume foods that contain prebiotic resistant starch – prebiotics wind up stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria (often called probiotics) that colonize our gut microflora. Since they act as food for probiotics, prebiotic compounds help balance harmful bacteria and toxins living in the digestive tract. 

There are a number of foods that contain resistant starch in them: legumes such as lentils, white beans, and chickpeas, along with cooked plantains. You can try unmodified potato starch (Bob's Red Mill), which is one of the best sources of RS. This can be added into smoothies or juices because it's best when not heated.

Note: if you feel bloated, constipated or gassy after trying out prebiotic foods then they might not be for you, which is totally okay.

 

 

LIGHT THE DIGESTIVE FIRES

 

People with low stomach acid typically experience frequent heartburn, acid reflux, burping, bloating, gas, and even nausea after eating. If you suspect you may have low stomach acid, the first step is to consult a medical doctor to be formally assessed for low acid.

If you have seen a doctor and tests positive for stomach acid deficiency, or if you frequently experience the symptoms above, the following set of suggestions may help to stimulate acid production in the stomach. They are ranked in order of good, better and best.

Good:

•    Start each morning out with a glass of warm water and fresh lemon or lime. Squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice into the water. 


•    Add 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of warm water and drink it about 15-30 minutes before meals. You can also drink this after meals if you experience heartburn. 


 

Better: 


Take bitter herbs or “digestive bitters” which have been used in traditional cultures for thousands of years to improve digestion. Look for digestive bitters that have some or all of the following ingredients commonly used in herbology: 


•    Dandelion 


•    Fennel 


•    Ginger 


•    Beetroot 


•    Golden seal root 


•    Milk thistle 


•    Peppermint

•    Wormwood

•    Yellow dock

 

Take a dose of bitters (according to the label or directions from an herbalist) before each meal to help get your digestive juices flowing!

 

Best:

Supplement with Betaine HCL. This supplement should be taken once daily, and should always be taken with a meal that contains at least 15-20 grams of protein (about 4-6 ounces of meat).

HCL should never be taken with a meal that doesn’t have animal protein, so if you eat a plant-based diet, you will want to avoid Betaine HCL supplementation and stick with the other options.

FOR MAXIMUM EFFECTS:

.

  1. Introduce bone both and collagen into your food planning to reduce inflammation in your gut lining. If you are you vegetarian, please look at our vegetarian soup broth recipes and vegetarian collagen boosting supplements or the foods that boost collagen.

  2. Talk with your doctor about adding probiotics to your supplements routine.

  3. Start each morning out with a glass of warm water and fresh lemon or lime. Squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice into the water.

  4. Avoid the following: ASPIRIN, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or other NSAIDs. These drugs can damage the GI lining and supplementing with HCL could aggravate it, increasing the risks of bleeding or ulcer.