In past posts, I wrote about the many ailments that I am plagued by. My husband has a gastrointestinal disorder as well. I am always banging the drum about nutrition and eating a healthy diet because I am convinced that much of what can hold us back from enjoying life and being able to accomplish what we are meant to accomplish can be attributed to how we feel. So much of how we feel can be attributed to what we are eating. I know that is true for both my husband and I. So how can making better food choices help you feel better? In this article, I’ll list a few things I’ve learned along the way in my journey for better health.
Tim and I are coffee lovers. Unfortunately for us, coffee doesn’t always love us. In fact, we just finished a 21 day “Daniel Fast” where we ate veggies, fruit and whole (unleavened) grains and omitted sugar, dairy and meat/animal products. It always helps to press the reset button for us. We feel lighter, lose a couple of pounds and feel less “brain-fog”. Caffeine withdrawal is a real thing. I have all the mugs with sayings about how much I love coffee. Fasting coffee is hard. We actually feel it’s a need, not a want. But Tim feels his digestive issues are better when he fasts it. He is a hard-core expresso drinker folks! Coffee withdrawal headaches, ugh!
In the book, “How Can I Get Better?” An Action Plan for Treating Resistant Lyme Disease and Chronic Disease by Dr. Richard Horowitz, there are 2 chapters on the effects of gastrointestinal disorders. It states how frequent a health complaint they are attributed to chronic illness. Prilosec, Tums, Rolaids, etc. become a source of relief but not completely. These medications just help mask symptoms but don’t heal the issue. In this chapter, it describes how important it is to maintain healthy gut microflora/bacteria. Probiotics and its many forms can be beneficial for those that suffer from different intestinal problems.
Probiotics can come in the form of supplements, fermented vegetable, kombucha and kiefer. Rotating your diet helps alleviate symptoms as well as a strict sugar-free and yeast-free diet. Now these are all very limiting but if your symptoms are alleviated, isn’t it worth the try? Kombucha is rich in beneficial probiotics. Kombucha also contains antioxidants which can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases. The probiotics help assimilate nutrients.
A healthy microbiome balance has been shown to play an important role in digestion, weight control, glucose metabolism, heart disease, neurological disorders, inflammation, immunity and autoimmune processes. It is evident that we must take care of it if we are to maintain proper health.
One of the ways I like to reset my GI tract is detoxing. There are many ways that this can happen. I’ve mentioned the fasting. I’ve done juice fasts and different detox teas. This can help if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and digestive disorders commonly seen with these diseases. Reducing inflammation is the key.
Here are 6 basic principles Dr. Richard Horowitz lists that need to be a part of every good health and diet plan:
1.) Minimize toxic exposure. Try to go organic as much as you can. Pesticides and chemical products should be natural when possible. Water and air purifiers help. Check home for mold. Reduce radon and cell phone radiation as much as possible.
2.) Ensure proper hydration. Alkaline water is best with a pH of 7.5 or higher. At least 2-3 liters of fluid a day.
3.) Optimize GI tract health. A health tract properly absorbs essential vitamins and nutrients and detoxifies the body. Probiotics and fiber are key.
4.) Increase antioxidant reserves. Protein, amino acids are important in diet or supplement them. Resveratrol (grapes & berries) curcurmin (turmeric) and green tea help cells against oxidative stress, inflammation and DNA damage while supporting detoxification.
5.) Optimize mitochondrial function. These are the energy powerhouses of the cell. Damage can occur by free radicals and toxic chemicals. Vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates are necessary for proper energy metabolism.
6.) Assist and balance liver function. The liver is one of the primary organs that help transform chemicals, drugs, hormones and toxic compounds into non-toxic substances. Good quality proteins such as lean red meats, chicken, turkey, nut butters are important for maintaining liver health. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain active compounds that convert toxins into healthier compounds.
All of these principles, if used in conjunction with one another, can help detoxify, repair damage and provide internal balance. If you can implement small changes with these 6 principles, you can see a dramatic difference in how your body functions, has more energy and helps you lose weight. Food is a major factor that contributes to how well your body functions. Assisting the digestive tract by following these principles can literally help you feel better. Now who doesn’t want that?