Column: Healthy Digestion for a Healthy You

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by Gladys Kublik

If you remember, last year I wrote a series of articles called “Health Through Digestion” which explained in some detail the different aspects of the digestive system and how it affects our health. In this year’s “Do It Yourself Health” series, we will briefly look at digestion again and some of the tools we can use to bring it back to optimum working order.

Research material in this field is substantial and can be overwhelming, so I would like to quote an article from our training literature by Marva Ward CNP, which nicely condenses a lot of this information.

The human body, from the mouth through the full length of the trunk is dedicated to mastication, digestion and elimination of the food that we ingest. The success of these processes depends on a very complex, interdependent progression of events. These events involve the effective production of digestive enzymes, the successful utilization and conversion of nutrients by the liver and kidneys, the continuous repopulation of good bacteria in the digestive tract and – finally – the daily elimination of waste through the bowel.

The breakdown of digestion or detoxification results in the onset and proliferation of disease. When considering the digestive tract, low HCL production, in and of itself, often leads to a cascade of nutritional complaints and deficiencies. Overt physical reactions or symptoms often include bloating, gas, heartburn and GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). Covert reactions can produce a domino effect of digestive and health issues, including delayed gastric emptying, leaky gut (leading to the onset of disease through inflammation, acidity and the onset of autoimmune diseases), anemia and poor B12 conversion and assimilation, to name a few.

The reasons for low HCL levels, low enzyme production and digestive deficiencies can range from genetics and the aging process to pharmaceutical drug use; however, often an individuals’ erratic and unhealthy dietary practices are recognized as the most frequent causes.

The good news is that repair and recovery are within reach. The solution lies in a well-respected protocol often referred to as the “4R’s”.

1) Remove – Poor food choices are often the main reason for the slow painful decline of the digestive process. To begin the repair, it is imperative to remove the food choices that have caused the problem in the first place. The removal of antagonistic, allergenic foods such as wheat, eggs, refined sugar, processed foods, chemical sweeteners, caffeine and alcohol may be accomplished by making healthier food choices in the way of fresh, unprocessed, whole fruits, vegetables, gluten-free grains, legumes and proteins.

2) Repair – Digestive issues in the long run, often lead to leaky gut; the leaking of undigested protein particles into the bloodstream due to a defective and permeable intestinal lining, a contributing factor to inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Repair is attainable by removing the irritating food choices and repairing the gut with wound healing supplements such as zinc, Glutamine, Vitamins C, A and E.

3) Re-Inoculate – The small intestine carries approximately 1 trillion or 2 kilograms of bacteria. In order to maintain beneficial gut flora for effective digestion and immune health, it is essential to re-inoculate the gut with good bacteria on a regular basis. The quickest way to achieve optimal levels is to periodically supplement with a regime of high quality, broad range, high potency probiotics.

4) Restore or Replace – It is necessary to restore the depleted HCL and digestive enzymes that the body has slowed or stopped producing. This might include a complete, full spectrum enzyme supplement that includes HCL. Other digestion supplements are available to restore Bile acids and pancreatic enzymes.

The final word on digestion and detoxification is Fibre. An adequate amount of daily fibre is imperative in the last process of successful elimination. Various types of herbal fibre, individually or in formula are available to enhance the normal diet, which is woefully lacking in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Both are important factors in maintaining digestive health and efficient elimination.
At Neighbors Vitamin Shop, we offer extensive options for all nutrients required to repair, rebuild and maintain healthy digestion and detoxification.

You can contact Gladys Kublik at:
nvitaminshop@shaw.ca
On Twitter – @NVSHealthFoods
or visit their Facebook page

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