Seven Steps To An Optimal Digestive Health

Did you know that 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut? Gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, eczema, and other chronic health problems.

When your gut is unhealthy, it can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhoea. Undoubtedly, the gut is the gateway to health.

The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of your whole body. Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food.  But that is a big job that depends on many other factors.

How to know if your gut is out of Balance?

To fix your digestion, you first need to understand what is sending your gut out-of-balance in the first place. The list is short:

  • Our low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet, which causes all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut and damages the delicate ecosystem in your intestines
  • Overuse of medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive function — things like acid blockers (Prilosec, Nexium, etc.), anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), antibiotics, steroids and hormones
  • Undetected gluten intolerance, celiac disease or low-grade food allergies to foods such as dairy, eggs, or corn
  • Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, yeast overgrowth, parasites or even more serious gut infections
  • Toxins like mercury and mold toxins, which damage the gut
  • Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function, which can come from acid-blocking medication use or zinc deficiency
  • Stress, which can alter the gut nervous system, cause a leaky gut, and change the normal bacteria in the gut

What happens then is obvious: you get sick.

But what’s important to understand is that many diseases that seem to be totally unrelated to the gut — such as eczema or psoriasis or arthritis — are actually caused by gut problems. By focusing on the gut, you can get better.

Resources: Mark Hyman M.D, Mind Body Green 18/10/17

Gut Friendly Apple Butter

The ”an apple a day keeps the doctor away” saying may be true after all. Apples are high in fibre that can feed our friendly gut flora that keeps us well and in shape. Apples are also rich in antioxidant that prevent free radicals. One apple supplies about 14%  of your daily vitamin C, which is considered a powerful antioxidant that’s important for skin, eye, immune and brain health.

THE HEALING POWERS OF GINGER

  • Relieves Nausea
  • Reduces Pain & Inflammation
  • Helps With Heartburn
  • Provides Migraine Relief
  • Treats Cold & Flu

THE HEALING POWERS IF CINNAMON

  • Lower Blood sugar levels
  • High Source of antioxidant
  • Contain anti-inflammatory properties
  • Sweeten Food

Pectin Benefits for guts

Pectins in apples, (the soluble fibre from inside the skin) can be released through cooking, this makes it easily accessible to the good bacteria and the lining of our guts, thereby promoting accelerated healing of the gut.

“Since apple pectin is high in fibre, it is used to help regulate bowel movements. It can help firm stools and reduce inflammation associated with diarrhoea, as well as help with constipation. It is also used to help treat colitis, irritable bowel disease, and other related digestive disorders.”

If you recycle your jars, you will find many reasons to make these apple butter to fill your empty jars. This apple butter can be also used to substitute for sugar in many recipes using natural sweeteners as bananas, dates or sweet potatoes. Apples are available all year round and inexpensive.

Some of my favourite ways of using this apple butter are in my homemade granola, morning porridge or to sweeten my yoghurt. But you can enjoy it equally on toast and crackers.

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