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Detox your digestion

2 March 2018


If your gut is out of balance, not only will you feel obvious signs like indigestion, but your whole body suffers.

Your digestive system is a highly complex ‘tube’ which runs from your mouth right through your body to the colon. It is responsible for the many functions that are crucial for health and vitality including digestion, hydration, nutrient absorption, maintaining immunity and eliminating toxins. If any part of the digestive system isn’t working properly then a myriad of digestive symptoms can present. You may also suffer compromised mood, hormonal imbalance, reduced energy, and lowered immunity.

Here are a few pointers to get you back on track.

1. Refocus on food
Increase your intake of bitter foods – like lemons, limes, endive, rocket and apple cider vinegar – to stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and ensure the proper breakdown of food and improved nutrient absorption. This approach will also reduce symptoms of indigestion.

Fibre is a must when it comes to healthy digestion. Fibre ensures a healthy colon and regular bowel movements. Get your fibre intake from natural sources like fruit and vegetables, chia seeds, oats, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Prebiotic fibre, found in many fruit and vegetables including bananas, leeks, whole grains, garlic and onions, is particularly beneficial, as it supports the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system.

Garlic also has powerful antibacterial and antiseptic actions that ward off unwanted pathogens in our gut. Studies confirm it can effectively treat diarrhoea caused by undesirable intestinal bacteria. Wheat, corn, dairy, eggs and soy are common culprits when it comes to digestive problems, so try an elimination of these foods, getting rid of one food at a time, to see if symptoms improve. We can help you with this process.

2. Go green
Dandelion Root and Globe Artichoke, just to name a few, are known as herbal cholagogues, meaning that they stimulate the secretion of bile which in turn aids digestion, especially of fats.

Cholagogues also improve and promote bowel function. We have many kinds of cholagogues in the clinic. Another of my favourite herbs for improving digestive discomfort is slippery elm. Slippery Elm is a demulcent, meaning it coats and soothes the digestive tract. It is a very safe, kind and healing remedy to the digestive system.

Add this powder to a morning juice or smoothie for an easy fibre boost. You will never know it is there and it will do wonders for your digestive linings.

3. Light your fire
Raw foods are very popular but they don’t suit everyone! In traditional Chinese medicine, chronic digestive issues like bloating, wind, cramping and abdominal distension are thought to be due to an excessive consumption of cold and raw foods, which are said to dampen digestive ‘fire’.

For anyone with a compromised digestive system, it may be best to eat warming foods, spices and fluids, especially upon waking, rather than shocking the stomach with chilled food. If you are confused about what you should be eating, make an appointment and allow us to help you work out what is right for your body.

Ginger tea is an excellent panacea in this instance, while ice cream, for example, would definitely be one food to avoid.

4. Improve circulation and reduce stress
Never underestimate the benefits of exercise. Wellbeing can be assisted with exercises such as swimming, walking, running, or more gentle movements such as yoga or tai chi. These activities also do wonders for reducing stress and anxiety. Regular exercise can improve the function of your digestive system and is fundamental to body balance.

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