Digestive Enzymes In Saliva
The 4 R’s for regaining optimal digestive health by Colon Cleanse
The 4 R’s for regaining optimal digestive health
Most of us grew up on a diet of refined food that is very low in fibre. This results in an increase in the amount of time food spends in the digestive tract. In addition to this other modern habits such as not drinking enough water and limited exercise contribute to slowing down food transit time in the bowel. Food matter that is stagnant in the colon can, overtime, become compacted against the intestinal wall. This can be removed by doing a colon cleanses followed by a natural high fibre diet. The colon cleanse will remove the oldest, most compact food matter. More information on colon cleansing can be found on www.cleanseyourcolon.co.za. The fibre acts like a broom and sweeps through your intestines helping keep them clean. Fibre also helps you be more regular. Popular forms of fibre include wheat bran and psyllium husks; however these fibres may bloat some people. Other popular and more gentle forms of fibre include rice bran, oat bran, pectin, flax seeds, fructo-oligosaccharides, cellulose and the fibre found in fruit and vegetables (figs and prunes are particularly good!).
Along with the old food matter you will also want to remove any abnormal bacteria, fungi, yeasts or parasites that you may have. Speak to your local health shop or nutritionists for diagnosis and/or recommended supplements.
The next step is to repair the lining of the gut. The integrity of your intestinal lining plays a crucial role in your health. You want to let the good in and keep out the bad! An injured intestinal lining can become ‘leaky’ allowing partially digested food items to be absorbed. This is commonly called leaky gut. The partially digested food, once absorbed, may trigger an immune reaction and lead to food allergies.
Luckily the lining of the gut is constantly renewing itself and therefore the gut lining can repair itself fairly easily under the right circumstances. To heal the lining first remove any food items that you know irritate your gut or make you feel tired (common foods are wheat, gluten and dairy). Secondly, you can take the following nutrients to aid the repair and/or soothe inflammation: l-glutamine, zinc, slippery elm, vitamin A, essential fatty acids and aloe vera (but be careful to avoid aloe bitters!).
Here we focus on restoring optimal digestive function. Due to the short length of this article I will only mention a few pointers. Firstly, learn to chew your food properly! Chewing not only breaks your food into smaller pieces, it also mixes it with the digestive enzymes in your saliva and signals to your digestive system that food is coming.
Second, a digestive supplement may dramatically assist you in the proper digestion of your food while your body is busy rebalancing itself. One digestive enzyme supplement may be taken with each main meal. Raw and fermented foods are naturally high in enzymes, try and increase your daily intake of these foods.
Thirdly, eat smaller meals more often; this puts less of a burden on your digestive system. Try to eat meals in a relaxed environment and enjoy your food! This helps aid digestion. Try and drink your fluid a half hour before or 2 hours after your meal.
You carry about 1 trillion or approximately 2 kilograms of bacteria in your gut! This can consist of good, bad and indifferent bacteria all fighting for dominance. Good bacteria play a vital role in digestive and overall health, they are known as intestinal flora or probiotics. Probiotics help you digest your food, make certain vitamins, inhibit the growth of bad bacteria, reduce inflammation and assist your immune system. Make sure you use a high quality probiotic. A general rule of thumb is to use a probiotic that needs to be refrigerated, with the exception of Solgar and Garden of Life whose probiotic supplements that do not need to be refrigerated. Take the supplements in the morning or in the evening at least 2-3 hours after your meal.
To your digestive health,
About the Author
Tracy Venter ( Hons.Biochem. Stellenbosch University )
Breaking Down Digestion