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August 23, 2022, News

Rosie’s 6 tips for better gut health.

  1. Chew food thoroughly – Chewing seems like a simple function we should all know how to do, but most people don’t chew their food nearly enough. Consistently under-chewing can lead to malabsorption of important nutrients and may even cause serious health problems long term. Although it appears that digestion starts in the stomach, it actually starts in the mouth. Chewing begins the breakdown of food into smaller particles for better digestion, while an enzyme in saliva called ‘salivary alpha-amylase’ begins the chemical breakdown of starches into simpler molecules. The more we chew, the more saliva we produce and consequently the more salivary amylase we secrete. Studies have shown that low salivary amylase has been linked to Metabolic Syndrome and obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825871/
  2. Stomach pH – Having the correct acid level(hydrochloric acid) in the stomach is crucially important for proper digestive function. The stomach should be strongly acidic, around 1.0-2.0 pH, for optimal digestion. Aided by the physical motion of the stomach, hydrochloric acid starts the breakdown of proteins and fibre as well as helping to absorb vitamins and minerals. Stomach acid also protects against infection, killing pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungus. If you’re getting bouts of indigestion, acid reflux, excessive burping or nausea, you’re stomach acid is not strong enough. Try a simple home remedy of organic apple cider vinegar(honey optional) in a small amount of water before meals. Digestive enzymes or betaine hydrochloride before meals can also be very helpful.
  3. Love your liver – In this toxic world the liver is arguably the hardest working organ in the body, performing over 500 life-sustaining functions. One of the most important liver functions is the production of bile, which emulsifies fat during digestion, aids absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin A, D, E and K and acts as a medium for excreting toxins and metabolic wastes. For adequate bile to be produced, we need to be well hydrated. About 1 litre of pure water per 30kg of body weight per day is required to produce the right amount of bile. Some of the foods the liver loves are leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, turmeric, lemon and green tea.
  4. Reduce processed food – There are three major food groups that most people with digestive issues cannot tolerate – processed sugar, wheat and dairy. Having one intolerance is common but sometimes all three food groups can cause digestive distress. When this is the case, you know it’s time for a gut reboot. If you are going to eat these food groups try to make the best choices possible. Go for the least processed, least chemical laden options. Certified organic is always best when it comes to wheat products to avoid nasty chemicals like glyphosate.
  5. Eat seasonal whole foods – Good gut health requires a variety of nutrients to maintain a diverse microbiome. Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables, especially grown locally, provide exactly what the body needs with the changing weather. Different types of produce have seasonal preferences for how they grow, each requiring different temperatures, sunlight, water and soil conditions. You’ll find seasonal produce at farmer’s markets rather than supermarkets and you’ll be surprised how much cheaper, tastier and more nutritious it is. Here is a list of seasonal fruit and veg in Victoria. http://seasonalfoodguide.com/melbourne-victoria-seasonal-fresh-produce-guide-fruits-vegetables-in-season-availability-australia.html
  6. Drink plenty of pure water – The body requires a certain amount of water to operate, and most digestive processes need adequate hydration to function optimally. Recapping the above information – salivary amylase is secreted in saliva, however saliva can only be produced if there is enough water present in the body. The liver need two cups of water to produce enough hydrochloric acid and bile to digest one meal. It then releases the HCL into the stomach and bile into the small intestine, both facilitated by water. Moving down into the colon, the final part of the digestive system, adequate water is needed to move the stool comfortably and completely out of the body. Drink 1 litre of water per 30kg of body weight daily, preferably away from meals.
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