As we head into the holiday season, and all that traditional, yummy food, I know that some of you are concerned about intestinal discomfort. Keeping the gut healthy and running smoothly is an essential, and often overlooked, aspect of overall health and wellness. An unhealthy gut is a contributor to a host of other problems including weakened immune systems, mood, autoimmune diseases, unhealthy skin, mental health concerns, and cancer. While it may just be an upset stomach or a bit of heartburn, regular intestinal discomfort is an indication that something bigger is in play that needs to be addressed.
Heartburn & Acid Reflux
More than 15 million people in the United States experience heartburn or acid reflux daily. This is a common problem where a person’s stomach pushes food back up into the esophagus. The burning sensation that follows is no fun for anyone. When it’s persistent, it could be a sign of other problems, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
There are many potential causes for this situation including a poor diet, smoking, being overweight, and lack of exercise. When your physical body isn’t in great shape, it’s more difficult for your system to respond and prevent these types of problems. Regular heartburn and acid reflux increases your risks of inflammation and chronic inflammation can lead to a host of other health concerns.
Every year we learn more about gut health and its role in a healthy, well-functioning body. Digestive enzymes are produced when we eat to help our systems process and digest food. When everything is working properly, these enzymes allow our bodies to absorb the nutrients it needs and discard the rest. However, as we get older our body releases fewer digestive enzymes, causing undigested food to pass into the colon. This causes a myriad of problems, including but not limited to, bloating, gas, and a deprivation of nutrients. This is why it’s generally a good idea to start taking digestive enzyme supplements as we age – to reduce discomfort and tighten up the digestion process. This preventative measure will increase your overall health and prevent inflammation and nutrient deficiencies.
What we eat also plays a role in our inflammation levels. Some foods are known to trigger an inflammatory response. Inflammation is one of the ways the body helps prevent illness and protect itself. However, too much inflammation causes a variety of other issues and discomfort and often stems from the food we ingest. Chronic inflammation could even contribute to heart disease, stroke, and an increased risk of cancer.
However, this can be managed with a few techniques:
- Anti-inflammatory Foods – Some foods are anti-inflammatory allowing individuals to reduce their inflammation levels naturally. Vegetables, foods rich with antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids should be incorporated or increased for those seeking an anti-inflammatory diet. Also, eating red meat less often and avoiding processed food is not only good for your health, but also for reducing inflammation.
- Eating Smarter – Another way to avoid inflammation is to be strategic about eating times and portion sizes. Eating on a regular schedule assists the body by keeping energy levels and blood glucose stable. To avoid hunger or cravings, eat every 3 to 4 hours and establish a schedule for your meals – ideally, breakfast, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, and dinner. Be mindful of your portion sizes since, Americans especially, have been trained to eat more at a time than is necessary. Eating slowly will give your stomach and brain time to let you know that you have reached your limit for that meal. Eating too much leads not only to obesity, but actually makes it more difficult for the body, and the gut, to do their jobs efficiently.
- Magnesium – Research has found that not having enough magnesium in your system can also lead to chronic inflammation. Magnesium supplements for those who are older, overweight, or have been diagnosed with prediabetes have been found to reduce markers of inflammation. Also, foods rich in magnesium – like dark chocolate or fatty fish – work as well.
If you suffer from gut and digestive problems, we’d like to recommend the BioSET System. This system works to balance all areas to establish whole body wellness.The foundational techniques used include detoxification, enzyme therapy, and allergy elimination. This system focuses on healing in the digestive system which boosts the immune system to help maintain wellness and prevent inflammation. Give Healing Potential a call today to find out more about the BioSET System or to book your appointment.