3 Steps Toward Healing Your Intestinal Tract
By Nutritional Weight & Wellness Staff
June 4, 2014
By Jamie Carlson, RD, LD
Gas, bloating, constipation, discomfort…do these describe your daily digestive problems? So many people are bogged down with these symptoms that they come to believe it is normal to feel this way. Do not be mistaken; this is your body’s way of alerting you that your gut is in need of repair before other health problems occur.
Research over the past two decades has determined that intestinal health is critical to overall health. People living with ongoing symptoms of intestinal problems are at higher risk for a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, depression, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. You might be familiar with the quote, “All disease begins in the gut,” but we are here to tell you that “All disease begins and can end in the gut.”
Follow these 3 steps to heal your intestinal tract and keep it healthy.
Step 1: Remove the trouble-makers
The first step in healing your intestinal tract is to remove the foods that may be wreaking havoc on your intestinal health. Let’s take a look at what foods could be making you bloated and uncomfortable.
Could it be the bread you’re eating each morning?
Today’s wheat and grains are not the same as they were several decades ago. With changes in farming practices and genetic modification, we are ingesting a wheat protein that the body no longer recognizes and which can cause inflammation in the intestinal tract.
Could it be the bars you’re having for a snack?
Processed foods are loaded with highly refined grains, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and soy. In the United States, 90 percent of corn and soy are genetically engineered. These foods compromise intestinal health by destroying the healthy bacteria living in the intestinal tract and cause inflammation.
Could it be the yogurt you’re eating with lunch?
For some, dairy products can be what causes inflammation and damage in the intestinal tract. Casein, the protein in dairy products, is difficult for many people to digest and is what leads to gas and bloating.
Step 2: Rebalance by eating the Weight & Wellness Way
Once your remove the foods that may be causing inflammation and damage to your intestinal tract, it’s time to rebalance by eating the Weight & Wellness Way— providing nutrients from protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Protein provides the amino acids, minerals and B vitamins to help heal your intestinal tract. Grass-fed meat, free-range chicken, and wild-caught fish help reduce inflammation and rebuild your damaged tissue.
Fat supports intestinal health because beneficial fats help heal the cell membranes. Include a healthy fat at each meal and snack. Healthy fats include: one tablespoon of olive oil, coconut oil, butter or nut butter; one-half avocado; or 6-10 olives.
Carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber for good digestion. At each meal, include several servings of vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and fruit (such as berries).
Try this Weight & Wellness Way Recipe for Artichoke-Caper-Lemon Tuna Salad.
Step 3: Rebuild with supplements
Add key supplements to support and rebuild your intestinal tract.
Bifidobacteria: This good bacteria gets depleted from taking antibiotics, eating a high-sugar diet and processed foods and drinking chlorinated water. The probiotic bifidobacteria reduces constipation, gas and bloating. (Available as capsules and powder)
Omega-3: This fatty acid helps reduce inflammation and heals the intestinal lining. (Available as softgels)
Try this three-step approach—remove, rebalance, and rebuild—to reduce or end your gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Let good digestion be your new normal.
Ready to learn more?
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