Do you feel like you are constantly bloated and tired? Do you feel like no matter what you eat, healthy or not, your stomach is upset.? You may be experiencing chronic inflammation in your gut. Inflammation in your gut does not only limit you to digestive issues. Many other issues can come along with it including joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, acne, and many more. Society has taught us if there is a problem then to make it better you just have to take a pill to fix it. While that may be true for some cases, healing your gut is not one of them. In fact, taking any medications in general disrupts the healthy bacteria, or flora, that we need to keep our immune system strong and digest food properly.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then it is time to start taking action. The key to healing is to nourish your intestines with good food and vitamins to reduce inflammation. The body is a beautiful force and given the opportunity, it has the power to heal itself. Follow these 5 daily tips and you will feel better fast. If you have been experiencing digestive issues for a long time, you may have to continue these things for the rest of your life. My recommendation is to try these tips daily for 6 weeks and note how you feel. Has your bloating gone down? Do you have more energy? If so, then there is no harm in continuing for preventative care. If you fall off and feel sick again, you can pick up any of these tips again to get some relief.
1. Hot water with lemon and honey
First thing in the morning, boil some water and add a squeeze of organic lemon and raw honey. Warm food and drink will soothe the inflammation. Lemon is known for it's detoxing properties and will assist the liver in detoxing. Honey has many health benefits including it's anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Together this will help flush any lingering bad bacteria and toxins and start the healing process off nicely. Trade this out for your morning coffee. Coffee on an empty stomach is very acidic and can cause early morning bloating without food in your stomach. It can also stress your adrenals and and spike your blood sugar level. If you need coffee, drink it after you've eaten a little something.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Forget apples. A shot of this a day, will keep the doctor away for sure! With a list of health benefits longer than the line at Starbucks on a Monday morning, you will begin to see instant relief. I always recommend Bragg's apple cider vinegar (with the mother.) This is one of the first things I teach my clients to do for general overall health.
3. Eat slower and chew your food
These days everything is about instant gratification. Faster, stronger, better and now! If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they were busy, I'd be rich!! However, you cannot be too busy to sit down and eat food. It is the easiest way to help digestion. If you are gulping down your food in seconds, no matter what you eat, you will be bloated. If you don't chew your food thoroughly, you are allowing air to become trapped in your digestive tract which causes bubbles of gas. Also, the food is going down your throat so fast that the actual digestive process can not keep up and we miss out on essential nutrients and vitamins that we need. The process begins in your mouth with your saliva breaking down your food. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly and enjoy your meal.
4. Remove toxic triggers
The top toxic triggers for poor digestion are sugar and caffeine. They have got to go now! I know you are cursing me under your breath right now, but once you can get away from these things, you will be blessing me later. Both sugar and caffeine cause responses in the body that we are not equipped to handle. They spike our blood sugar levels and create a glucose response that forces us into a fight or flight response. This, in turn, puts a ton of stress on our hormone known as the adrenals. The more our body goes through this cycle, the worse the inflammation in our gut becomes. It also continuously forces the body to use glucose instead of our stored fat, making it near impossible to lose weight, especially in our belly. If you cannot live without caffeine, I recommend consuming it on a full stomach. Stick to decaf if possible or limit to one cup of coffee per day before 10am. For sugar, you can switch to natural sweeteners like honey, dates, or fresh fruit. Coconut palm sugar can be used as a sugar substitute for baking and such. It has a low glycemic index so it doesn't cause the blood sugar spike like white sugar.
5. Eat cooked leafy greens
ESpecially cooked cruciferous vegetables. I love a great fresh salad but when your gut is inflamed it can be one of the worst things for it. Steam or saute leafy greens everyday with a healthy oil like olive or coconut, or ghee (clarified butter.) Try new dark greens like collards, bokchoy, spinach, chard, or kale. The greens make a huge impact on digestion and contain tons of fiber to support elimination. Don't be afraid to add them to breakfast with eggs or sneak them into soups. These are great for your skin too.
Not too bad right? OK, maybe the sugar and caffeine one has you a little upset, but what have you got to lose? You've been suffering for too long and it's time to get relief. You can start slowly and incorporate one at a time or dive in and try them all together. Be advised that you might go through a little bit of a detox when you start to incorporate these things. You may want to start over a weekend so you can get plenty of rest or be prepared for the changes your body will go through. If you don't see positive changes after a week or two, then I suggest booking a consultation so we can figure out what the root cause is. Book your consultation here.
It is possible that you could be experiencing food allergies. If these simple steps do not do the trick, you can get tested for inflammatory foods through a simple finger prick blood test from a company called KBMO. I assist my clients ion performing the test. It takes about 2 weeks for the results. Once we receive them, we will meet and go over the necessary protocol to remove these foods and your 6 weeks action plan to heal the gut for good.
Additional product worth noting. Try using collagen in your smoothies or food every day. College and helps boost gastric juicesand aid in restoring the lining. Purchase JRW approved Vital Proteins marine collagen here.
XO Jaclyn Renee