Tag Archives: leaky gut

Five Daily Habits That Can Help Aid Digestion Without Changing What You Eat

Changing you diet is hard, right?

This is a process that takes time. Eating scallops on a fresh bed of organic leaves, with an exotic coolie of immune boosting fruits and vegetables is not something most of us have time for, and it can be a little intimidating on day one of a big change.

That’s why I believe in small changes to habits which net a global positive impact on health.

If you’re still struggling to get your five a day, then that’s ok! No judgement here.

Remember, I’m somebody who has struggled all their life with food cravings and a crippling habit for junk food. I get it completely.

And besides, like I said, the best way to get into turning your diet around is to make incremental changes.

So, that got me to thinking. How do we positively improve digestion without changing anything about the core diet? Is it even possible?

Well, as always, I advocate for changes in diet as the fundamental basis for digestive health, especially in cases where food sensitivities may be present. That being said, I do believe that there are some things we can all do without upsetting the status quo, that can help support better digestive health.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at five changes which don’t uproot your lifestyle too much:

1. Drink More Water:

Some of you may be laughing in frog as this comes in as rule number one, but water is, in large part, what we’re made of. We’re approximately 50-60% water. We need lots of it for an array of vital metabolic processes, including digestion. If you can’t change anything else, try and carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go. When you’re sat down at work, on a walk, or going to school keep that bottle on your person. Wherever you are, even if you’re not able to kick some of the other drinks which might not be so healthy, adding water will help your gut health by assisting digestive enzymes in breaking down food. It’s actually the key ingredient, water, which allows enzymes to split molecules of food down into digestible chunks! Don’t underestimate it!

2. Take An Acid Supplement And Digestive Enzyme With Your Biggest Meal:

Those of us who are struggling with our digestion may not be producing enough enzymes and stomach acid to break food down properly. This is more important still when eating large meals, especially at the end of the day, when we actually have time to make something filling. Taking these digestive aids can ease inflammation by fighting the number of undigested particles which end up in the large intestine. This is where pathogens pounce, growing stronger and producing toxins which can breach the intestinal wall, create cellular damage in the body, and excite an irregular immune response.

3. Eat Fruit As A Snack:

I know this one sounds very straight forward (and possibly a little cheeky given the title of the article), but habits form through convenience. If you carry some fruit around with you, especially fruit that you enjoy eating and can access easily, you’re much less likely to slither over to the vending machine, lusting after forbidden snacks. Fruit is a better alternative to chocolate and sweets because it has natural vitamins, as well as fibre, which slows a sugar spike and feeds the good bacteria in your gut!

4. Meditate Once A Day:

As I mentioned in Meditation For Gut Health, your digestive system will thank you if you take a moment out of your busy, stressful day to breathe and relax. A stressed gut is a poor digester, and that will only contribute to undigested food reaching the large intestine, where nasty little bacteria and yeasts feast at our expense. Remember, we’re looking at what we can do without an entire diet overhaul, and ten minutes out of your day to breathe and relax the body can contribute to better gut health.

5. Get Your Shoes On And Go For A Walk:

Exercise encourages the good bacteria in the gut to produce butyrate, an extremely important biological molecule, which can help seal a compromised gut lining. The more butyrate your body is able to produce, the better your gut is able to seal itself and prevent bacterial toxins and undigested food from entering the blood stream. When this happens, we see a range of autoimmune reactions, and in the long term, multi-organ degeneration and chronic disease. A 30 minute walk during the day should help your body make more of this substance and help fight leaky gut! What’s not to like? Time to tie those laces and hit the tarmac!

Remember, everything we’re trying to do is fostering small changes for wider net benefit. Maybe you could try out one or two of these things, maybe you’ll want to do all of them! Whatever your decide, know that this is a process which takes time. Habits form when they’re sustainable, so I hope some of these are sustainable enough for you to have a go at in your day to day life, without rocking the boat too much.

Drink your water and step outside in the sun, let’s get this butyrate!

J

How Your Nose Can Be A Window Into Your Digestive Health

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had acne.

Many people experience this in their teens, but the unfortunate few will continue to experience this problem into their adult lives.

I am one of the unfortunate few.

I was confused too. Yes, I was a chubby child and weight can contribute, but I spent a good few years of my adult life at a relatively healthy weight range. The acne persisted!

I was always aware that my nose was constantly inflamed, always red and sometimes blistered with acne. Some days I would wake up and my face hurt so badly I could barely move it.

And when I went to the source of authority, the doctor, they just blamed a genetic predisposition to excess sebum production (sebum is a natural oil that the body makes and excretes through the skin). I left with a sense of ‘there’s nothing you can do’ about the whole thing.

Still, that never really clicked with me. Something intuitive inside me had related diet to nose redness and acne. I noticed that when I drank alcohol I would experience severe flare ups in a few days, and I’d wake up from a hangover with skin that was far more oily than usual. If I went and binged on sugar or bought fast food, I’d experience the same thing. There was something going on. I knew that, but I couldn’t put the pieces together until much later.

So what does a red nose mean?

Primarily, it signals inflammation in the digestive tract and problems in the immune system. When the immune system completely fails, you get autoimmune diseases like lupus (often diagnosed by a rouge butterfly rash on the bridge of the nose and a bright red nose). Alcoholics who drink far too much end up with bright red noses, signalling liver failure. A red nose can also be a risk factor for heart disease.

What people don’t realise is that all of these issues are linked and they originate in the gut. Your skin is an incredibly complex organ which wants you to understand that there’s a problem. Signs like redness or acne indicate an internal problem, requiring an internal solution.

Please, if you take nothing else away from this article, believe that your skin issues can be reduced significantly by tackling your digestive issues.

I want to show you how my own nose has improved after about a month of eating less inflammatory foods, intermittent fasting, drinking kefir and making sure to hydrate regularly.

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[ABOVE] One month ago, eating a standard diet with lots of preservatives and carbs, as well as milk products. Notice the typical blotchy effect on the nose, which has begun to spread further out across the bridge of the nose. 

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[ABOVE] A photo from today, following a much cleaner diet with wholefoods, no dairy, kefir and lots of water. Notice, the nose is no longer blotchy, there is a smoother appearance and less red/ purple discolouration. 

As you can see, we have definite improvement! I don’t recommend massive changes, but small incremental ones which can impact overall health. I make sure to test these things on myself before recommending them, because I want to make sure that the facts are really verifiable. The diet industry is full of misinformation.

You will, of course, experience some setbacks. Your body will occasionally react to something and you may see a flare up, but if the bottom image is your general state, give or take a few flare ups here and there, you’re moving towards better digestive health.

And though this is a blog for sharing information about better health, it is also a place to share my own progress on this journey. I was so hopeless and depressed when I began. I couldn’t see a way back. I thought my life was going to be a slow and steady decline in health, filled with more and more miserable doctor’s appointments. I couldn’t carry on like that, so I am really proud of myself for taking a step in the right direction. Reading, researching and sharing with my subscribers keeps me on the right track and hopefully helps you figure out your way too. That’s really all I can hope for. Let’s keep going together!

I hope you’re all staying well during this time and feeding yourself good, nutritional foods that support your overall health.

Have you experienced any similar skin improvements when changing your diet? Post your before and after pictures below, I’d love to see them!

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