Digestive problems affect every aspect of our wellbeing including our overall immunity. If our gut is out of balance then our health will suffer. Symptoms of poor gut health include:
- Brain Fog
- Constipation, Diarrhoea, IBS or IBD
- Eczema, Dermatitis, Psoriasis and all itchy skin complaints
- Frequent infections
- Poor Memory
- Weight-gain or weight-loss
- And many more…
Assessing the health of your gut is often key to your recovery and is always included in our first consultation.
Digestive problems: what are the causes?
Nevertheless, it is now generally accepted that there are several main areas affecting good health as well as digestive health and I would like to look briefly at these.
Most of us will do well in some areas and less well in others. Let’s begin to explore several of these, starting with food.
Firstly, you are what you eat eats. So always look at how your meat/fish lived and what it was fed on (GMO’s, antibiotics) and how your vegetables were grown and if and to what extent they were sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. Our body needs nourishment to function optimally. We require vitamins, minerals, and essential oils to keep us healthy. We face the challenge in today’s world of mass production in sourcing foods that are phytonutrient rich (we will look at phytonutrients later). The Greek physician Hippocrates proclaimed nearly 2,500 years ago: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” But how do we do this when today’s crops have a significantly lower nutrient value than in the past? Today’s food produces 10 to 25 percent less iron, zinc, protein, calcium, vitamin C, and other nutrients1.
Our body is made up of 2/3rds water. Water is hugely important for supporting elimination of toxins out of the cells, through the liver and then out of the body through either the bowels or the kidneys. Our brains need water to function, as do our joints, skin and eyes. The general rule is we need half our body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. For an easy conversion visit: http://aqua4balance.com/healthy-diet/drinking-water/water-intake-calculator.html
You want to avoid genetically modified foods. These crops are increasingly sprayed with Roundup, which contains glyphosate, which studies have for decades shown is carcinogenic. Unlike other pesticides and herbicides, Glyphosate is absorbed by the plant and so you can’t wash it off. Whereas in the USA genetically modified foods are on the increase with 86 percent of corn and 94 percent of all soy being genetically modified and the large food companies fighting open and honest labelling of foods. In Switzerland GMOs have been mainly banned at least until 20173. Another vote is due this year (2017). While some GMOs get imported into the country, Switzerland has strict standards and requires labelling. You still need to check labels as GMOs are included in some foods such as Coop fish soup and pre-prepared steak tartar.
I suggest keeping to organic foods, which have not been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which are linked to a wide range of human health hazards4. The chart below will help you be aware of some foods that are heavily sprayed and some which aren’t. I suggest you take The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen shopping list with you. You don’t need to buy organic avocadoes, but apples and strawberries should be organic. I will speak about how to wash pesticides and herbicides off your fruit and veg in a later blog.
Also, did you know Organic food may have as much as 20 percent higher nutritional content for some minerals, and 30 percent more antioxidants on average1?
Stay tuned – I will cover the remaining areas of good health in future blogs.