Preventing Digestive System Disorders - How Healthy is Your Gut?
When you think of digestive system disorders, did you immediately think about the size of your stomach?
Whether you have a flat stomach or a rather rotund tummy, you may or may not have a healthy digestive system. If you do have excessive abdominal fat, it may be directly related to your digestive health. The health of your digestive system has a huge impact on your overall health.
The Western Way
The typical Western diet consists of all the wrong foods and not a lot of the right foods, which is a perfect recipe for poor digestive health and the onset of digestive system disorders. We eat entirely too many refined, overly processed carbohydrates that are devoid in fiber and other natural plant nutrients. Our over consumption of animal proteins contributes to poor digestive health and digestive system disorders. Many of our foods are also high in the wrong types of fat (saturated and trans fat).
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A note about Preventing Digestive System Disorders - How Healthy is Your Gut?
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
A diagram of the digestive system will show you just how long and far your food travels. Its imperative that you help your system move the food through by eating plenty of fiber.
Fiber is the indigestible portion of plants. In our diets, fiber can be obtained from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Fiber is either soluble or insoluble and both are necessary for optimum digestive health and the prevention of digestive system disorders. Fiber acts as a cleanser. It bulks and softens the stool making elimination more efficient. Fiber also collects some amount of cholesterol and expels it from the body. It also collects metals and other toxins that would otherwise remain in the body.
Without fiber, proper elimination does not take place. Your colon becomes lined with toxic fecal material. Digestive system disorders like chronic constipation and / or chronic diarrhea are both prevalent in people that consume low fiber diets. Not only does this create a lot of uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, bloating and cramping, but it also affects your ability to lose weight and your overall health.
Westerners often live sedentary lives due to modern conveniences. We drive everywhere, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of choice. We take elevators and escalators rather than the steps. Were all very busy, but most of the "busy" involves little physical activity. Exercise is imperative for good digestive health and preventing digestive system disorders, because it speeds up digestion and elimination.
Our stressful lives also contribute to poor digestive health. We eat on the run (usually something poor) and rarely give our bodies the chance to peacefully digest the food.
Many of us do not drink enough water. Dehydration is the number one reason behind poor digestive health and frequent constipation.
The poor state of your colon minimizes proper nutrient absorption. When you do eat something nutritious, your digestive tract doesnt absorb as many of the nutrients as it could if it were in a healthier state. Your body may have just received food, but it didnt absorb the nutrients that it still needs to perform important bodily functions; ergo, it puts in another request for food making you chronically hungry. Obviously, this can lead to weight gain.
In addition, the fecal material becomes toxic. Remember that your digestive system is meant to make food useful by breaking it down, AND it is meant to expel waste. When you do not have healthy digestion, your body is not able to eliminate this waste or toxins.
The toxins not only cause digestive system disorders, but eventually also spread to the rest of your body. This has a huge impact on your overall health. An unhealthy colon is also an extremely inviting venue for parasites. These parasites also produce toxins, amplifying the amount of toxins in your body.
Physical Problems of a Toxic Digestive System and Digestive System Disorders
Remedies - Colon Cleansing and Adjusting Your Lifestyle
One of the simplest ways to begin improving digestive health and overcoming digestive system disorders is to perform a colon cleanse. There are many available on the internet and in health stores, but you can also create your own program if you understand the basic components of a colon cleanse. (Do not perform a colon cleanse if you are pregnant or nursing OR if you have any major medical complications or take prescription medications. Check with your health practitioner.)
Psyllium husks: Bulks stool and readies it for elimination thereby cleansing the digestive tract. You can purchase psyllium husks at any natural food store. Follow the directions and taper back the dose if you experience a lot of gas and bloating. A little is to be expected, but this should not be painful enough to interrupt your life or make you feel unwell.
Night-time Herbal Laxative Tea: An herbal tea that contains natural laxatives and anti-parasitic herbals will work overnight to gently aid elimination in the morning. All day long, the psyllium husks have been cleansing the dried fecal matter and readying it for elimination. The tea will help rid your body of the toxins and kill the parasites, which will benefit your prevention of and recovery from digestive system disorders.
Often times, the tea contains valerian root which will also help you relax and drift off to sleep. Natural laxative herbals and/or anti-parasitic herbals are senna leaf, chamomile flower, peppermint leaf, fennel seed, cinnamon bark, ginger root, milk thistle seed, passion fruit, licorice root, rhubarb stem, and barberry.
Probiotics: After cleansing, you should take a good probiotic to restore the natural, beneficial bacteria in your digestive system OR you can eat natural yogurt.
During the colon cleanse, make sure you drink plenty of water to aid in cleansing your system, which will help in fighting digestive system disorders.
Its now time to adjust your eating habits and lifestyle. You need around 2.5 liters of water per day, so plan on taking water with you wherever you go. Take drinks of the water regularly. Ditch the unhealthy refined, carbohydrates and deep fried foods and opt for more nutritious choices on a regular basis. Everybody indulges now and again, but if you eat healthfully on a regular basis, an occasional indulgence will have little effect on your digestive health and possible digestive system disorders.
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. I always tell people to aim for 8 servings a day, hoping that they at least consume 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit. Choose whole grain carbohydrates such as steel cut oats, beans or brown rice and swap unhealthy snacks for seeds or nuts. Choose only lean sources of animal protein such as chicken or turkey breast, fish or shellfish, nonfat dairy and lean cuts of pork and beef.
Commit to 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This can be as simple as a brisk walk or you can begin taking an exercise class or following an exercise DVD at home. In as little as 3 weeks, youll be hooked on exercise!
Do you now have a better idea of how to prevent digestive system disorders?
This article on Preventing Digestive System Disorders - How Healthy is Your Gut? was written for All 4 Natural Health by the natural health site, HealthyNewAge.
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