Gut health is a very real thing. It is very important that we are eating to create and maintain proper digestive function because the ability to fight acute and chronic disease starts in the digestive system. Therefore, if you are constantly irritating your digestive system with what and how you eat, you are suppressing your immune system, which can manifest itself in a myriad of ways such as allergies, eczema, arthritis, acne, migraines, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and so much more.
Some signs that you have a disrupted digestive system are flatulence, belching, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and undigested food in your stool. These things all indicate that you are eating foods to which you are intolerant. You can also test your digestive function with the following simple test:
- Swallow 2 TBSP of white sesame seeds following a meal.
- Note the time and date when the seeds are swallowed.
- Watch your eliminations for when the bulk of the seeds appear. While a few may be visible here or there, watch for when most of them appear together. They will be intact.
- Note the time and date when the seeds are eliminated. A healthy transit time is between 18 and 24 hours.
- If your time is faster, your current diet may include floods that are irritating to you, and your body is attempting to move these foods through more quickly.
- If your time is slower, your current diet may need more soluble fiber, good bacteria and water. Also, make sure that you are getting enough time in the day to relax.
If you need to improve your digestive function, implement the following:
- “Rest and Digest” – make sure to eat at a time when you can relax and focus on eating. Then, your body can focus it’s efforts on digesting. Otherwise, your body will not fully digest the food because it will place more emphasis on the other activity.
- Chew your food slowly and thoroughly so that you can prepare it for initial breakdown in your stomach.
- Avoid foods that are commonly irritating such as refined grains and sugars, processed dairy and legumes. Additionally, try to identify the foods that you personally to which you are intolerant.
- Track signs of disrupted digestion that I previously mentioned.
- Note that it can take up to 72 hours after eating something for symptoms to appear.
- Remove the offending food from your diet for at least 3 weeks, which is how long it takes your small intestine to heal.
- Then, you can eat the food again to see if there is a reaction.
- Eat probiotic foods regularly such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented vegetables.
- Use a box or step to elevate your feet when eliminating. This moves you into a more natural squatting position, which will help stool pass more easily.